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A regular summary of irregular news and notes from neighborhood blogs and email lists around the District.
The Death From Any Direction Phenomenon: A cyclist-hating member of the Brookland email list asserts that bike accidents involving cars are caused by temporary motion blindness and even posted a link to prove it. The member’s compelling argument of “Yes, I still hate bicyclists, but just so you should I know, I did not do it on purpose. It was temporary motion blindness” wasn’t enough to convince one member, who retorted, “They cause accidents because drivers who stare at a fixed center instead if moving their eyes around cant see things very well? I think this fault lies with the driver, and he will hit more than just the bikes. I recommend the “head on a swivel” approach. I use it as a pedestrian, cyclist, and driver, to counter the “death from any direction” phenomenon. (Also helpful in urban warfare.)” Yet, another motion-blindness supporting member writes “Agree. Cyclists have no one to blame but themselves if they get hurt or cause damage after disregarding the rules of the road. Just be [more] aware that there are more of us on the road than ever and drive safely, for your own sake.”
White Van, Hot Spot: A resident questioned MPD-5D about the need for a white van at the corner of First and O Streets saying, “Regarding the van at 1st and O St, could anyone from MPD offer more information as to it’s purpose? During what hours is it manned? Will there be any community outreach performed from said van, as it’s name purports to be it’s purpose? Finally, is this going to be a long-term fixture at that intersection? While I do appreciate MPD’s presence on my block, the van does cause problems with sight-lines (which could actually be counterproductive), and it’s constant presence serves to some degree to perpetuate the stereotype that this particular block is some sort of out of control criminal hotspot, which it is not.” According to one resident the van’s purpose is “ to keep the men and women who visits the SOME House, the School kids and “ESPEACIALLY” the Drug Dealers from loitering in the neighborhood in front of the homeowners properties.” Commander Andy Solberg tells the skeptical resident “ We move the van across the city to address certain needs from time to time, in areas where we feel a strong MPD presence (even if the van is sometimes unmanned) can provide a visible sign of police efforts.” But one resident doesn’t understand the first guy could not know about this corner. “I do not know how [he] (Unless he has just moved into the neighborhood) could even think that this area is not a hot spot, for your information this is a REAL REAL HOT SPOT on this particular block, I ought to know considering I have lived here for a long time and had witness some bad awful things that you could not even think or imagine of and is still continuing to this day. So, everything else pertaining to things such as sight-line and etc., IS NOT IMPORTANT where as a person’s safety in their own neighborhood is and I do [believe] that the rest of the neighbor’s will agree!!”
Never-Ending Flamewar: As one member of the Adam’s Morgan email list expresses concern over the “sheer number of cyclists on the road,” another sarcastically expresses disdain for poorly controlled automobiles. The worried member says, “When I first heard about the Capital Bikeshare thing, it seemed like a good idea. However, I have been growing increasingly concerned as the sheer number of cycles in traffic are rising all the time, which in itself is presenting a challenge to car drivers, but also the fact the most cyclist do not seem to understand that they are obliged to follow the same rules as cars….I wish the police would be more aggressive and proactive at ticketing law-breaking cyclists or that someone (Bikeshare?) would start a public awareness campaign to urge cyclist to use better judgment and to obey the laws.” The other responds, “I have been growing increasingly concerned as the sheer number of automobiles on the road is rising all the time, which in itself is presenting a challenge to other road users such as cyclists and pedestrians, but also the fact the most drivers do not seem to understand that they are obliged to follow the rules as everyone else. They speed, change lanes without signaling, fail to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, cut off cyclists in bike lanes and in the flow of traffic, and turn at stop signs and red lights without stopping or signaling, among other violations. Unfortunately it is a rare occasion when a driver actually obeys such laws (though I am sure this is more because of confirmation bias than due to actual driver behavior—I notice the bad drivers, not the good ones). I am becoming increasingly nervous about being hit by a driver when I can’t tell where they are or predict what they will do. I wish the police would be more aggressive and proactive at ticketing law-breaking, unsafe drivers or that someone (DDOT?) would start a public awareness campaign to urge drivers to learn the laws, obey them, and just use better judgment.” A third unnecessarily replies, “Was that reply necessary?” And another says, “The reality is that both cyclists and motorists need to follow rules better. Screaming bike rights at this incident is ridiculous.”
Why Google?: A member of the Chevy Chase email list wants to know “Does anyone know if “Hot Rod Lincoln Drags Again” by Charlie Ryan exists in a format other than vinyl? Or does anyone have a vinyl copy that they’d be willing to sell or loan to me to transfer to digital?” And another member replies “ Does anyone still need any old vinyl records in this day and age, except as something available for donation to a museum? I’ve been able to get copies of live musical performances even from the 1960s on Youtube, which I can access through Google. These are free, except that I have to put up with pop-up advertisements for some of them.”