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Lee Watkins
Baltimore, MD
Recent Activity
It is very common in DC for cabbies waiting to make a left turn to wait until the light is changing from yellow to red, because it's one of the only breaks in oncomming traffic in larger intersections. So typically you see them make a very sudden break to the left just as the light turns red but before cross traffic has entered this far. Often there is also another car from oncomming traffic looking to make a last-minute left the other way, and he blocks the cabbie's view of oncomming traffic in the adjacent lanes. So it's possible that the bicycle, moving more slowly, entered when the light was still green turning yellow, and the cabbie is looking only at the light signal waiting for oncomming traffic to finish (but relying on the light if view is blocked), as well as monitoring cross traffic he wants to bolt in front of. My last car was totaled this way by a cabbie who did this - it's very common.
Toggle Commented Dec 8, 2009 on Crash Last Night at 31st and M, NW at TheWashCycle
flexposts don't protect you from cars. concrete curb don't stop cars either. What does stop cars is a jersey barrier. NYC has put up jersey barriers on a number of their bike tracks that I saw recently - it feels extremely safe and secure. since this is a temporary situation - why not just lease some JBs for M street in the meantime - or are there some unused JBs just sitting around in the DC metro area??? While they are at it, add some to the cycletrack on 15th street and others....
Toggle Commented Dec 1, 2009 on M Street SE/SW Bike Lane Proposal at TheWashCycle
Get a steel frame bike and you won't have to worry about this again. You can be seriously injured by a frame breaking uexpectedly. Surly for example if it has to be new. Or vintage steel frame, strip & repaint it, or better yet get a durable powdercoat baked on.
Toggle Commented Aug 12, 2009 on Cracked at TheWashCycle
he broadcast to the world he was going to kill someone in this manner in advance? and after hiting him, he walks over and hads the dyning man a towel? ah, yes. Kill a man, just to watch him die....
> try to be a good rider and tell drivers whenever possible about broken brake lights adn so on. oh, now that's just looking for trouble.... the only time I'd ever talk to a driver is to say "i don't know", and even then it would have to be a direct question. Drivers are impatient - if you have nothing to say they'll just drive away. Nothing positive will ever result from talking to them. And turning his back on this guy was a big mistake. Standing your ground is critical when someone is flipping out like that.
Toggle Commented Jul 29, 2009 on Holy What The Are You Kidding! at TheWashCycle
first of all police/fire/army-type guys driving big 4x4s almost universally loose their minds when they get behind the wheel. Second, never attempt to talk to motorist while biking in the first place - they loose their minds nearly every time. When you see some police/fire/army dude pull over in his 4x4 shouting complaints about your cycling, he most likely has it in mind to run you over from behind or shoot you in the back of the head. I would have asssumed that much already.
Toggle Commented Jul 29, 2009 on Holy What The Are You Kidding! at TheWashCycle
There is an upside to this. When there are attractive women riding bikes, surely - men won't be far behind. More women on bikes means more men on bikes. And in any case - the men who act this way do it all the time, not just when women are on bikes. And the women who are being cat-called, quite certainly get cat-calls all the time. The important thing is that getting pretty women out biking will most likely get everyone else out biking.
Toggle Commented Jul 27, 2009 on Women, bikes and harassment at TheWashCycle
I was kind of expecting this. Car reposessions are WAY UP. Automobile vehicle miles traveled is WAY DOWN. The unemployment is hitting double digits. So loads of people are being priced out of automobile transport... that means loads of people breaking out their dusty old bicycles who can hardly remember how to ride them - and hitting the road (or sidewalk). Also, accidents always go up during times of crisis, economic or otherwise. Lots of people loosing their jobs & houses, they are displaced from the routes and locations they are familiar with, so on. People drink more, etc. But considering how many people have stopped driving, I wouldn't be surprised if it's actually a bit safer biking now because, obviously there are fewer cars on the road and more bikes.
part of the commerical appeal of going-green is that it's supposed to eventually pay for itself, or at least that's the sales pitch. how about offering the developer some fraction of the proceeds of any station housed on their property - in exchange for footing up-front costs. Eventually, the station will pay itself back, at least in theory. Of course, if all the developers do this, they will get together and push for unreasonable rate increases - that's why you need a public option for the private one to compete with. Then everyone wins.
I think DC should take a page from the BIXI playbook and have the DC parking authority launch their own bike share program. They could fund it with some fraction of the parking ticket proceeds. It's a nice self-balancing system that way. But, just to prove this is the USA, we can provide both a public and a priviate-run option, and let people choose which one they want to use.
Rep. Bachman's idea of health insurnace is a prayer chain. she's a Christian fundamentalist politician from the outer-suburbs of the twin cities who tried to have science replaced with intelligent design when she was on the school board. These are the people who tell you pray INSTEAD of seeking medical assistance. She tried to have the movie Aladdin banned because "it teaches witchcraft". Usually, she's out there on the news claiming CO2 is a harmless gas and insisting we should drill for oil on all the wildlife refuges, and hance she rejects cap-and-trade or any other plan based on science. Recently she was on the air claiming the swine flu was a plague sent by god because we elected another democratic president.
a) the whole point of setting up a congress is to have Rep's fight for funding for local projects. Producing so-called "pork" project funding is part of the concept of the design. b) since when have members of the RNC ever cared about Science??? They are anti-intillectuals. c) the only kind of industry reform the RNC is going to support is reform that allows companies to make a better profit margin. and lower taxes. and less gov't regulation. and gets religion involved.
It would be great if they would put a jersey barrier between the bike lane and car lane. Do that, and even your grammie would ride it.
Toggle Commented Jun 22, 2009 on Lawyer's Road Diet at TheWashCycle
irresponsible dog owners. They make it out like the bicycle is the problem, but the bicycle has nothing to do with it. The dog could just as easily send a car into that ditch, or trip someone walking, or got knows what. how do they not understand their dog nearly killed someone on their watch?
Toggle Commented May 15, 2009 on Judge Judy defends Cyclist at TheWashCycle
Reminds me of Cykelpigen - The Cycling Girl of Copenhagen above the City Hall Square, except with less class. http://www.flickr.com/photos/16nine/2752413905/ Although Cykelpigen is gold-plated and weighs over a ton. I couldn't help but notice Copenhagen depicts the cyclist as a proper lady sitting upright, wearing high-heels with rubber blocks and a full chaincase. Meanwhile DC depicts the cyclist as a grubby male artist riding something much less fancy. Also, a basket or pick-up rack would be in the front, the rear would be panniers.... so I don't know why there is a huge mass of fruit above the rear wheel - does he have some kind of gigantic rear-flat-bed carrier I have never seen before? Sorry but visually it doesn't make any sense.
Toggle Commented May 14, 2009 on Bicycle Musician at TheWashCycle
The Dutch claim in their planning papers that the only way to ensure a high level of cycling is to integrate bicycle infrastructure planning into all elements of city planning at every step. In addition, the government presses the private sector into supporting these causes cooperatively. It's not just the government, but a public-private partnership with bicycle planning included in every project by default.
Toggle Commented May 8, 2009 on In Amsterdam, Bike still rules at TheWashCycle