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Thread: Bikers passing pedestrians on paved trails

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by elbows View Post
    This morning, my commute was ruined by close passers on Independence Ave. I certainly didn't set off to take that route but a motorcade and trail closures near the Reflecting Pool steered me to Independence Ave. I was nervous about taking the sidewalk because a lot of people where using it and with the fences up, I wasn't sure where it would take me. How bad can 1/2 a mile of Independence Ave be, I thought? It was awful. Tons of speeding and passing within inches of me. I was hit from behind by a close passing driver on Columbia Pike this spring and I'm still not over it.

    Would appreciate advice on where to report this. NPS? I don't expect action but if NPS has enough resources to go after kids selling bottled water, they can at least read my complaint.
    I agree with you about Independence. Occasionally, as an alternative to the Mall, I'll take it westbound to 23rd on the way home. I never feel very comfortable taking the lane on Independence. Once the light changes at 17th, Independence "feels" more like a divided highway as cars ramp up speed. On the other hand, I haven't *yet* had any bad encounters by taking the right lane westbound.

    We chose to take the north sidewalk after the detours this morning. About midway along Independence where there's a crosswalk, the sidewalk was blocked off with police tape and a park office standing guard. We had to dismount, walk the bikes around the blockade, and resume the ride in. I guess that the area was cordoned off to keep someone from planting an explosive device in the big electrical control box near the crosswalk.

    You could report this to the White House (https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press...ony-korean-war), but I wouldn't hold my breath for a response.

  2. #52
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    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    I would report to NPS, NPP and MPD

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by VA2DC View Post
    You could report this to the White House (https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press...ony-korean-war), but I wouldn't hold my breath for a response.
    Spandex brigade terrorfefe whines about security on National Mall. Playing with kiddie toys in the street. Grow up and buy a car. SAD!!!

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  5. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoot View Post
    Spandex brigade terrorfefe whines about security on National Mall. Playing with kiddie toys in the street. Grow up and buy a car. SAD!!!
    They want access to travel lanes. They were "bleeding badly from a [hit-and run]. I said no!

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  7. #55
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    Steve O is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by elbows View Post
    Maybe I just need to get over it and take the lane but on some roads, I just can't. I'm thinking of Columbia Pike in Arlington and Independence Ave in DC. I don't generally exceed 20 except for in bursts (I don't ride my road bike for commuting).
    I agree that it can feel really uncomfortable taking the lane, but it is truly the safer thing to do. Being buzzed is much worse than being honked at. Independence has, like, three lanes, so the cars can move over and around you. But you can't be halfway; that's even worse. If someone thinks they can squeeze by you, they will. Happened to me today, and I was a good 1/3rd of the way into the lane on my way to taking the whole thing when a pickup truck decided to buzz me as some sort of punishment I guess.

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  9. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    I agree that it can feel really uncomfortable taking the lane, but it is truly the safer thing to do. Being buzzed is much worse than being honked at. Independence has, like, three lanes, so the cars can move over and around you. But you can't be halfway; that's even worse. If someone thinks they can squeeze by you, they will. Happened to me today, and I was a good 1/3rd of the way into the lane on my way to taking the whole thing when a pickup truck decided to buzz me as some sort of punishment I guess.
    This x1000

    I am more scared about being hit by a careless/distracted driver who doesn't see me than being hit by someone having road rage. Just remember, when someone honks/yells at you, it means they SEE you and are actually paying attention to your presence (however annoying it is to them). The hardest part is gaining the experience, maintaining your confidence, and telling yourself, "This is where I should be in the lane to be seen."

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  11. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    I agree that it can feel really uncomfortable taking the lane, but it is truly the safer thing to do. Being buzzed is much worse than being honked at. Independence has, like, three lanes, so the cars can move over and around you. But you can't be halfway; that's even worse. If someone thinks they can squeeze by you, they will.
    +1

    My overall experience with cycling has improved immensely ever since I started aggressively taking lanes whenever I ride streets like this. Yes it can still be rather uncomfortable at times. But it helps to know that 1) drivers are far more likely to struggle with spatial reasoning (i.e. misjudge the distance between you and the edges of their vehicle) than they are to run you down intentionally, and 2) distracted drivers are far more likely to notice and react to the presence of a rider in the middle of a lane than one near the edge.

    I find that when I ride in the middle of a lane, almost all passing motorists execute a complete lane change and give me 5+ feet of clearance. Plus, the few remaining buzzes are a bit less scary when you have ample bailout real estate to your right.

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  13. #58
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    I had a first this past weekend on the CCT, with a pedestrian I was passing effectively rejecting my bell signal. I rang the bell to indicate I was about to pass, and he said something to the effect of "It's ok. You can just go around".

    I prefer to use the bell over my voice as it's more effective than yelling out. Most people that aren't listening to music are good about waving or some other acknowledgement that they heard the bell. I do the same when I'm out running to reciprocate that I appreciate the passing notice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zsionakides View Post
    I had a first this past weekend on the CCT, with a pedestrian I was passing effectively rejecting my bell signal. I rang the bell to indicate I was about to pass, and he said something to the effect of "It's ok. You can just go around".
    I have seen comments from some people on places like GreaterGreaterWashington and ArlNow where they have said they think the bell means "get out of my way."

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by zsionakides View Post
    Most people that aren't listening to music are good about waving or some other acknowledgement that they heard the bell. I do the same when I'm out running to reciprocate that I appreciate the passing notice.
    My experience is that I get acknowledgement from well under a quarter of the people who I "ding" and then pass. Sometimes, runners or walkers will move to the right or at least move out of the center or even left side of the trail. But rarely do I get a hand wave or other signal to acknowledge "yeah, I heard you" or "thanks for giving me a heads-up."

    Whether walking, running, or cycling, I give a little wave with my left hand whenever someone signals by bell or voice. It just seems prudent to let them know that I know that they're there, and they don't have to wonder whether I'll suddenly stop short or pull a crazy Ivan as they're passing. And I like to let people know that I appreciate the warning.

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