Thursday, August 5, 2010

It's all part of my Bike Agenda to take over the world...

I couldn't believe my eyes today when I thought I spied a meter maid Parking Enforcement Professional on a bicycle. I quickly snapped this blurry photo:

(click to enlarge)
I know the picture isn't very clear, but I didn't want to be obvious about photographing her, so she wouldn't think I was trying to get her in trouble or anything. A few minutes later I caught up with her down the street, and confirmed that yes, they have parking enforcement officers on bikes now. I think this is terrific. It drives me crazy to see DPW vehicles double parked or stopped in bike lanes so they could issue citations to motorists. And it's always great seeing our local government come up with new (useful) ideas that involve using bicycles. YAY!

Here's a few more photos I snapped of the bike:

DPW Bicycle

(click to enlarge)

I managed to snap a few photos of the new "bike lane" on 14th St. NW north of Columbia Rd. There's still no cyclist icon painted in yet, so I'm not completely sure if this is a bona fide bike lane, or just a curb lane.

14th St. NW looking northbound from Columbia Rd.
14th St. NW northbound just past Park Rd.

They certainly look like bike lanes, and cars are double-parking in them like they are bike lanes, so I'm going to assume they are bike lanes.

In other news, apparently DC, along with Portland, NYC, and any other city that promotes bicycling use, is threatening to become a U.N. Outpost! (cue scary music...)

According to the Denver Post, Colorado gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes warns of a vast U. N. conspiracy to promote some sort of Bike Agenda to....well, I'm not really sure what his point is. He is a tea party member, however.
"At first, I thought, 'Gosh, public transportation, what's wrong with that, and what's wrong with people parking their cars and riding their bikes? And what's wrong with incentives for green cars?' But if you do your homework and research, you realize ICLEI is part of a greater strategy to rein in American cities under a United Nations treaty," Maes said.

Umm, what?
Maes said in a later interview that he once thought the mayor's efforts to promote cycling and other environmental initiatives were harmless and well-meaning. Now he realizes "that's exactly the attitude they want you to have."

Yes, yes it is. "They" want to lull you into a false sense of security smugness, right before they...wait, what? I have no idea either.
(via DCist)

Today was hot and muggy. I don't know why people act surprised at the weather. It's August. In DC. C'mon people! It's supposed to be hot and muggy and sticky and ewwww. I went through four bottles of water today. Speaking of, I have a few brilliant ideas for local businesses:

  • Offer free water/iced-tea refills to cyclists who bring in their bottles. Thank goodness I'm familiar with some local establishments because they happily refilled my bottle today. They were a lifesaver! With so much focus on being eco-friendly and sourcing ingredients locally, why not help your cycling patrons out? You can even sell them a branded bike bottle to use for the refills. I cannot stand buying plastic water bottles that get thrown out after one use. C'mon DC! If we can cut-down/eliminate the use of plastic bags, we can do the same for single-use water bottles. (I'm not saying punish/tax users of single-use bottles, but encourage the use of reusable bottles through incentive.)
  • Bike valets! I know WABA already uses a bike valet service for many of their events (I've used it twice for the past two Bike DC events), but I would love to see this practice increase. Of course, it would require space to store the bikes. Still, in my perfect world, valet's would park/guard my bike for me while I hop off to enjoy my ridiculously over-priced dinner at one of DC's finer dining establishments. (Also,  Matt Damon would be my date), while motorists were left to endlessly circle the block for a parking spot growing ever more hungry and inconvenienced.
  • Dedicated bicycle parking. If you have a parking garage, why not set some space aside for bicycles? (Wait, you mean you didn't know you actually are required to?) And I mean real bike parking. Not a cheap-o rack that you hide away so it is difficult (and dangerous) to access, and is actually an inconvenience rather than a bona fide effort to accommodate cyclists (Yes, Council Member Graham, I am looking at you and the pathetic attempt at bike parking for DC USA Mall.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some brains to wash. I've always wanted to be part of some vast right-wing bicycle conspiracy!


  1. That is awesome to see the Parking Enforcement on bikes!! Enjoyed the post!!

  2. Isn't it? She's the only one I've seen so far. I have seen another on a Segway as well.

    Thank you for the comment!