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View Full Version : Curious about W&OD official position on night commuting.



CCrew
03-02-2011, 10:20 AM
I'm just curious, because I got stopped this AM for the third time in as many months on my inbound commute. I know the official stance is that the "park" is closed from dusk to dawn, but until recently it's seemed to have been a gentlemans agreement that commuters were left alone.

All three times have been Vienna police and I undergo an ID check, and as a result pretty much a check of what I'm carrying since I carry my ID and things in a Chrome messenger bag. They're courteous and professional, but three times in as many months is three times more than the three years I've ridden the trail. Keep in mind I'm on the trail in the 3:30am timeframe and lit up like a UFO, so I'm hardly trying to do the ninja thing. Last two times I've been overtly threatened with a ticket.. although my work ID has a tendency to take a lot of the wind out of their sails.

I'm just wondering with the various entities and advocacy people here if this has ever come up. Thanks.

PrintError
03-02-2011, 05:06 PM
I'd like to know as well, I'm out there in the dark every morning but have yet to be stopped. I've even seen a cop here and there, and they just return the wave.

eminva
03-02-2011, 08:05 PM
I'm curious to know, too. I am not often out before dawn, but am out after nightfall for pretty much all of standard time. I've never seen the police. However, I exit the trail shortly after entering Town of Vienna.

I think the Police Department does a lot of bicycle policy stuff in Town of Vienna. A couple of years ago I answered a survey about bicycle/motorist/pedestrian safety from the PD. I gave them oodles of great suggestions, but I don't know what came of it. There are some new bike lanes in the last couple of years, so maybe it is all part of the same initiative.

Hmm . . . unusual work hours . . . office somewhere near the White House . . . work ID takes the wind out of the sails of local police . . . I'm beginning to wonder if you are the person who answers the red phone when it rings.

Liz

Dirt
03-03-2011, 07:26 AM
Interesting CCrew... You must fit some profile that Vienna is cracking down on. ;)

I've been commuting on the W&OD and Custis before sunrise and after sunset for over a decade and never got more than a second glance from a police officer.

WillStewart
03-03-2011, 09:57 AM
With all those blinking lights, he might be taken for a small emergency vehicle, and the Vienna Police are known for their less than amicable relationship with the Vienna VFD.

acc
03-03-2011, 05:46 PM
[

Hmm . . . unusual work hours . . . office somewhere near the White House . . . work ID takes the wind out of the sails of local police . . . I'm beginning to wonder if you are the person who answers the red phone when it rings.

Liz[/QUOTE]

I'm just hoping he's not the one who makes the red phone ring. :rolleyes:

Is there anything about your bike or your attire that would draw official attention? I'm sure there is not, but am curious.

Safe riding,
ann

skreaminquadz
03-04-2011, 01:50 PM
Sorry to hear that CCrew. I just read a very similar story on another local forum about the W&OD out in Leesburg. He wasn't cited either, just a harsh reprimand.

If they start enforcing the "park closed at dark" rule I would not be able to commute at all for several months of the year unless I can talk my boss into letting me work 6 hours a day in the winter. Hmmm....

WillStewart
03-04-2011, 01:53 PM
skreaminquadz, what is the other forum that covers the W&OD in Loudoun?

CCrew
03-04-2011, 02:13 PM
I'm just hoping he's not the one who makes the red phone ring. :rolleyes:

Is there anything about your bike or your attire that would draw official attention? I'm sure there is not, but am curious.

Safe riding,
ann

Oh, heck no. Unless seeing a middle aged white guy makes one suspect :) Herndon maybe it would..... LOL

Seriously though. I'm 54 years old, dressed in cycling attire, ie: highly reflectorized on clothing, ankle bands, messenger bag. Run high powered lights, and generally am TRYING to be seen rather than being in stealth mode. I can't figure it out either.

OneEighth
03-04-2011, 02:55 PM
The obvious storyline here (should this ever get picked up) would run sort of like this:
As State and local governments cut services and raise property tax assessments and the like to make up for budget shortfalls, the local PD has excess FTE and related expenses devoted to ticketing bicyclists for riding on the bike path.
That's just not going to read well.

Joe Chapline
03-04-2011, 03:18 PM
Or it might be like the Dos Equis commercial, something like: "He's often detained by police, because they find him interesting."

acc
03-04-2011, 09:05 PM
Or it might be like the Dos Equis commercial, something like: "He's often detained by police, because they find him interesting."

Oh, that was great! I've lived in Vienna since '92 and the Town employs its own police force. They are highly visible, it is definitely different compared to Fairfax County where the police are spread more thinly. On the bright side, the Vienna Police response time in an emergency can be less than five minutes. I've never had a negative encounter with them. That being said, part of the W&O runs directly behind buildings that house the type of governmental agencies with lots of heavily armed guards patrolling the perimeters and operating checkpoints. I wonder if they are patrolling the trail in that specific area roughly around mile marker 10.

Mr. Crew you appear to be an endangered species. Too bad you can't check yourself off an extra exemption on the 1040 form.

ann

skreaminquadz
03-05-2011, 01:12 PM
skreaminquadz, what is the other forum that covers the W&OD in Loudoun?

Hey Will - they don't specifically cover it but it is local and they have a commuting section that I have found useful. The other forum is MORE (Mid Atlantic Offroad Enthusiasts). Here's the link...

http://www.more-mtb.org/forum/showthread.php?t=20653