A regular summary of irregular news and notes from neighborhood blogs and email lists around the District.
Or, You Could Pay the Ticket: “I wanted to post that last night at 2:30 am I received a $50 ticket for “Fail to properly affix stickers”. My sticker is displayed where is should be, and all information on it is clearly visible—I am sure it has been viewed and processed hundreds of times in the past 8 months it’s been on my car, in exactly the same place. I’m contesting the ticket and reporting the incident to Muriel Bowser’s office—I encourage anyone else who is receiving similar tickets to do the same, as I suspect things like this occur fairly frequently,” writes a member of the Petworth Action Committee email list. Another member responds, “Law enforcement during the recession turned into a revenue arm. Gross misuse of police/ticketing powers by D.C., but I doubt this was by accident. Now that we are running a budget surplus, will the mayor/council stop using tickets/fines (ie: misuse of law enforcement discretion) as a way of balancing the budget?” After a third member provides a detailed explanation of why the ticket should be contested—complete with links to various bits of the D.C. Register and DMV website—a fourth poster says, “Gross misuse of police/ticketing powers? I might agree that this particular type of ticket has some issues due to the regulation verbiage but gross misuse of police/ticketing, I think not. If you break the law you should get a ticket. Period. There is no black and white in that and i applaud the police and others that have written tickets for just that (yes, even those that have nabbed me on occasion). You may disagree with the ticket and if you do you can contest it. If you strenuously oppose the law, well you have recourse there as well to try and get the law repealed or changed. But if its on the books it must and should be enforced.” But the second poster isn’t convinced by that ideology. “You must really trust that law enforcement is issuing tickets for public safety/social welfare and NOT for revenue. If you look at a graph of enforcement actions over time, I am sure you will see a correlation with budget troubles. If that doesnt’ bother you, I don’t know what to tell you. I guess we could put cameras on EVERY street and hope for the best,” he writes.
Your Taste Sucks: “My husband and I were just at LeDroit Park playground with our son and found a collection of DVDs, CDs, and games scattered on the grass outside the park. We picked it up, so if anyone’s car or home was broken into and you are missing your collection email me offline and we will get it back to you,” writes a member of the LeDroitPark email list. “It’s a pretty wide range in taste so I wouldn’t be surprised if it belongs to more than one person: Glee, Modern Family, Battlestar Galactica, Lost (seemingly Chinese translation), Band of Brothers (Chinese), Assassins Creed II, etc.”
Doctor My Eyes: In a thread titled, “Does anyone else find the new D.C. street signs…,” a member of the Crestwood email list writes, “…much harder to read (initial cap, with the rest of the name in lowercase) until you get close to them?? I also don’t understand why the current uppercase signs are being replaced. Most of them look to me like they’re in good shape.? Does anyone have any insights into this?” A second member affirms, “YES!!! I know I’m old….but yes they are harder to read. I believe this was something federally mandated.” “A similar question was recently posted to the Petworth listserv and DDOT’s responded that this is a federal mandate,” relays a third.
Gravity’s Overtaxed: Two recent messages in a weeks-long debate amongst members of the Cleveland Park email list about a speed camera at the bottom of Porter Street NW neatly summarize the opposing viewpoints. For the opposition: “I am shocked at the number of people expressing a postive opinion of the camera at the bottom of Porter. I am not against speeding and red light cameras—far from it in fact. But there is a problem with the speeding camera at the bottom of Porter. Namely, its location. Starting at just under 20 mph at the intersection of Porter & Quebec, my car will easily hit 40+ mph before. And I need to emphasize this again—before—getting to the bottom. Therefore, the only way to avoid speeding is to ride your brake the whole way down the hill. Ask any mechanic and they will tell you that this is not something you want to do if you can avoid it. One person mentioned Foxhall Road; that’s a completely different scenario. That is a residential street with many families and with children….No, the only reason for placing a camera there is for a shameless tax grab by the DC government. I am not against paying taxes. Far from it in fact. As a Canadian citizen, I think Americans are overwhelmingly under-taxed. What I am against is a shameless tax grab in the guise of public safety. And make no mistake: T his is exactly what the Porter St camera is. You can make whatever argument you want about obeying the law, but hitting 40+ mph going down Porter because of a natural force called gravity should not be a reason for slapping drivers with a ticket. I have also skated down Porter Street on inline skates—what some call rollerblades—many times and I have easily hit 35+ mph, with minimal effort on my part. Gravity works.” For the defense: “Get your revenge on the cameras: Do the speed limit and pay them nothing.”