Reporting on pedestrian life in the D.C. area

The ongoing confusion over D.C. bike laws

May 4, 2012 - 11:07 AM
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(Photo: Joshua Yospyn)

A precocious young man named Max, who on Twitter describes himself as a "power ranger, rocket ship builder, pizza expert," has filmed a shaky but fascinating nine-minute video on D.C. bike laws that illustrates just how little people know of the specific rules that govern our city's bicyclists. He interviews about a half dozen random people about various relevant biking questions and receives a healthy range of answers.

Questions include: Are you allowed to ride on the sidewalk in all areas of D.C.? Do you have to ride in a bike lane? Is it legal to talk on a cellphone while riding? Max provides answers after giving people a chance to respond.

"This video," Max writes, "was intended to inform people about the bike laws and prove that nobody knows them in D.C."

Knowledge (or lack thereof) of biking law is one complication that the Washington Area Bicyclist Association and other bicycling advocates have observed in the past. WABA provides a pocket guide to D.C. bike law that addresses many of the same questions that Max brings up to these D.C. pedestrians. As Washington, D.C. expands Capital Bikeshare and embarks on many other biking projects in 2012, knowing these laws will be all the more vital.

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