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Thread: Call 'em out. In public.

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    Default Call 'em out. In public.

    I went to Arlington's quarterly community outreach meeting tonight, the first joint meeting with both ACPD and ACFD. It was very well attended by both departments and south Arlington community members, and at least one county board member.

    My specific purpose was to complain about cars parked in the Crystal City bike lanes. I gave two recent examples. The first about a driver parked on Eads St in front of the Marriott who, when I pointed out he was illegally stopped in a bike lane, tried to excuse himself by saying "No, it's a bus stop." (Dude, you're not allowed to park at a bus stop either, and there's an empty legal parking space 20 feet ahead.). The second was about the night I drove up Eads St past the irritating rideshare lot where ACPD had cones out and were controlling traffic, except they'd parked about four cruisers with their lights on..... you guessed it, in the bike lane.

    The officers were contrite and apologetic. One spoke about their ongoing work with ABAC. Another encouraged me to call the non-emergency number for any incident (including chasing off badly parked police cruisers) and gave me his card. A third said we need to do better at educating the community, and hopes Bike Arlington can help. My biggest takeaway was that anytime we see violations, we should call or Tweet or take pictures and let ACPD know. They are genuinely concerned and get our frustrations. And public participation is key to solving the problem.

    And yes, OF COURSE there was some jerk who felt compelled to come up afterwards to berate me about "all you cyclists" who weave through traffic, blow stop signs, and break laws. Officer #2 kindly cut that conversation short to commiserate with me about out-of-control Uber and Lyft fleets.

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    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    Yes, ACPD has been engaging with the BAC and the Pedestrian Advisory Committee. In fact, they'll be at our February joint meeting. If you have questions, post them here or get them to me in whatever form works for you by next Wednesday!

    Oddly enough, they monitor Twitter but don't like people posting this stuff on Twitter. It's annoying, because reporting via Twitter allows for transparency. *sigh*

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    Oddly enough, they monitor Twitter but don't like people posting this stuff on Twitter.
    I think both PD and FD are kinda new to social media, and figuring out how to manage/monitor it. (ACFD did a very effective job live-Tweeting about a 3-alarm fire in my neighborhood awhile back, and I told them so.)

    In the meantime, when I asked specifically how to report a violation in the moment, the response was to call the non-emergency number. There's also an email address if you want to send pictures.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    In fact, they'll be at our February joint meeting. If you have questions, post them here or get them to me in whatever form works for you by next Wednesday!
    So since we're over here in the General corner NOT talking about Freezing Saddles , I have a .02 comment/suggestion for your Feb meeting.

    Does Arlington have cops on bikes? Could one or two of them make it their job to ride around Crystal City at various times of day? Because I guarantee they could hand out a slew of tickets to people poaching the bike lanes. Even more importantly, they'd get a sense of who those drivers are (mostly rideshare?), interact with and educate people, and gain some perspective on how bad and dangerous the problem is.

    One of the things i heard last night was that maybe Crystal City drivers are "still getting used to" the bike lanes, and don't know quite how to behave. On bikes, ACPD could help with both education and enforcement at the ground level. Being our advocates from a shared POV could be a whole lot more effective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ginacico View Post
    So since we're over here in the General corner NOT talking about Freezing Saddles , I have a .02 comment/suggestion for your Feb meeting.

    Does Arlington have cops on bikes? Could one or two of them make it their job to ride around Crystal City at various times of day? Because I guarantee they could hand out a slew of tickets to people poaching the bike lanes. Even more importantly, they'd get a sense of who those drivers are (mostly rideshare?), interact with and educate people, and gain some perspective on how bad and dangerous the problem is.

    One of the things i heard last night was that maybe Crystal City drivers are "still getting used to" the bike lanes, and don't know quite how to behave. On bikes, ACPD could help with both education and enforcement at the ground level. Being our advocates from a shared POV could be a whole lot more effective.
    What I remember from interacting with the ACPD on bikes were that they were auxiliary officers. I rode with them on a couple of the Tour des Bibliothèques.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ginacico View Post
    So since we're over here in the General corner NOT talking about Freezing Saddles , I have a .02 comment/suggestion for your Feb meeting.

    Does Arlington have cops on bikes? Could one or two of them make it their job to ride around Crystal City at various times of day? Because I guarantee they could hand out a slew of tickets to people poaching the bike lanes. Even more importantly, they'd get a sense of who those drivers are (mostly rideshare?), interact with and educate people, and gain some perspective on how bad and dangerous the problem is.

    One of the things i heard last night was that maybe Crystal City drivers are "still getting used to" the bike lanes, and don't know quite how to behave. On bikes, ACPD could help with both education and enforcement at the ground level. Being our advocates from a shared POV could be a whole lot more effective.
    Thanks. I'll bring this up.

    As reference, I've been asking for ACPD officers on bikes since I joined the BAC. I have not been successful -- ACPD consistently says their officers need to be flexible to get to wherever they need to be. There are also many fewer ACPD officers in Arlington than MPD in DC at any given time (per area and per capita). In fact, ACPD is short staff and announced that they cut back on traffic enforcement. We can follow up on where they are on staffing, as they got the budget increase they requested for this year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post

    As reference, I've been asking for ACPD officers on bikes since I joined the BAC. I have not been successful -- ACPD consistently says their officers need to be flexible to get to wherever they need to be. There are also many fewer ACPD officers in Arlington than MPD in DC at any given time (per area and per capita). In fact, ACPD is short staff and announced that they cut back on traffic enforcement. We can follow up on where they are on staffing, as they got the budget increase they requested for this year.
    Thank you, dasgeh. When I wrote to ACPD two months ago about a recent near-miss and my unhappiness about a lack of enforcement for certain issues, I suggested that having police on bicycles might help them to observe and respond to the dangers that cyclists face. I did at least get a response although not to my point about ACPD on bicycles. Anyway, just wanted to point out that DC is planning to increase police on bikes and on foot. I spend a fair bit of time in D, M, and V and DC is the only place where I've never had a police officer call a driver out for something that impacted me (hanging out in a bike lane) and the cop was on a bike. The only support I've received from ACPD was AFTER my two accidents.
    https://wtop.com/dc/2019/01/dc-plans...e-and-on-foot/

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    Quote Originally Posted by ginacico View Post
    so since we're over here in the general corner not talking about freezing saddles
    Yaaaay!!! :d

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    This is the law regarding police officers and exemptions from traffic rules. Unless they had their sirens activated too (the law uses "and"), they were in violation.
    https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/...ction46.2-920/

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