I have, against my better judgment, engaged in debates with members of DC's cycling community on local blogs. From time to time. These discussions are usually sparked by an accident between a cyclist and a car, and generally without any solid details on the actual circumstances surrounding said accident, a bunch of people will immediately rail against the driver. They will call for inquisitions, hangings, and protests. The assumption is, without exception, that the motorist is at fault.
The problem is, cyclists break laws all the time. But in the course of these discussions, these avid defenders of the impossibility of a cyclist being at fault in an accident refuse to admit this. Rather, they claim that the cyclist-scofflaws are the "exception," the bad eggs that give the vast majority if the cycling community a bad name.
Anyone who leaves their house more than once a year knows this is, simply, a crock. The reality is quite the opposite: cyclists who actually stop at stop signs and red lights are the exception.
Today, I spent about 15 minutes at the corner of 14th and Park in Columbia Heights taking videos of cyclists.
Not a single cyclist waited for the light to change before proceeding.
NOT. ONE. CYCLIST.
The reason I chose this intersection is because it's unquestionably not safe. There is construction going on. It's a complex intersection where Kenyon, Park, and 14th all converge in a mayhem of traffic lights. There is tons of pedestrian traffic. I also included one shot I took last week in Adams Morgan, where I was initially inspired to conduct this little video collage by the shocking frequency of light-runners I saw.
In a couple of the shots, you will see traffic coming northbound (on my side of the street) while a cyclist goes south. They are still running the light - those cars are coming from Park Road. You can't easily tell in the crappy video but the light is always red when you see a cyclist crossing Park.
Also note pedestrians rarely cross against the light while every cyclist does, and further that there's actually a traffic cop standing on the opposite corner of 14th and Park throughout the whole time.
So, cyclists, would you care to explain how these people are merely the rare exceptions to an otherwise law-abiding group of citizens? Would you like to explain why even the pedestrians generally saw fit to wait for the lights to change at an intersection that is clearly unsafe, but not one cyclist did?
Sorry suckers. Credibility: gone.