View Full Version : "Bike Safety Week" sign in Rosslyn welcome, ironic

09-16-2010, 02:33 PM
The new variable message sign in Rosslyn by the Custis Trail proclaiming "Bike Safety Week" is well placed. I read the second message this morning, "Bikes Must Obey All Signs and Lights" as I was waiting my turn to cross Ft. Myer Drive from the MVT. I found this super ironic as cars whizzed by in front of me, pulling into the crosswalk as their light turned red, blocking the crosswalk and creating gridlock, and then as cars turning right from the GW Parkway ramp ignored the delayed crosswalk signal, and failed to yield to me in the crosswalk.

Must Obey All Signs and Lights, folks.

09-16-2010, 04:10 PM
I saw police talking to cyclists between, "The Crossing of Death," at N Lynn and 29, and the Marriott on Tuesday. I don't know if they were handing out tickets.

You know how the ped/bike crossing light turns before the light controlling the cars on the 66 exit does, but you get right-hooked every time, anyway? Well, that happened to me for the millionth time, or so, about half a block from the dismounted policemen. There were no negative consequences for the driver who did it, of course. He even greeted me with a hearty Chaucerian turn of phrase, too! It's funny to me that almost every stop light in Arlington has the ubiquitous (and frankly, somewhat ambiguous) "No Turn On Red When Pedestrians Are Present," signs, except that one. You know -- the one where the cars turning right on red almost kill someone every day.

Once or twice a year, when it's time to address, "bike safety," the blame gets placed on us, instead of the real problem. I stop at stop signs, anyway, so my approach during these "enforcement" pushes is to just keep doing what I do, except more so. By that, I mean I even stop for the stupid stop signs, like the ones that protect long-abandoned, jersey-barrier-protected parkway exits, and so forth. Be patient -- it will all be over soon, and the police will go back to ignoring red light runners and right-hookers on Lynn Street. No flames, please. I say that in the most world-weary, sarcastic voice possible.

...and if you're in the habit of blowing stop signs and red lights, would you consider not doing it? Every time I get run down by some aggressive jerk, that's one of the first justifications to come out of his or her mouth, right before all the lycra-clad, Lance-wanna-be stuff. I have grown weary of paying for the sins of others.

Eh, whatever.

09-17-2010, 11:12 AM
I get right-hooked at that intersection almost every morning. The delayed green for the cars coming off the ramp is only mildly helpful, and usually only at off-peak times - at rush hour the cars seem to think they can turn on red and right-hook anytime they want. Sometimes I even try yelling and/or waving my arms when entering the crosswalk (coming off the MVT and headed towards the Marriott).

Tim Kelley
09-21-2010, 01:11 PM
I was copied on an email from ACPD recaping lastr week's Bike/Ped Awareness week. Here's the outcome:

"Last week, the 1D React Team worked the 2nd Annual Virginia Bicycle Awareness Week. In support of that campaign a press release was put out & signboards were placed throughout the county. Aux Officer Heather Hurlock is still planning on working with Revolution Cycles, Big Wheel & Contiís bike shops to continue the message. During the campaign approximately 500 verbal warnings were given out, along with an educational pamphlet explaining the County Code. The vast majority of warnings were for Traffic signs & signals. There were 5 written warnings for various offenses and NO real citations were issued. It is the belief of the Officers that most bicyclists are unaware that the traffic laws apply to them. Hopefully this campaign was a step in the right direction."

09-21-2010, 03:01 PM
Thanks for that post, Tim.

It is seriously cool that they're out there increasing awareness. I'm glad that the activity is ongoing. I don't buy for a moment that "most bicyclists are unaware that the traffic laws apply to them" though. Most of the signs along the W&OD and Custis trail have a sign (almost as big as the stop sign) that says "Stop required by law". None of us do a very good job at obeying the law... and by "us" I mean cyclists, pedestrians and drivers. I honestly don't think awareness is the problem.

09-21-2010, 04:55 PM
I was a little miffed with the wording of the signs as well--I wanted to see "share the road" promoted more than "cyclists don't follow traffic laws." I even sought out this site as a result, wanting to vent.Then this morning on my commute through Clarendon/Courthouse, TWO cyclists blew past me, through red lights that I was patiently stopped at. It is not like I never treat a red light as a stop sign, but I always stop first. Just riding straight through is reckless (how many times do you see drivers run lights?), and it gives us all a bad name.
Anyway, I guess I better understand what bike safety week is about now, but I do hope other campaigns focus on educating everybody. When I crash, it will certainly be because of a pedestrian -- they walk out into the road without looking for me (sometimes between cars) all the time!

09-22-2010, 10:30 AM
I'll change my tone today to be slightly more upbeat. Yesterday I had my life threatened by all three groups... cyclists, pedestrians and drivers -- all behaving stupidly. Today was actually a little different. I had an extended commute (22.5 miles instead of the usual 15) and I didn't have a single life-threatening experience. One step better, I encountered 2 cyclists, 2 pedestrians and 3 drivers that went out of their way to be polite, considerate and obey the law. That is truly rare for me. Kinda sad, when you think of it in the context of me encountering many hundreds of people on my morning commute that only 7 people stood out as behaving in a nice way... but I'll take progress. :D

To day was as good as yesterday was bad. Having a good day now and then helps.

Enjoy your car-free day today. :D


Angela Koch, Revolution C
09-22-2010, 11:58 AM
As the Events and Advocacy Coordinator for Revolution Cycles I'm looking forward to working with Aux Officer Heather Hurlock to improve traffic safety. Since I have not heard from her yet I will contact her this week and I'm excited about the opportunity to open a more useful dialogue with ACPD. I have seen the educational pamphlet explaining the County Code and I view it as an excellent opportunity to find ways to improve the safety message so that it includes all road users and encourages everyone to share the road and follow Virginia and Arlington County code while operating a motor vehicle, bicycle or while walking. I'm concerned that the officers believe that most bicyclists are unaware that the traffic laws apply to them for two reasons. One, in our experience positive behavior change is best achieved when you use all the data available to fully understand an issue, determine a solution and craft a message that addresses the problem. The second reason I'm concerned is because this statement seems to imply that the responsibility to use the road safely falls entirely on the cyclist. In truth, we all have a responsibility to drive, ride and walk safely. I'm excited about this opportunity to potentially partner with ACPD and I look forward to working with Aux Officer Hurlock since she has indicated a desire to do so. I will do my best to keep this forum updated as to the progress.

Angela Koch
Events and Advocacy Coordinator, Revolution Cycles

Tim Kelley
09-23-2010, 09:45 AM
I've had the opportunity to work with Heather Hurlock on a number of projects in the past year and she is very good. I think you two will come up with some great stuff!

Angela Koch, Revolution C
10-05-2010, 10:07 AM
Hi all,

A quick update as promised about Officer Hurlock. She attended our Ladies Night event last week where I was able to introduce her to the group of about 80 women cyclists who attended and where she listened to our advocacy discussion, rules of the road discussion and other issues from a cyclist's and advocate's perspective. Unfortunately, she had to leave early but we've corresponded since that time and we'll be getting together again for a more specific discussion about messaging and groups to work with.

I'll continue to keep you updated. Right now we're at interested and engaged, hopefully we can evolve this relationship into actively working together on positive solutions for all.


Angela Koch
Events and Advocacy Coordinator
Revolution Cycles

10-05-2010, 02:16 PM
Very cool Angela. Thanks so much for the update and for being such a great part of the advocacy that is going on in Arlington.