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CaseyKane50
11-30-2016, 12:55 PM
The Alexandria Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) has been an advocate for increased enforcement of traffic laws city-wide, and for education/announcements of enforcement efforts as part of the five “E’s” that are important to traffic safety. (The others are Engineering, Encouragement and Evaluation).

We are pleased to inform you that that both City staff and the Alexandria Police Department are increasing efforts in the areas of Education and Enforcement. We are also pleased that no single travel mode is being targeted for enforcement; recent discussions and enforcement results indicate that Alexandria Police Department enforcement is aimed at ALL roadway users. Please share our request for all Alexandria residents and visitors to respect each other, and promote safer traffic behavior throughout the City of Alexandria.

Here is an announcement received today of a Union Street enforcement effort starting this week.


“The City of Alexandria is conducting increased traffic enforcement along Union Street through Old Town later this week. The increased enforcement is aimed at reducing conflicts between various modes and improving safety of roadway users, which has been a consistent community concern. In particular, bicyclists and drivers failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and failing to stop at stop signs have been longstanding concerns. This enforcement effort would reinforce the City’s commitment to addressing the community’s concerns and promoting safer traffic behavior among people who drive, walk and bike along Union Street. Variable message boards letting roadway users know of the traffic enforcement will be deployed starting Wednesday, November 30. The City will also be conducting outreach in late November, through Twitter, Facebook and outreach to community associations prior to the enforcement.”

CaseyKane50
12-01-2016, 11:23 AM
Variable message boards were installed at the north and south ends of Union Street and northbound on the GW Parkway.

12871

DismalScientist
12-01-2016, 12:12 PM
What does it mean for traffic to be enforced? Aren't laws enforced?

Does inforced mean forced in? This is all very confusing.

mstone
12-01-2016, 12:17 PM
Mr Orwell called, he wants his signs back

CaseyKane50
12-01-2016, 12:20 PM
What does it mean for traffic to be enforced? Aren't laws enforced? Perhaps they are hoping that confused users will stop at the stop signs to ponder the meaning:)


Does inforced mean forced in? This is all very confusing. City has been notified about the typo

bobco85
12-01-2016, 02:23 PM
Based on the spacing of the letters, the signs allow for 24 characters (3 rows of 8 letters). "Traffic enforcement ahead" is 25 characters long, so there wasn't enough space for the message. I figure they attempted to find a compromise with "Traffic enforced ahead". No excuse for the misspelling, though.

Hmm, they could try removing the last "e" in "enforcement" which would look like this:
TRAFFIC_
ENFORCEM
NT_AHEAD

I think most people could understand it.

Or, maybe:
TRAFFIC_
ENFORCEM
ENT_<---

mstone
12-01-2016, 02:27 PM
Based on the spacing of the letters, the signs allow for 24 characters (3 rows of 8 letters). "Traffic enforcement ahead" is 25 characters long, so there wasn't enough space for the message. I figure they attempted to find a compromise with "Traffic enforced ahead". No excuse for the misspelling, though.

Hmm, they could try removing the last "e" in "enforcement" which would look like this:
TRAFFIC_
ENFORCEM
NT_AHEAD

I think most people could understand it.

Or, maybe:
TRAFFIC_
ENFORCEM
ENT_<---

This is basically polishing a turd. Why on earth do drivers need to be warned that in this particular spot the police happen to be enforcing the law?

LeprosyStudyGroup
12-01-2016, 03:01 PM
yeah really. love the bureaucratic habit of never using signs to communicate something useful.


RESPECT
ALL_ROAD
USERS

BE_KIND
TO_YOUR
NEIGHBOR

PUT_YOUR
PHONES
AWAY

YIELD_TO
PEDS_AND
CYCLISTS

ROLLING
STOPS
IS_WRONG

U_MAD?
GET_A
GRIP_MAN

STOP
DROP
SHUTEMDOWNOPENUPSHOP

this is more fun than I expected when I started

lordofthemark
12-01-2016, 03:25 PM
When I see an enforcement campaign that is focused on Union Street, a place where the MVT crosses through Old Town, and which has a LOT of stop signs, so that its a place where a lot of people Idaho (and some just run stops instead of Idahoing) rather than focus on the more pedestrian hostile parts of the City, where speeding drivers, failure to yield, failure to use turn signals, distracted driving are greater dangers, my first reaction is to get angry - at those citizens of Old Town who use their free time and resources to focus on cyclists (whose behavior they mostly do not understand) and to exercise undue influence over the City, at those Council members who listen to them and have not become fully informed, and to those in the Alexandria Police who also show quite a bit of windshield perspective.

But then I reflect - anger won't help. The only way to shift the polity, is to put more butts on bikes. In DC this does not happen, and its happening less in Arlington, because they have more butts on bikes. When we have more butts on bikes, we won't have to constantly emphasize the multimodal benefits of everything we ask for - we will actually be able to ask for things as cyclists. We will have a constituency that understands what comfortable riding is, why choices are needed, why certain laws and traffic control devices designed for cars may make less sense for bikes, etc.

We will get that naturally as the City evolves, becomes more dense, more residences and workplaces are built with biking accommodations, etc. We will get it as the less heralded infrastructure projects in Alexandria expand (and connections in our neighbors, esp Arlington and DC, too) as bikeshare expands, etc. But we also get it as folks like those here in the forum encourage rides, help non-riders ride and help beginners ride more, as those of us who ride simply become more visible, and show what is possible.

Then I feel better.

rcannon100
12-01-2016, 03:50 PM
https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0827/9097/products/ObeyIconhighres_large.jpg?v=1435265610

KLizotte
12-01-2016, 08:52 PM
Can we move the "Obey all laws" sign to the front of the White House when you know who moves in?

Rootchopper
12-01-2016, 08:58 PM
I rode Union St in Old Town this morning. A Mercedes pulled out of a garage in front of me without looking (or yielding). A sports car driver accelerated aggressively while rolling every stop sign. A beer truck blocked the entire road for a couple of minutes. No police present.

This evening. A car was parked perpendicular to the curb on N. Union blocking part of the bike lane and the side walk. Cars rolled through stop signs at both Queen and Cameron. At King I finally spotted the police officer. He was standing with his back to the intersection chatting with a Starbucks customer.

Such enforcement excitement!

Judd
12-01-2016, 09:22 PM
When we have more butts on bikes, we won't have to constantly emphasize the multimodal benefits of everything we ask for - we will actually be able to ask for things as cyclists.

So what I think you're saying here is that Cynthia isn't doing her part to help the cycling community...

Judd
12-01-2016, 09:48 PM
The Alexandria Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) has been an advocate for increased enforcement of traffic laws city-wide, and for education/announcements of enforcement efforts as part of the five “E’s” that are important to traffic safety. (The others are Engineering, Encouragement and Evaluation).

We are pleased to inform you that that both City staff and the Alexandria Police Department are increasing efforts in the areas of Education and Enforcement. We are also pleased that no single travel mode is being targeted for enforcement; recent discussions and enforcement results indicate that Alexandria Police Department enforcement is aimed at ALL roadway users. Please share our request for all Alexandria residents and visitors to respect each other, and promote safer traffic behavior throughout the City of Alexandria.

Here is an announcement received today of a Union Street enforcement effort starting this week.

I'm sure I'm the minority voice here, but I'm mostly okay with the yearly placing of a cop at the corner of Union and King for a week. Is it the best use of police resources? Probably not. But I also see plenty of people on bikes being total assholes at this intersection and cruising through at full speed or making little to no attempt to yield to pedestrians. If I lived in Old Town and regularly got buzzed while crossing the street, I'd probably bitch about it just as much as the Old Town folks do.

I've been pulled over once at Hains Point for running a stop sign. I didn't get a ticket, but if I had, that would be okay. I deliberately ran the stop sign. I knew I was breaking the law when I chose to do it. I can complain all day about how other people break the law all day and that it's actually more dangerous when they break the law than when I break the law, but at the end of the day I chose to break a law which means I chose to accept the consequences of being caught doing so.

lordofthemark
12-02-2016, 08:35 AM
I'm sure I'm the minority voice here, but I'm mostly okay with the yearly placing of a cop at the corner of Union and King for a week. Is it the best use of police resources? Probably not. But I also see plenty of people on bikes being total assholes at this intersection and cruising through at full speed or making little to no attempt to yield to pedestrians. If I lived in Old Town and regularly got buzzed while crossing the street, I'd probably bitch about it just as much as the Old Town folks do.

I've been pulled over once at Hains Point for running a stop sign. I didn't get a ticket, but if I had, that would be okay. I deliberately ran the stop sign. I knew I was breaking the law when I chose to do it. I can complain all day about how other people break the law all day and that it's actually more dangerous when they break the law than when I break the law, but at the end of the day I chose to break a law which means I chose to accept the consequences of being caught doing so.

1. Its not just once a year, IIRC.

2. They do not just ticket folks who are being total assholes, but (based on reports I have heard, and the police do not deny it) people making proper Idaho stops, at anything above walking speed.

3. The folks who push for this also push against the alternate infra that would take bikes off of Union. The City is going to designate Royal a bike Blvd, over opposition from many old town residents (I cannot say which community association - in the past I have assumed it was all simply the Old Town Civic Association, but I have since learned there are multiple smaller CAs there, plus informal local groups) - and that Bike Blvd will be an inferior one, with no stop signs removed or roundabouts put in place because "we wouldn't want to reward scofflaw cyclists" These folks, AFAICT, are also the reason we will be getting door zone bike lanes on Prince and Cameron instead of PBL's.

4. They drain the citywide conversation on ped and biking matters. At the public meetings on the Bike Ped master plan, to discuss improvements of all kinds, all across the City, a contingent of them were there to call for - you guessed it - more enforcement in Old Town.

5. Its not like Alexandria police have been superb on all bike ped matters outside Old Town. See the response to the Duke and Taylor crash.

I spent a couple of hours of my time at a BPAC organized event where cyclists stood at the corner of Union and King, with WABA PAL signs and stuff, asking people to stop at the intersection. After seeing how little recognition that got from the antis (maybe Council at least recognizes it) I have decided I cannot motivate myself to do it again. I mean I wish well to the folks who do stand there and do it again, but I will put my own efforts elsewhere - supporting other BPAC activities, and just getting out there and riding on the new infra we do have.

I would ask all to try to and ride the new infra in the City of Alexandria, as much as possible. Especially the new buffered lanes on King from the high school to Janneys, and the more controversial conventional lanes from Janneys to King Street Station.

lordofthemark
12-02-2016, 08:44 AM
I can complain all day about how other people break the law all day and that it's actually more dangerous when they break the law than when I break the law, but at the end of the day I chose to break a law which means I chose to accept the consequences of being caught doing so.

In DC and Md there is a loud active opposition to speed cameras, which makes all kinds of claims, but appears to consist mostly of people who resent that the law is enforced. (and the cameras still give you a "buffer", IIUC) In Va speed cameras are not allowed. Even red light cameras are limited in number by state law.

Imagine if police regularly gave tickets to people driving one mile per hour over the limit. Or failing to signal. Imagine if they had an enforcement campaign to do so.

It would provoke outrage. People would be incensed at the level of resources used for a tiny infraction, would point out the lack of real safety benefit, and would call it either a revenue play or part of the war on cars, or both.

But when its done for cyclists, its okay. BECAUSE BIKING IS NOT NORMATIVE. This isn't about whether its cool to cruise through the King and Union intersection instead of stopping for the pedestrians in the crosswalks. Of course its not. This is about biking being not normative, and that's what is provoking about it.

Happy Holidays!

lordofthemark
12-02-2016, 08:52 AM
If I lived in Old Town and regularly got buzzed while crossing the street, I'd probably bitch about it just as much as the Old Town folks do.

I don't know how I would feel. When my wife and I moved back to Alexandria, we couldn't make Old Town fit our budget. In part because of the opposition to development that has crimped the supply of new housing there. The defense of Old Town privilege goes beyond biking matters.

sjclaeys
12-02-2016, 03:41 PM
yeah really. love the bureaucratic habit of never using signs to communicate something useful.


RESPECT
ALL_ROAD
USERS

BE_KIND
TO_YOUR
NEIGHBOR

PUT_YOUR
PHONES
AWAY

YIELD_TO
PEDS_AND
CYCLISTS

ROLLING
STOPS
IS_WRONG

U_MAD?
GET_A
GRIP_MAN

STOP
DROP
SHUTEMDOWNOPENUPSHOP

this is more fun than I expected when I started

I am of course not advocating this, but there is some interesting info here on how to make that happen: https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=electronic%20traffic%20sign%20hacking

LeprosyStudyGroup
12-02-2016, 05:17 PM
Good lord I expected 'hacking' to involve more than: 1. Open Box 2.Type new message

rcannon100
12-02-2016, 07:31 PM
Good lord I expected 'hacking' to involve more than: 1. Open Box 2.Type new message

3. Unauthorized Access to a Government IT System

dbb
12-02-2016, 09:45 PM
3. Unauthorized Access to a Government IT System

So you are recommending long fingered gloves?