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DC cyclists are road safety darlings

Slowing motorists down is a challenge that DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has willingly accepted as a legacy without over-stretching the bike lobby.

In fact, generally speaking, the bicycle lobby has its way because former mayor Adrian Fenty, cyclist and triathlete, opened the door wide.

He and Miss Bowser wink when the directors of the Department of Transportation, Department of Energy and Environment, and Department of Motor Vehicles virtually do whatever they want to please those who support the alternatives to driving.

Miss Bowser punched the bike lobby card on June 1, 2020, announcing her administration’s intention to lower the city’s default speed limit from 25 mph to 20 mph.

The city also created the “Slow Streets” initiative on behalf of cyclists who have advocated for additional and wider cycle lanes for social distancing protocols.

Bowser administration begins again. This time around, the mayor is rightly associating his new anti-motorist initiative with public safety programs, but still leaves the bicycle lobby in a position to give it the green light for bicycle repayments.

As the mayoress explained in her anti-motorist announcement on Tuesday: “The work to make our roads and sidewalks safer is urgent. In addition to accelerating safety improvement projects across the city, residents deserve a faster process to address unsafe conditions on our roads and sidewalks. We can and will move faster, and implementing a streamlined, less bureaucratic process is the first step in getting there. “

The mayor plans to target 100 intersections that are part of the “high risk of accidents and injuries corridors”, which means that these “corridors” are hardly areas without bicycles, buses and scooters.

Slower driving tactics, including lower speed limits, include installing speed bumps, stop signs, right-turn restrictions, and longer pedestrian intervals.

Interestingly, Director of Transportation Everett Lott crushed motorists saying, “We are increasing workloads and streamlining processes to complete our safety improvement projects faster, and we are also doing what we can. to deter the reckless behavior of drivers which causes the start of these senseless tragedies. with.”

Hmm. Mr. Lott knows better. He knows that not all traffic accidents are caused by reckless or even deliberate driver behavior. Some motorists lose control of their vehicle due to illness.

And don’t blame the cyclists, but do they ever cause public safety issues or do they break the law?

Do cyclists, for example, ride their bikes with their mobile phones?

Crossing a red light on a bicycle? On the pavement? Obstructing pedestrian traffic?

It might sound tiny too, but think about it for a moment: DC vehicle owners directly contribute hundreds of dollars a year to the city’s economy just for owning their cars, parking their cars, and buying gasoline. . The city does not legislate bicycles in the same direction.

The bike lobby has developed a big boot print in the nation’s capital, and it shows no signs of shrinking. But public policy needs to buckle down and stop bending over backwards for adults who ride a bike just because they, well, ride a bike.

If the town hall is not careful, the bicycle lobby will prevent you from teaching your child or grandchild how to ride a bicycle.

Oh that’s right. The DC bikes lobby is already doing this.

• Deborah Simmons can be contacted at

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