New O and P Streets Great for Bikers

Last night GM finally had a chance to ride on some of the stretches of the completed construction on P St. And he can happily report that the new cobblestones a incredibly smooth and very bikeable.

Prior to the constructions, O and P Streets west of Wisconsin were basically a no-go zone for bikes. You could ride on the cobblestone (or more accurately: the Belgian blocks) but it was really uncomfortable and, between the blocks, the patches and the tracks themselves, not terribly safe either. And it was technically illegal too since there was a sign saying not bikes.

But the newly placed blocks are fully flush, and riding over them on a bike is no more bouncy than riding on a dirt path. This is a great improvement for bikers, who either had to brave the rough conditions or bike out of the way. Hopefully with the conditions so improved, DDOT will take down the no-longer-necessary no bikes sign.



Filed under Bikes

10 responses to “New O and P Streets Great for Bikers

  1. RNM

    Hopefully, for once in a lifetime a biker might obey the rules of the road and stop at a stop sign. I almost thought I saw it the other day near this complete section of P Street but then realized the only reason the biker was stopping was that he had no “Stop” sign since he was going the wrong way on P Street. Then a few days later I watched a biker (on one of the bikeshares units) hit multiple cars being driven on 34th street because he was unhappy with the way traffic impeded his weaving and running of stop signs (and while not illegal he also was not wearing a helmet and had headphones on). It saddens me that the burden is put on motorists to predict and anticipate the illogical, illegal and often insane behavior of bikers. Maybe if the bikers now want to share the domain of cars…they should start to follow the rules of the road. If I drove like most of them ride, I would be in jail.

    PS: No worries on your open admission of a misdemeanor in this blog…I think the rules are sort of silly too. Then again, they were probably put in to protect the bikers from riding into dangerous to them roads. Can’t win for trying…help them with rules to protect them they complain, don’t help them with rules and lanes to protect them and they complain…such is life.

  2. Paula Product

    RNM – Sorry yoyu’re so sad. Perhaps you should stay home, and off the streets of Georgetown. We’ll all be safer and happier that way.

  3. RNM

    Sorry Paula…I am not sad at all. I even love living in Georgetown and don’t feel the need to change it to a gated community where everyone gets around without cars (if you like that may I recommend The Villages in central Florida). I am even comfortable living in a vibrant community with thousands of students and don’t feel the need to send them all away (even if one of them attacked DirecTV dishes all up and down my block a week or so back. I am just tired of people trying to impose their view on how humans SHOULD move from point A to point B from a neo moralistic position. Been on theses streets for over two decades and not going anywhere anytime soon. Prepare for a proud lifetime of reality checks and opposition to poor ideas, that is what democracy is about.

    Oh, and yesterdays bike run in…was a perfectly decent if stop sign running biker on 34th street riding on the left side of cars that are now forced to the left creating a small gap…why are cars forced left now, oh that is right so there is a marked bike lane just for the bikers, which I guess he was uninterested in using.

    Have a happy spring.

  4. Paula Product

    Hmm, the first RNM sad s/he was “saddened” that a burden would be imposed on poor motorists to coexist with other users of the road, and expounded at great length and with great sarcasm as to precisely how bicyclists should and should not behave, for the convenience of civilized drivers. The second RNM claims not to be sad, and laments that people would attempt to impose their view of how others should travel “from a neo moralistic position.”

    Is this the same RNM?

    Let’s see: same dripping sarcasm. Same dishonest hyperbole. Similar anecdotes documenting the difficulties of driving in Georgetown as a result of those durn bikes.

    Yes, I guess it is the same RNM. Like I said, RNM, just don’t drive on the streets of Georgetown, and we’ll all be much happier. That’s not a “neo moralistic” (whatever that means) commandment to everyone not to drive, just a suggestion to you personally. The plight of cars in Georgetown obviously frustrates you a lot, and since it’s not goign t get easier to drive a car there anytime soon, you might just want to avoid doing it.

  5. Michael H.

    RNM, while I agree that more cyclists need to follow the rules of the road and act in a more safe manner, it would be even nicer if more car drivers would do the same as well. Many car drivers speed through local streets, fail to stop at Stop signs, run red lights in off-peak hours and drive along while texting or websurfing on smartphones. Many drivers pull out from parking garages, parking spaces and parking lots without even looking at possible oncoming traffic (whether it’s other cars, bikes or pedestrians). Others will approach traffic light after traffic light without bothering to look up from their phone. (I know because I witness this type of behavior very frequently.) Other drivers will try to push their way through crosswalks even when pedestrians have a WALK signal and are already in the crosswalk, 15 seconds before the car even approaches the crosswalk.

    While I can’t say that all of these unsafe and illegal practices are necessarily practiced in Georgetown, they certainly are common around the D.C. region.

  6. RobRob

    RNM – You do know that people have been riding bicycles on the streets of Georgetown since the 1800’s, right? That’s at least 100 years before you started driving on those same streets. It’s great that you don’t mind living with students who vandalize your neighborhood, but you really don’t have any right to complain about the bicyclists; You should have known that there were bicycle-riders in town before you moved.

  7. asuka

    The difference, Michael, is that the police actually try to enforce automotive statutes. Do they ticket every scofflaw? Of course not, but at least the threat of enforcement exists. The same cannot be said for cyclists, who break the law (while mewling about evil drivers) with little concern of actually being held accountable for it. I say this as one of the few (only?) readers of this blog who actually uses a bicycle as their primary means of transportation.

  8. Q St Neighbor

    I can only laugh at the idea that drivers are being held accountable for breaking the law. Even if we restrict the discussion to only those engaging in dangerous and narcissistic driving while texting — running red lights and stop signs and cutting off pedestrians with the right of way because they’re too distracted by their phones — I see that every single day, and have never seen anyone pulled over or ticketed for it.

    And as a regular cyclist, I would like to point out that an “Idaho stop” on a bicycle — where the cyclist does not come to a complete stop but slows down considerably and essentially treats a stop sign as a yield sign — is actually safer for everyone than coming to a complete stop. Trying to get started from a dead stop is a time when cyclists have a lot less control over the bike, so it’s safer to avoid this when possible. I am not talking about the cyclists who blow through intersections and cut off cars — people should be irate about that. But drivers with a beef against cyclists often treat both types of non-stops the same, usually because they don’t understand what it’s like to be on a bicycle.

  9. RNM

    Michael H. – I fully agree with you that all travelers…be it by car, truck, bike or foot…need to work to abide by the rules of the road. This means that pedestrians shouldn’t just jump out in the middle of the road (ie not at an intersection or marked crosswalk) or walk in the streets because the line for cupcakes is so long. It means that drivers should come to a complete stop, see that the way is clear before proceeding and yield to other travelers at intersections based upon the general rules of the road. It also means that bikers don’t get to just blow through stop signs, fail to signal, ride the wrong way on streets and weave in and out of traffic lanes. We all have a right to use the streets that our tax dollars pay for…and we all need to be aware and respectful of others. Of course that is a dying concept in a world of entitlement that we now live in with me obsessed people.

    My issue with bikers, is that as a class of traveler the the volume of failures to follow the rules of the road is dramatically high. If I saw one car blowing through every stop sign at full speed (and I have) it would be a shocking sight, but I have learned by observation to expect just that sort of behavior from bikers. To the point that seeing one stop would be shocking and that even seeing one slow down has become so rare as to treasured.

    Rob Rob – Horses also used to be ridden on the streets of Georgetown…its called progress.

    Paula Product – I am not trying to impose my views about how people SHOULD travel about the city, I leave that to the good owner of the blog and others who have argued for all sorts of traffic congestion creating ideas such as dedicated lanes, wider sidwalks by removing traffic and/or parking lanes and any number parking program to create a hostile environment that only the wealthy can afford to come to in a non sanctioned form of travel. Instead I am suggesting that working to put more scoflaws on two wheels will complicate things not make them better. I don’t have an issue with traffic or parking as it currently exists in Georgetown. And I park in one of the most frequently backed up blocks in the neighborhood, so please don’t try to declare my position and only expose your ignorance. I also regret to inform you, that I will continue to drive the streets of the neighborhood where I own a home and have lived for over two decades, despite your personal attack of a solution.

    Q Street Neighbor – I certainly can see a very strong case for your version of the “Idaho stop”, and if that was what I saw daily or even frequently then there would not be a real issue to talk about. However, the reality on the ground is that is not the bulk of experiences. (Literally as I typed that I looked up to watch two bikers blow through an intersection without slowing down even as three directions of traffic were trying to merge into one direction). It is frankly amazing that more bikers are not injured and killed. Bikers are still fighting the bad image that messengers created for them in before that line of work started to dry up, but the general population rider isn’t helping much. (There goes another bike blowing the intersection, in fact that is the fourth one as I have typed this paragraph, total that have stopped or slowed down zero).

  10. asuka

    Q Street Neighbor: Why do you laugh? There’s millions and millions of dollars in city coffers that prove that the police enforce moving violations. What I’ll laugh at is that nonsense you wrote trying to justify why cyclists run stop signs, lights, etc. “More dangerous” lol – that might work on someone who knows nothing about riding, but as some who does, I know it’s nonsense. You, I, and the great majority of cyclists break the law for no other reason than it’s convenient; it has nothing to do with having “less control over the bike.” lol – is that WABA’s new talking point? It’s inothing if not creative

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