Tuesday, March 27, 2012

No. No, this is not where Police Cars should park #bikedc

As noted by WashCycle, this picture was taken on the Custis Trail in Rosslyn at one of the worst intersections in the county.  Now there are two things wrong with this picture.  Actually there are three.  First, this is the Custis Trail, not a parking lot.  Police parking their cruisers on the Custis Trail create even more danger for cyclists at an already dangerous exchange.  Cyclists views of oncoming traffic is obscured by the cruiser; and what is a heavily trafficked path becomes a highly congested path as all of that traffic attempts to squeeze by the parked car.

The second thing wrong with this picture: Lee Hwy and Lynn St is one of the most dangerous intersections in the county.  While the police cruiser is parked on the Custis Trail, the police is not working the dangerous intersection, attempting to facilitate safety.  Urban environments must come to grips with over congested infrastructure by positioning police officers to facilitate traffic.  DC does it.  NYC does it.  It's time for Arlco to grow up and accept its urban traffic environment.

So what's the third thing wrong with this picture.  Directly across the street, along the side of Arlington Gateway park.... is a curb cut out area specifically reserved for police to park their cars (see google maps pic below).

In related news, Arlington County has just initiated a survey of citizen satisfaction of government services.  Hey, that would be a good opportunity to tell Arlco what we think about them using the Custis Trail as a parking lot.

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