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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | January 8, 2013 at 9:00 am | 1,902 views | 160 Comments

Route 50 (photo by Jkurl11)

Streetcar Referendum Might Be Necessary — Arlington County might be forced to hold a bond referendum for the Columbia Pike streetcar if it’s unable to sell a certain type of revenue bond to partially fund the $250 million project. For now, the project is awaiting word on whether it will receive up to $75 million in federal funding. [Sun Gazette]

Higher-End Stores at Pentagon City Mall — The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City has undergone a transformation that brought higher-end “aspirational luxury” stores to the mall. Recent addition to the malls include Oakley, Sperry, Mezlan and Cole Haan. Among the stores that have recently left is Aeropostale, which was forced out by a Microsoft Store. [Washington Post]

‘Dooring’ Law Proposed in Richmond — A law has  been proposed for the upcoming Virginia General Assembly session (which starts tomorrow) that would make a vehicle occupant liable in the event they open their car door in the path of a cyclist, causing an accident. Similar laws are already on the books in Maryland and D.C. [WTOP]

State Dept. Cancels Search for Lease in Rosslyn — The State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, based on Lynn Street in Rosslyn, has canceled a search for a new lease. The agency is now looking for a building to buy, raising the prospect that it may be looking to move into the District. [Washington Business Journal]

Flickr pool photo by Jkurl11

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  • Garden City

    I favor the idea of a dooring law. The cyclist cannot anticipate who is and is not going to suddenly open his car door in his path; requiring that the auto occupant look to see if anyone is coming before opening his door just seems like common sense. I’d also like to see a law requiring a motor vehicle driver to maintain at least a three foot distance from a bicyclist while in motion as many other states have in place. It’s odd that you can be ticketed for following another motor vehicle too closely, but not for following a bicycle too closely. And no, I am not a bicycle commuter.

    • Yup

      Agreed on the door part. It’s insanely hard to see whether or not someone is in the car and while I’m super cautious, I’ve had people open the door even after they got in the car.
      The absolute worst is when they just pull over into your path trying to parallel park. I’ve nearly gotten hit 5-6 times over the summer due to this. Also, when cars move over to make a right hand turn, they hardly ever look. As a biker, I ride pretty defensively, otherwise I would’ve been hit a long time ago.

      One thing that could help is enforcing 20mph speed limits in the bike lanes. Sounds dumb, but if people slowed down, it would help greatly. I try to maintain 15 going down the main roads for my own safety, but staying at a safe speed for everyone could limit dooring injuries. But, no one will ever enforce this, soo…

      • Deadite

        RE: cars making right hand turns – I always check for other cars and bikes before I make my move, but there are a lot of bikers who, even though I have my blinker on and am clearly slowing down to make a turn, come racing up from behind me and try to pass on my right before I turn. Tell your biker pals to cut that sh– out.

        • AL

          After my first collision with a bike, I installed a dash cam in my car. The last 3 bikers that claimed I hit them lost in court, and the best part is–they had to pay for my doors/quarterpanels out of their own pockets!

          • dirty biker

            Ummm… you’ve hit THREE (or more?) cyclists?

          • Captain_Obvious

            no, he’s saying that 3 bikers have hit him.

          • jackson

            He’s saying three of them claimed he hit them and lost in court. He’s actually had collisions with 143 (and counting!)

          • Kat

            Can we get the court/docket numbers for these cases? I’d like to look up the court records.

        • cyclist

          Yes, that’s stupid and illegal on the part of cyclists.

          Sure wish more people drove like you though.

          I usually get in the lane of traffic at an intersection just in case an idiot is going to turn right without signalling.

          • Deadite

            Yeah I’d rather have a bike directly in front of or behind me than racing up beside me. Two words — blind spots. If you’re diagonally behind a car there’s a good chance the driver can’t see you, and almost certainly will not see you at night.

          • cyclist

            Yep, it’s amazing how many people – cyclists and drivers – don’t understand blind spots.

    • internet tourettes

      I bet Cuccinelli will see this as an intrusion into the rights of car owners…

  • YTK

    I’;d rather vote in mandatory FROYO stores than the Arling-Toonerville Trolley.

  • Captain_Obvious

    How long does the shutter have to be open to get that effect on the pic above ?

    • JamesE

      Depends on the time of day, ISO used, F stop etc, but for that photo the EXIF data says 8 seconds

      • Josh S

        Which means it was probably taken at night, no?

        • JamesE

          it says 8 am, it was a low ISO, 200 and high F stop of 8

    • Arlingtron

      I looked at the Flickr specs for the photo. It was an 8 second exposure at f8. The ISO was 200. Tripod mandatory. Possibly used ND filter(s) to slow down the exposure. The look of the photo leads me to think they used HDR (a multi-exposure technique that captures light and dark areas differently then merged later).

      • Mel

        I thought it may be HDR too at first, but I think it’s just the perfect sky/lighting conditions that makes it like that. The only reason I think this is because you usually see a bit more cloud definition and nothing else looks over-exposed or over-saturated contrast, though there is some contrasting present.

        Interesting picture. And yes, Tripod is a must, not even a monopod.

        • Jon

          I would have thought at those numbers it’d definitely be way overexposed. At ISO 200, I wouldn’t think twice of using f8 even in morning daylight; and this is like 9 stops higher than a 1/60 sec exposure. Arlingtron brought up a good possibility with the filter; I hadn’t thought of that.

          Anyway, the sun ought to be rising in the east, and there are no shadows being from that direction being cast on a sunny morning. I’m still thinking HDR unless the EXIF data is wrong and it wasn’t really 8 a.m. (which is actually what I’m leading toward).

          • JamesE

            yeah the no sun at 8 am is odd, clock is probably off and it was taken at night.

          • Captain_Obvious

            maybe the camera isn’t accounted for daylight savings time and it was really 7AM, that could explain low sunlight.

          • Jacob

            Just saw this discussion. I took the photo at around 7AM. Not hdr. Picture is a composite of several images (to get good light trails), but all were taken at approximately the same exposure. I can’t remember if I used a ND filter (I start without one, and then put one on once the light prevented me from taking long exposure shots). Based on ISO, I’m guessing I used a ND filter.
            Jacob

    • AL

      About two years.

  • Taylor

    Can’t wait for Arlington Police Department’s first “dooring trap.”

    Honestly, the proposed law seems like a textbook example of government overreach, especially the part about requiring people not to leave car doors open for longer than what’s reasonable. Really? Do we really want our police officers timing us with a stopwatch to make sure we close car doors quickly? Our limited public safety resources are better spent elsewhere.

    • drax

      Seriously, Taylor? It’s government overreach to require people to look before the swing a door into oncoming traffic?

      As for leaving doors open beyond what’s reasonable, you know that no cop is going to go out and time them. The only time that will be used is when it actually creates a hazard or an accident.

    • Josh S

      I don’t think anyone expects that police will spend any time actively searching/watching for such stuff. Instead, if credible evidence can be presented after the fact, then the “reasonableness” of how long a door was open could be taken into account by the judge and / or jury.

      • Taylor

        Drax and Josh,

        Maybe that’s the intent, but that’s not how the proposed law is written. This is the text:

        “No person shall open the door of a motor vehicle on the side adjacent to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so. Nor shall the person keep the vehicle door open for longer than is reasonably necessary to load or unload passengers. A violation of this section shall constitute a traffic infraction punishable by a fine of no more than $100.”

        Nowhere does it say that a hazard or accident must occur in order for a ticket to be written. Will this be just another unenforced law? Or will it be result in numerous silly tickets? Or will it be applied only by what you’d call “reasonable” or hazard-based standards? I don’t know, but the bill as written seems overly vague and leaves a great deal up to the discretion of individual officers, which makes it seem like a poorly written law, regardless of the actual intent.

        • drax

          But Taylor, if you go look at other laws, most of them are written that way too. Yet they aren’t enforced like that either.

          Do you really believe a police force is going to go out with stopwatches and hand out tickets like that?

          • Hollywood

            If the police aren’t going to enforce the law (according to you, drax), why pass a law in the first place? Clearly it isn’t necessary.

          • Josh S

            This.

          • drax

            They’re going to enforce the law when a situation comes up that calls for it, Hollywood. Like many laws.

          • Captain_Obvious

            then why don’t they enforce loitering ? They know the spots in the county where people are loitering, waiting for work…

        • John Fontain

          The way that proposed law is written makes complete sense to me. I’m tired of morons throwing their doors open without regard to oncoming traffic (both auto and bike traffic). How hard is it to look in your review mirror and over your shoulder and wait until it is clear to open your door and get out of your car?

        • Ballston

          It’s obviously going to be up to the officer’s discretion, but that’s the point. You don’t want to put a time on it becuase there are so many circumstances involved. It takes me ~10 seconds to get out of the car, but it takes my grandmother a few minutes. Both of those are “reasonably necessary”. What isn’t necessary is someone leaving their door open while the rummage around in their trunk or sitting in the car with the door open while they talk to their passenger or place a phone call.

          • yes, that is the point

            “It’s obviously going to be up to the officer’s discretion, but that’s the point.”

            Yes, exactly. I’d prefer to give the police less “discretion” regarding their ability to issue tickets, rather than more.

          • Hollywood

            THIS!

            Laws should be narrowly tailored, specific, and enforceable. Police should not be given limitless mandates to enforce laws when they see fit. They don’t get to act as judge, jury, and executioner all in one. They are paid to uphold the laws, not act as judge.

  • Rebecky

    I would love the chance to vote no on a streetcar referendum. What a complete boondoggle.

  • G Clifford Prout

    I can’t wait to take my trolley to the up-scale mall.

  • Andy

    I’m always amazed at the specifity of laws that seems to be required. Isn’t it pure common sense that if you open the door in the path of a cyclist you are responsible and that if a cyclist ignores an obstacle, such as an already open door, they are?

    And if you start trying to legislate common sense, you get into weird situations. You are trying to help your elderly relative out of the car, do you suddenly slam the door shut on them because you spot a cyclist coming round the corner? Grrh.

    • drax

      Well, yeah, it’s common sense, but people get doored all the time. If we relied on everyone not to be idiots, we wouldn’t need lots of laws. Yet we do. So be it.

    • Josh S

      Actually, I would think this law has no bearing at all on how to behave in a common sense way. Instead, it removes any doubt in legal proceedings after the fact about whose responsibility it is to be careful about opening a door suddenly in the path of a bicyclist. Your scenario wouldn’t be covered by this law, I wouldn’t think.

      • CW

        Yes, this is the reason. Without a law, someone who causes an accident by dooring can simply argue that they did nothing wrong, because there’s nothing on the books saying that what they did was wrong.

        • Quoth the Raven

          Not true. If they opened their door recklessly or negligently, they can be held liable. Not sure what this law would accomplish.

          • Josh S

            Your assertion carries with it the implication that the state legislature doesn’t know what they are doing, or that you know more than they do.

            Sorry, but I’m skeptical.

          • Quoth the Raven

            I’m not saying I know more than they do. I’m saying that there are already laws applicable to this situation. This is a solution in search of a problem, as they say.

            Are we next going to issue individual laws for every type of situation? Should there be a speciic law establishing liability if a biker runs me over? Or if a car hits me in a crosswalk?

          • CW

            Can you point me to the existing law on reckless or negligent door opening?

          • Quoth the Raven

            Yes. It’s called assault and battery. If you open the door and manage to knock a cyclist down, you can be charged with a&b. In civil court, it’s even easier, as it would be a negligence action. You’d still need to prove some sort of fault on the driver, however. I’ll note also (as Taylor does) that he law as written doesn’t require an accident – it bars simply opening the door in some sort of unreasonable way. Seems pretty vague.

          • drax

            But QtR, we have plenty of situations where a criminal penalty backs up a civil one, for good reason.

          • drax

            Can you cite a single case in Virginia where someone who doored a cyclist was charged with assault? I am highly skeptical of that claim.

          • CW

            Right, but the main issue is that without a legal framework in place specifically protecting cyclists, often times charges are not brought or cases are ignored. This is what motivated the law that is currently in process in D.C.:

            http://dcist.com/2012/11/cyclist_harassment_bill_moves_forwa.php

            The point here is just to give victims steadier legal footing on which to bring a case.

  • Arlington Cat

    What, no Forman Mills store coming to Pentagon City? http://formanmills.com/

  • Arlingtron

    The “dooring” law is a good idea but won’t work. Can’t regulate stupid. Best is for us bicyclists to assume any parked car’s door may fly open at any time, especially if you see any people inside. It’s amazing the blank looks I get from drivers that open doors carelessly when I give an audible warning. My bell it too subtle for these numbskulls so loud cursing works best.

    As a driver I always look in the mirror and just open the door slightly before opening fully. Will other passengers be liable? They don’t have mirrors. In my car pulling up to a red light at a multi-lane intersection I nearly took off a Jeep’s passenger door when its occupant threw it wide open in front of me.

    • drax

      But that’s true for any law. You can’t regulate stupid, but you sure as hell can hold someone responsible for being stupid after the fact. This law wouldn’t mean cyclists can stop riding defensively, but it cyclists can’t prevent every dooring accident – if that were true, we wouldn’t have any now. So if and when they happen, someone gets a ticket.

    • CW

      If a driver pulls out in front of a car going 50 MPH and causes an accident, it is pretty cut and dried that they are liable. How would enforcing a dooring law be any more of a gray area that “won’t work”? If you interfere with traffic which has the right of way (in this case cyclists) and cause an accident, you are liable. Seems pretty enforceable and simple.

      • Josh S

        Exactly. As with probably 90% of laws, no one expects them to be enforceable before the fact of the crime / action.

        • CW

          Right. The intent of this dooring law is NOT to be something where a cop goes around looking for close calls and writing tickets. The intent is to give cyclists a clear statutory basis for recourse when they are negligently injured. There have been plenty of cases in the District and other states where cyclists have been the victims of what would in the court of common sense be considered negligent behavior, but where they have been unable to obtain damages because there was simply no law in place. This is a step towards remedying that in VA, simply making this one area more robust so that there is less ambiguity.

          • Major Pup McPuppo Jr.

            dang that was such an articulate post for this site. good stuff.

    • Yup

      Passengers I can understand. But drivers should always look, regardless, because if it isn’t a bike, it’s a speeding car about to run you over.

      The other thing that REALLY nerves me is people that just saunter through the bikelane when getting out of their cars and just stand there getting stuff out of their trunk. MOVE.
      And don’t even get me started on the runners…

      • runner

        Gee, I think I’ll run in the roadway, going the wrong direction! What could possibly go wrong?

    • Hokie

      I agree with the – I think it’s bad we need one but understand.

      I’m just going to pile on one pet peeve that I wish police would address/ticket bikers for- and that’s for riding against traffic. I regularly see it where there are designated bike lanes on the side of the road. You have a right to be there- but I’ve seen several close calls where a car is turning left, and comes close to hitting a biker because he is pointed the same direction on as the car, but on the wrong side of the road. You can check the cross walk for people- but a biker speeding down the side of the road will not be visible to a person just checking the crosswalk. Please- use the bike lane on teh appropriate side of the road and travel with traffic.

  • Captain_Obvious

    The dooring law seems like a good idea in theory, but how will it be regulated ? Is it always the car’s fault ? What if the driver looks and doesn’t see a cyclist and in that split second of starting to open the door, a cyclist tears around the corner and hits the door ? No one is really at fault in that situation…

    • Josh S

      I think that the million “what if” scenarios are why we have judges and juries, who figure out how to apply the facts to the law.

      • Captain_Obvious

        true, but what if there are no witnesses ? It becomes “he said, she said” and the ruling would probably go in favor of the cyclist, who probably just ran a stop sign or red light…

        • drax

          Your obvious bias against cyclists would disqualify your testimony, Captain.

          • Captain_Obvious

            you’re probably right…

        • CW

          If the cyclist had indeed just run a red light or stop sign, then Virginia’s contributory negligence clause would disqualify his or her civil case. True story.

  • Steve

    Great with the dooring proposal, but how about we enforce that law like we enforce traffic laws on bicyclists? Meaning non enforced. If bicyclists want this, then how about start obeying the traffic laws yourselves?

    • Captain_Obvious

      +1000

      • CW

        All drivers going 1 mph over the speed limit shall also be issued tickets. Deal?

        • Captain_Obvious

          no, cause we’re advocating for some enforcement on cyclists, there currently is none.

          • CW

            But why must you conflate issues so much? Why does mention of a law that would help injured victims elicit your lynch-mob cries for punishment of a whole population segment? Why are you such an angry and bitter person?

          • Kat

            When was the last time you went through all the tickets issued by police in Arlington County?

            Didn’t someone post a suggestion, last week, about red light cameras to nail every car and bike? Maybe we need those.

          • Captain_Obvious

            @C W, because I spend most of my driving time on local Arlington roads (I’ve done my fair share of the beltway, 66, and toll road too), usually with at least 1 of my young kids in the back seat, and its the cyclists who I fear the most. I can’t count the times I’ve approached a stop sign and a Lance-wannabe comes zipping through in front of me with no effort to slow down. I’m worried that one of these jackas$es is going to run into my car on the side my kid is sitting…thats why I’m bitter about cyclists. Yea, you can say the same thing about motorists, but the majority of motorists are not traffic violators.

          • CW

            @C_O – Understood that cyclists are your cause of concern, rotten apples surely spoil the bunch, agreed. Even when I’m cycling I get mad at those types! All I am doing is asking that you not speak to 100% of cyclists because of those who behave dangerously. Just like we should not say 100% of drivers are bad.

            However, I can’t help but take the bait on your statement that “the majority of motorists are not traffic violators”. $100 bet, a radar gun and a clipboard to tally, ANY street in Arlington with posted speed limits – you name it, and it’s on!!!

          • laws of physics

            those lance wannabees that you claim to keep seeing breaking the law – why do you think they would cause damage to your kid sitting inside a box of steel?

          • Captain_Obvious

            @C W, I don’t speak to 100%. I say it for affect. Instead of “never”, I’ll say rarely. Instead of “all the time”, I’ll say majority of the time.
            Also, I’m sure you’re right with regard to majority of motorists and speeding. However, the police don’t feel the need to pull you over for going 28 in a 25. BUT, you will get pulled over for running a red light or stop sign in front of a cop.

            @ laws of physics, you don’t think a speeding cyclist would cause damage ? If he hits the door on the side where my kid is, he’ll surely break my window, sending broken glass flying around my kid. Who knows, maybe he would actually go through my window or pieces of his bike or helmet would go through my window…ever heard of flying projectiles ? Get it now ?

          • dirty biker

            I’ll challenge that side impact BS- please dredge up an instance of a scofflaw cyclist causing harm to a vehicle occupant from the SIDE… r-i-d-i-c-u-l-o-u-s. There are also very few cyclists that would run a light with that sort of consequence- you are conflating riders floating lights with clear traffic with riders blasting though intersections. Most cyclists do the first… I’ve not seen much of the second outside of bike messenger nuttiness and NEVER in such a way that they would t-bone a moving car (get hit, yes. rear-end, yes. T-bone? no…)

            Favorite cycling/car quote:
            I look at a cyclist breaking laws and I think ‘he’s going to get himself killed’
            I look at a driver breaking laws and I think ‘he’s going to get someone else killed’

            I suppose that I could throw bananas at you and your car and I suppose that it’s possible that one could cause serious injury to you, your car or your kid, but its not bloody likely…

          • Captain_Obvious

            @dirty, you’re wrong. a crazy, speeding cyclist could easily T-bone my vehicle as i am cruising, legally and at a safe speed through an intersection after a stop sign and cause damage. It doesn’t take much force to break a window and send glass flying. In fact, there’s a 4-way stop intersection in the neighborhood near EFC metro. It is a thoroughfare for cyclists when changing bike paths and I’ve seen many cyclists fly through there without slowing down. They are going way faster than the speed limit since it is slightly downhill.

          • dirty biker

            Van Buren 4 way stop? Yup, way too many cyclists run it (FWIW, so do many many cars) but speed limit is 25- no way more than a small portion of cyclists are going that fast even downhill. The closest issues I’ve seen there are when BOTH the car and the cyclist run the stop.

            Regardless, I’ll bring my bananas next time.

    • cyclist

      Fine with me, Steve.

      And the same goes for cars. Enforce all speeding and red light/stop sign violations and improper lane changes. Let’s do it.

    • happycyclist

      this morning I saw a car run a red light, and several cars make rights on red without coming to a full stop.

      Should be pass nothing that benefits drivers until there are no violations by motorists?

      • Captain_Obvious

        motorists get ticketed all the time for that. If a cop sees it, he’ll pull cars over all the time. Cyclists do it in front of cops and never get pulled over. In fact, I have never seen a cyclist pulled over…ever.

        • drax

          Most motorists do not get pulled over for running reds.

          Given that there are so many more drivers than cyclists, the number of red lights being run without consequence by motorists far exceeds those by bikes, even if not a single bike ever got pulled over for it (which does happen, but whatever).

          We all agree that laws should be followed and enforced. What’s your point?

          • Captain_Obvious

            most may not, but some do and that’s the point. Cyclists demand to be treated the same as motorists and they should be. Given that motorists outnumber cyclists, yes, motorists commit way more infractions, but I’d argue that a higher % of cyclists have more infractions than % of motorists.
            I’ve lived here for over 8 years and been driving for 16 and have never seen 1 cyclist pulled over.

          • happycyclist

            There are studies, and they show motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians violate the law about the same percentage of the time. You probably just do not notice cyclists who obey the law, and you probably also overlook certain types of motorist violations, like going a few MPH over the speed limit. This is despite the fact that our traffic laws, infrastructure, traffic lights, etc are designed with motorists in mind, for the most part (in a more bike friendly world the Idaho stop would be legal, and the right on red would NOT be)

          • cyclist

            Please, Capt. don’t do the “I’ve lived here X years but I’ve never seen Y.” One person’s observations are not good evidence.

            Go ask cyclists, they will tell you that they sometimes get pulled over and ticketed for infractions.

          • novasteve

            Most motorists do NOT run red lights. They stop at them. it’s only a rare occasion I actually see a bicyclist treat a traffic light as if they were in a car. They virtually always run red lights. Might her percentage than cars. And there are red light cameras that ticket cars, not bicycles, for running red lights.

          • Captain_Obvious

            @happy, you may be right about the studies you reference, but I actually do notice when cyclists obey the law, cause its so rare…IMO.
            @cyclist, if cyclists would stop, even slow down long enough at stop signs, I would ask them.
            Just yesterday, I was turning left on Wilson from Patrick Henry and a cyclist on Wilson blew through the red light, as I was already half way through the intersection. I wish this was the exception, but its the rule around here.

          • cyclist

            “@cyclist, if cyclists would stop, even slow down long enough at stop signs, I would ask them.”

            You are obviously not interested in being taken seriously.

          • happycyclist

            “cause its so rare”

            My own experience is diametrically the opposite of yours. I see cyclists obeying the law all the time. Which experience agrees with the studies.

            So I cannot take your testimony as to your personal experience at face value, I am afraid.

          • Captain_Obvious

            @cyclist, as I can’t take yours for the exact same reasons…agree to disagree.

        • happycyclist

          I cannot recall ever seeing a car pulled over for turning right on red without coming to a full stop. Nor for going a few miles over the speed limit (the other day I tried driving the limit on a suburban arterial, and about half the cars passed me). Yes, cops do stop folks who run red lights. And guess what, cyclists do get tickets for egregious violations as well.

        • happycyclist
          • Captain_Obvious

            oh nice, 1 example. I see cars pulled over every day.

          • happycyclist

            its a pretty egregious example. There are others, Ive done enough googling for you for now. Of course there are more stops of motorists – in case you haven’t noticed there are a lot more cars on the road than bikes.

          • cyclist

            One example blows away your claim that cyclists “never” get ticketed.

            And your objection only shows how pointless your data are in the first place.

            There are alot more cars than bikes. It’s normal for you, one person, to see more cars pulled over than bikes. Your personal world is not the entire world.

          • Captain_Obvious

            @cyclist, I’ve never seen a cyclist pulled over, that is not an exaggeration. Cyclists never getting ticketed is an exaggeration. My data is not pointless…I make judgements on what I see on a daily basis.

          • cyclist

            Your data is pointless because you are only one person. You don’t see everything that happens all the time every day. That’s true for eveyone. And you’re a biased observer, as you’ve demonstrated.

            Science 101.

            You know what you really need to do? Come ride a bike with me for a while. Then you’ll see things from a different angle. You’ll notice all the a-hole drivers, and the good cyclists. Let’s get you out of your shell.

          • Captain_Obvious

            @cyclist, I fully acknowledge there are plenty of a-hole drivers around here. And if I ride a bike, I prefer not to be on the roads, I’ll stick to bike paths and trails.

        • CW

          Ahh, I see, so what you see in person is representative of the whole world.

          Remember this thread: http://www.arlnow.com/2012/11/15/burger-7-opens-on-lee-highway/ – can’t permalink to comments anymore but see yours at 1:57 PM. Funny how my anecdotal experience apparently isn’t allowed in arguments but yours is.

          • Captain_Obvious

            No, I simply extrapolate my observations. I rarely see cyclists obey the law. In fact, at every stop sign, I’m on the lookout for cyclists speeding through, happens all the time.

            And I’m sure your observations of kids in restaurants isn’t the majority. You’ve seen a few bad kids and you think its all of them. I’ve seen a majority of bad cyclists, so I do think most of them are bad. Get it now ?

          • CW

            You say “all the time”, it’s right. I say “all the time”, it’s wrong. I do get it.

          • cyclist

            Please stop, Captain. Your personal observations are not good evidence. You are only one observer, and a biased one at that. Really bad science.

          • drax

            I have never seen a rattlesnake in Virginia.

            Therefore, there are no rattlesnakes in Virginia.

          • Captain_Obvious

            @C W…semantics.
            @ d r a x, horrible comparison, just horrible…you’re better than that, right ?

          • drax

            It’s a perfect comparison to your ridiculous argument, Capt.

          • Captain_Obvious

            so you’re not better than that, thanks. Maybe you should read an earlier post, where I said I state things for affect. I’ll make sure to use “rarely” and “majority” instead of “never” and “all the time” from now on so you don’t take things so literally.

        • Kay

          I’ve never seen a cyclist run a red light in front of a cop and not get pulled over.

          Although not in Arlington, cyclists get nailed for running Sopt signs on Hanis Point.

          • John K

            Kay, hang around Juarez Circle in Foggy Bottom. Most days that I’ve been there at the light, barring extraordinarily inclement weather, through they go. Cops often set speed traps in the vicinity and also traverse the area due to the Saudi (and other) embassies.

        • arachne

          Send me you phone number and I’ll be sure to call next time I get pulled over. And yes, I have been. Unfortunately never for speeding, though I did huff and puff past a cop aiming the speed camera on me at the top of a particularly steep hill. He took particular pleasure in announcing my speed to me.

          • happy cyclist

            Perfect idea!

            All the ‘cyclists never get ticketed” folks should make themselves personally liable for tickets received by cyclists.

  • Dezlboy

    Dooring law might raise driver awareness of need to check bike lane before opening door. Another suggestion is to add small “check bike lane before opening door” signs under existing signs (as the PAY to PARK or Meter Info signs) that drivers look at as the pull into a space).

    • novasteve

      How about in addition adding under all traffic signs “applies to bicylists as well”?

  • Veeta

    I fail to understand how the fact that some people disobey traffic laws when riding a bike means that there should not be a common sense law to put us in line with contiguous states.
    I am shocked that this was not already on the books, because it was my misconception that it was already the person in the car’s legal obligation to look before opening a door, especially into the bike lane.

    • steve

      Because very few bicylists obey traffic laws, and they especially don’t yield to pedestrians. instead of yielding, they curse at you.

      • happycyclist

        lots of cyclists do yield to pedestrians – we mostly ARE pedestrians as well.

        And some drivers fail to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks.

      • cyclist

        I’d say very few motorist obey all traffic laws and don’t yeild to pedestrians, and curse at others too.

        Let’s stop this nonsense. You have no idea how many cyclists obey the law. You didn’t do a survey.

    • Jeff

      Keep in mind that if you want laws in contiguous states to align, you’d basically have one set of laws for the entire country with no state or local technicalities, minus Alaska and Hawaii.

      • Veeta

        People in this area commute between/among DC, VA, and MD on a daily basis–I think that is a valid enough reason for our laws regarding transportation to be aligned.

        • Jeff

          And plenty of people commute from Maryland to Wilmington, DE. And plenty of people commute from Delaware to Philadelphia. And plenty of people from NJ to Philadelphia. And plenty of people from NJ to NY… and so on.

  • Jeff

    As long as the dooring law includes a clause that makes it the cyclist’s fault if they run into a door that’s been open for 10 seconds, it makes sense to me. I know that’s the intent of the proposed law, but if it isn’t written, I could see some scumbag somewhere eager for a quick buck intentionally running into open doors. I actually assumed the scenario of the sudden door opening would be the liability of the person that opened the door anyway.

    • drax

      That scenario could happen with lots of laws (or even without them). Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have laws.

      • Jeff

        I literally said nothing about not having the laws; simply that they should be clear. Stop trying to make a controversy out of nothing.

        • drax

          Jeez, sorry. I misread your comment.

  • novasteve

    How about another dooring law making sure that people actually make sure they don’t open their door into someone else’s car and ding it? It happens because you are careless and selfish and don’t care about other people’s property. I’m sick and tired of getting my door dinged by lazy slobs who can’t take a second out of their day to make sure they don’t damage someone else’s property.

  • Arl Southside Hoodie

    How about just thinking for once that there might be someone else on the road? A little bit of consciousness. The self-centeredness of NoVA – the fact that all should bow to you and your needs right now. This is why we need a law. Because folks can’t take a few seconds to look around them.

    In The Netherlands where there a whole lot of them cyclists, the driver can fail the driving test if he/she doesn’t open the door with the right hand. This forces the driver to look back to see if any one is coming down the bike lane. How hard is that? How hard is it to just take in the area before you do something? And yes, the cyclists over there also obey the laws.

  • Lou

    A referendum vote on the streetcar? Oh yes please.

    • Hollywood

      I agree, and If Arlington is to receive federal funding for the streetcar, the referendum should be nationwide.

    • Josh S

      Absolutely stunning that we’re up to 80+ comments already and the general topic is NOT the possibility of a streetcar referendum.

      • Kat

        Not really. Regardless of the outcome of a vote, the County Board will do whatever it wants.

      • SeeRofThings

        the folks who would normally be obsesseing about the evil hipster streetcars are too busy getting their jollies contemplating dead and injured cyclists

    • pdarl

      Hurray! I really think the streetcar should be put to a vote. The AC Board should have some accountability to their constituents for this incredibly expensive project.

  • Undereducated

    Please, it is not that complicated. Cyclists should ride defensively and not cruise within the range of an open car door. If a cyclist hits a door, clearly they are riding carelessly and are at fault. Similar to rear ending a car in front of you. What happened to taking personal responsibilty for one’s actions?

    • cyclist

      You’re wrong on so many levels its not even funny.

      First, cyclists are required by law to stay to the right in a lane in normal situations. Furthermore, bike lanes are usually right inside the door zone.

      Second, this isn’t about riding into an open door, its about riding past a CLOSED door that someone suddenly opens without warning. That’s how cyclists get doored. You wouldn’t hold a car responsible if it was driving along and hit a door that was suddenly opened – you’d hold the door opener responsible. Same goes for bikes.

      • CW

        I think you forgot to read his poster name…

      • Clarendon Cruiser

        Does the law apply to 10 year olds (or other passengers) opening the second door in a sedan (without a rear view mirror)?

        Who is held liable then?

        But about a year ago, hilarious, a car stopped to parallel park into a side slot on Clarendon Blvd. and a inattentive biker zooming way too fast down the hill rear ended the car. After my GF and I offered assistance to the dazed biker with crushed bike, we offered to witness the accident to the poor owner of the car.

        • HappyCyclist

          why was that hilarious? Would it be hilarious if you were in an accident?

          And why are there sedans without rearview mirrors? Is that even legal?

          • Clarendon Cruiser

            Hilarious, since I always find the use of bad judgement in words and actions to be hilarious and something that earns my astonishment. Ever hear of the Darwin Awards?

            Some of these overzealous bikers would qualify when then speed down Clarendon Blvd way beyond their bikes braking power. Bikes, are not held to the same safety standards that VDOT requires of motor vehicles and yet they go faster than cars down that hill and have less braking power. (The one that starts at Strayer College and ends in Rosslyn).

        • duh

          it’s up to the driver of the vehicls to be repsonsible for the behavior of that vehicle’s occupants. So the driver would be responsible. Same as if the kid threw a rock out the window at someone.

          • Clarendon Cruiser

            So “duh”, a TAXI driver would be held responsible for a passenger leaving the vehicle?

            there are lots of TAXIs in Clarendon and people jumping in and out?

      • Undereducated

        there is no law that says you must ride in the bike lane, especially if it’s not safe. and not only would I hold the car driver responsible if he t hit my door the state withhold the driver of the car responsible. it is no different then hitting a car in front of you. Bikes and cars should never run in to anything in front of them.

        • happy cyclist

          “there is no law that says you must ride in the bike lane”

          not in virginia. Not yet.

          But its my experience that the folks who dont like the door law, also dont like cyclists taking the lane either. Note that laws to establish due care, to prevent tailgating of bikers, have also been defeated in virginia.

          • Undereducated

            Inmy view bike lanes are dangerous and not in the best interest of cyclists. bike lanes give cyclist a false sense of security

          • cyclist

            So you think cyclists also shouldn’t be required to stay to the right in a lane of traffic, and should ride just like a car, in the middle of the lane?

            I have no problem with that.

          • happycyclist

            Oh dear a forrester crank.

            The evidence as to well designed bike lanes is mixed.

            But its very clear that the false sense of security results in more cycling, which in turn adds to safety (as drivers get more used to seeing cyclists)

            But why don’t you be a good boy and go lobhy for the legislation that would also help you when you take lane – like the tailgating law?

        • cyclist

          So your fallback position is that cyclists are irresponsible for riding in the bike lanes? Or at least in the 99% of them that are next to parked cars? Great.

          “Bikes and cars should never run in to anything in front of them.”

          So whenever a car hits a car, or bike, or pedestrian that suddenly darts out in front of them, it’s always the car’s fault?

          Stop digging the hole deeper.

          • Undereducated

            I said bike lanes are dangerous and not in the best interest of cyclists. As a cyclist, too, we obviously have diiferent experiences and different opinions. I find bike lanes to be dangerous, along with riding on sidewalks and against traffic, and afyer dark without lights.

          • Undereducated

            Provide an example of when running int o a vehicle or person in front of you would not be your fault or would be justifiable.

          • cyclist

            “Provide an example of when running int o a vehicle or person in front of you would not be your fault or would be justifiable.”

            You’re kidding, right? Someone to your left or right, on the sidewalk or another lane or an intersection, suddenly drives or rides their bike or runs in front of your car without warning, when you have the right of way, and without time for you to avoid hitting them.

            Duh.

          • Undereducated

            Fault goes to the party that had the last opportunity to avoid the accident. You cant hit something or someone just because you have the right of way or driving carelessly or distracted.

          • cyclist

            “Fault goes to the party that had the last opportunity to avoid the accident.”

            Exactly. Like when someone has a chance to avoid suddenly opening their car door in front of a cyclist.

    • Bi-Curious George

      Undereducated indeed.

  • DriverCyclist

    I’m strongly against the dooring law. If I’m parked and a passing car slams into my open door, the vehicle in motion is at fault. Why should it make a difference if the vehicle in motion is a bicycle?

    • Undereducated

      Thank you!

    • drax

      Wrong.

      If you suddenly put ANYTHING – your body, or an object – in front of oncoming traffic so fast that it can’t be avoided, that is always your fault. It’s no different from if you pulled your car out suddenly, or ran out into the street. If the traffic doesn’t have time to avoid you, and the traffic has the right of way, you are at fault.

      • Undereducated

        Whether riding a bike or driving a car, you should anticipate any car door opening or person stepping or riding into the street. Doors open all the time, and if it surprises you when one does, you just aren’t paying attention whether in a car or on a bike. Drive defensively, ya’ll.

        • drax

          Please stop making yourself look silly.

          Of course we should all drive defensively and anticipate hazards. But sometimes one can’t anticipate something because it happens too fast. Sometimes people open car doors right in front of you and you don’t have time to stop. No amount of anticipation can prevent that. In that case, it is 100% the fault of whoever opened the door.

          ALL traffic laws recognize this fact, and assign responsibility accordingly. If you put yourself or an object in front of traffic too fast to avoid a collision, you are at fault. The fact that you can’t acknowledge this basic fact means you shouldn’t be on the road.

          • Undereducated

            What a rediculous answer.

        • dirty biker

          You are really missing the point here- as a rider you have NO chance to react if a parked car suddenly throws open it’s door. It’s not at all a matter of “paying attention” or driving defensively.

          If you opened your door into traffic and a semi ripped it off would you blame the semi because he should have anticipated you opening your door?

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