Monday, October 24, 2011

Dr. Gridlock chat (10-24-11)

As a public service, below are bicycle-related comments/questions issued to Robert Thomson on his Monday midday Dr. Gridlock chat on the Washington Post website, unedited.

This week, three comments about bicycling. Two reference a proper notification of events that impede traffic "Why was every major route into the District from Virginia blocked for a bike event..." and a thank you from a bicyclists about drivers...

Feel free to post your thoughts.

Question. Holy Cow, this event was not publicized enough. I could not get from No. Arlington to my home on 16th Street NW due to every bridge and major street closed this morning around 8 am. D.C. needs to coordinate its road closures and publicize them more. It took me an hour to try to get over near Meridian Hill Park and I gave up and returned to my friend's at 9:15 am. Missed an opportunity to meet my friends visiting from China.

Robert Thomson Sorry that happened to you. One suggestion: Check our Dr. Gridlock blog on Friday mornings and look for a posting called The weekend and beyond. We try to include highlights of the weekend events that might slow your travels. That's not a perfect solution, I know. Most of the transportation departments take note of events,but it's pretty late in the week. Metro is pretty good about getting information out by the Monday before weekend disruptions.

A Thank You to Drivers
Good afternoon Good Dr. I am a semi-regular bike commuter, riding 2-3 days a week from Kemp Mill to White Flint. This is a thank you to the drivers who treat us with courtesy. I try my best to follow the rules of the road. I do not run red lights. I stay as far to the right as safe. I try to remember to signal all my turns. And I will readily admit that I am not 100% perfect. So Thank You to the drivers who give me 3' of space when they pass. Thank you to the drivers who follow the standard rules at 3 and 4 way stops so I don't have to guess when it is safe to go. Thank you to the drivers who let me move to the left when I signal that I will be making a left turn at the next intersection. All of us thank you.

Answer. Robert Thomson - Thanks, and I'm sorry that so often these forums involve travelers separating themselves into categories and criticizing the behavior of other categories of travelers.

DC events

Question. Two weeks ago I tried to drive from Arlington to the National Zoo via Rock Creek Parkway, and got stopped by the Army 10 miler. This past Saturday (Oct 22) I wanted to try again, and checked the Post for any major events that might cause problems. I didn't find anything. So, it was quite a shock when it took 90 MINUTES to get from Rosslyn to the DC end of the Roosevelt Bridge because of the Best Buddies event. My question: is there one comprehensive site to find all DC events that will impact traffic? It seems that unless you know the name of the event to search for, you're out of luck. Please help before I waste yet another weekend morning sitting in traffic with disappointed kids in the back seat!

Robert Thomson
-I'm not aware of any Web site, paper, radio or TV station that produces a comprehensive listing of all weekend events. I don't do that. I do give what I think is a pretty extensive listing each Friday morning in that posting I described earlier, the one called "The weekend and beyond." But it does take a lot of searching to find the information that goes into that.