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Hains Point crackdown...
CREATED: 07/07/10 by ferguson REPLIES: 24
ferguson's ravatar ferguson    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 213
Hains Point crackdown...
POSTED: 7/07/10 11:28 PM

For those who haven't heard, a cyclist was badly injured recently at Hains Point. I don't have any details on what happened BUT I've heard from multiple sources that the cops are literally hiding behind cars & trees and writing tickets to cyclists who run the stop signs down there. This isn't some BS rumor... I was on the phone with a friend today who attended the cycling clinic and dealt with it first hand.

So... if you're going to be training down at Hains Point any time soon... be sure to come to a complete stop at those stop signs or you'll likely get a ticket.

-Ferguson

jameswilson's ravatar jameswilson    JOINED: 4/11/10    POSTS: 92
RE: Hains Point crackdown...
POSTED: 7/08/10 9:06 AM

This morning (Thursday) I didn't see any park police. Perhaps 6am is too early for them to be out. But I was slowing down to nearly a full stop anyway since I had heard about the crackdown this week.

tgrollman's ravatar tgrollman    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 226
RE: Hains Point crackdown...
POSTED: 7/08/10 9:27 AM

I was there riding last night and saw them giving out tickets to about 5 different riders.

They seemed to mainly be hanging out at the stop sign leading back towards the pool parking lot after making a right from completing your small loop.

Careful out there.

jen_'s ravatar jen_    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 162
RE: Hains Point crackdown...
POSTED: 7/08/10 9:53 AM

Maybe I'm old and cynical, but a stop sign means just that - stop. There's even a sign posted at Ohio and Buckeye that cyclists must stop. You shouldn't be surprised if you blow through the sign and get a ticket. You knowingly broke the law, so pay the ticket. This should be the case wherever you ride, not just down at HP. A friend of mine got a ticket on the W&OD trail a few years back.

Sure, I cut through lights and stop signs on my ride to work and jaywalk during lunch. I knowingly do this stuff. If I get caught, I get caught. Oh well. Ticket happy cops? Maybe.

I'd love it if there was a law here that cyclists could treat stop signs as yields if no cars are present, but that's not the case. Obey the law and be safe out there even if it means your TT ride time will be off.

Jen

vatriathlete    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 682
RE: Hains Point crackdown...
POSTED: 7/08/10 10:20 AM

i may be old school and cynical but it sounds like it is just ticketing for more revenue for the city and safety is the bs excuse for it. but that really doesn't matter as its only one person's opinion.

i'd like to see how many tickets are given to all the cars that always don't come to a complete stop at the very same stop signs.

thanks for the heads up, ride according to the legal rules of the road and ride safe.

AndyJB444's ravatar AndyJB444    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 401
RE: Hains Point crackdown...
POSTED: 7/08/10 10:33 AM

A dude was AIRLIFTED from Hains Point earlier in the week after crashing...and it sounded like the cyclist blowing through one of the stop signs was a major reason for the crash. To me, it sounds like they are trying to make a point - obey the stop signs, or risk getting a ticket, or worse yet, being the second airlifted cyclist this week. Come on, really...revenue?

Andy

urbanlumberjack's ravatar urbanlumberjack    JOINED: 3/25/09    POSTS: 143
RE: Hains Point crackdown...
POSTED: 7/08/10 10:52 AM

My (certainly controversial) opinion is that as long as the laws of the road and the selective enforcement of police officers do extremely little to protect cyclists, I'm going to do whatever I need to do to feel safe on my bike and pretty much make up my own laws. Before you yell "scofflaw!" I should clarify that I always give right of way to pedestrians and yield at stop signs and red lights. And I NEVER do training rides on walking/bike paths. And if I get a ticket, I'll pay it (Hobbes, anyone?). But anyone who argues that police enforcement has any intention of protecting cyclists has never been hit or had a friend hit head on by a turning car IN THE WRONG LANE and have a police officer refuse to file a written report because the "material damage" wasn't significant enough.

JoeC's ravatar JoeC    JOINED: 7/10/05    POSTS: 213
RE: Hains Point crackdown...
POSTED: 7/08/10 11:17 AM

Well its not the city since its National Park Service police....but from what I understand our country has a small deficit :-)

In all seriousness be safe out there...but while we are complaining about Hains Point I was not a fan of the Potomac water bath I took last night. Gross. How much longer are they watering the road?

racing2009's ravatar racing2009    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 36
RE: Hains Point crackdown...
POSTED: 7/08/10 11:50 AM

There are a lot of ways to look at this situation. I'd like to think (after recently getting hit by a motorist not paying attention after I stopped at a stop sign) that the presence of the police might deter motorists from only slowing at stop signs and may also deter pedestrians from walking out in the middle of the street. I'd recommend stopping at all stop signs and yielding to anyone (motorist, pedestrian, etc) who has not visibly waved you to go ahead of them. I've lost (and we all know others who have too) an entire race season even though I stopped. I was just lucky enough not to be airlifted. If a cop had been parked at the scene the driver may too have followed the rules of the road. The risks are not worth the reward of a few seconds less on your practice time; and the start from a stop is a great way to practice sprinting :)

PotomacTriathlete2009's ravatar PotomacTriathlete2009    JOINED: 9/19/09    POSTS: 525
RE: Hains Point crackdown...
POSTED: 7/08/10 2:36 PM

Thanks for the heads-up.

As for the water, I thought they were watering the cyclists, not the road. Or actually, cyclist (singular). I didn't see anyone else out there when I was riding, probably because everyone else had the sense not to ride through 30 "sprinklers" in a row. A couple of the water streams were aimed pretty low. I got hit with a lot of water pressure in the side of the head on one of them.

tgrollman's ravatar tgrollman    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 226
RE: Hains Point crackdown...
POSTED: 7/08/10 2:43 PM

Oh, I was out there getting hit in the face as well! I smelt like the stinky Potomac when I got home and even though the cool water felt good on a hot day, the taste of the Potomac on my water bottle did not!

It certainly made boring old HP a much more interesting ride!

ecrandlemire's ravatar ecrandlemire    JOINED: 4/13/10    POSTS: 63
RE: Hains Point crackdown...
POSTED: 7/08/10 2:56 PM

Yeah, its always good to get a taste of Potomac water straight from the source... Anyone going out there tonight for a ride? I'm heading out around 6:30.

slowtwitchva's ravatar slowtwitchva    JOINED: 2/18/10    POSTS: 207
RE: Hains Point crackdown...
POSTED: 7/08/10 3:12 PM

Does anyone know if the cops will ticket for riding against traffic? If you do long loops backwards you can avoid some of the stop signs...

jameswilson's ravatar jameswilson    JOINED: 4/11/10    POSTS: 92
RE: Hains Point crackdown...
POSTED: 7/08/10 3:28 PM

Should make an interesting practice race this weekend. Instead of just time penalties, we get $50 tickets as well.

kebeebe    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 38
RE: Hains Point crackdown...
POSTED: 7/08/10 5:32 PM

The cyclist hit on Tuesday was hit by a National Park Service police vehicle while turning left from heading north away from the gate by the golf course onto the road between the tennis courts and the golf course. There was no stop sign for the cyclist, but there was for the park service vehicle, from what I saw riding by the accident. Perhaps they are ticketing out of guilt?

urbanlumberjack's ravatar urbanlumberjack    JOINED: 3/25/09    POSTS: 143
RE: Hains Point crackdown...
POSTED: 7/08/10 5:42 PM

Like I said, road policing doesn't even consider biker safety. Nice to feel protected...

rmartz    JOINED: 3/24/10    POSTS: 7
RE: Hains Point crackdown...
POSTED: 7/08/10 5:49 PM

I guess I better weigh in since I not only saw the accident on Hains Point, I was the first on the scene, even arriving same time as driver who hit the cyclist. I was coming to ride with DCTri Tuesday morning, but missed the group and was just crusing by when i saw it.

I heard the tires squeal, then turned and saw the rider hit the windshield and then saw him fly what seemed like 2 stories in the air and then land like a rag doll on a concrete slab on the median, with his head landing squarely on the concrete curb. His head and helmet were on the curb when i got onto the scene a few seconds later. Everyone should know that the cyclist was ALIVE and talking to me but ONLY because he had his helmet on.

Secondly, interesting that the police should be cracking down on cyclists, since it was a PARK POLICE VEHICLE that hit the cyclist and from what i could tell, THE RIDER WAS IN THE CROSSWALK.

Either way, dont stop at stop signs to avoid getting a ticket, stop at stop signs to avoid becoming a statistic.

On a related note, a running friend is an occupational therapist and currently has a triathlete/patient that was hit riding his bike and now has a severe head injury. He WAS headed to Kona, too. So, it can happen to the most experienced riders too. PLEASE BE CAREFUL.

rmartz    JOINED: 3/24/10    POSTS: 7
RE: Hains Point crackdown...
POSTED: 7/08/10 5:50 PM

I guess I better weigh in since I not only saw the accident on Hains Point, I was the first on the scene, even arriving same time as driver who hit the cyclist. I was coming to ride with DCTri Tuesday morning, but missed the group and was just crusing by when i saw it.

I heard the tires squeal, then turned and saw the rider hit the windshield and then saw him fly what seemed like 2 stories in the air and then land like a rag doll on a concrete slab on the median, with his head landing squarely on the concrete curb. His head and helmet were on the curb when i got onto the scene a few seconds later. Everyone should know that the cyclist was ALIVE and talking to me but ONLY because he had his helmet on.

Secondly, interesting that the police should be cracking down on cyclists, since it was a PARK POLICE VEHICLE that hit the cyclist and from what i could tell, THE RIDER WAS IN THE CROSSWALK.

Either way, dont stop at stop signs to avoid getting a ticket, stop at stop signs to avoid becoming a statistic.

On a related note, a running friend is an occupational therapist and currently has a triathlete/patient that was hit riding his bike and now has a severe head injury. He WAS headed to Kona, too. So, it can happen to the most experienced riders too. PLEASE BE CAREFUL.

rmartz    JOINED: 3/24/10    POSTS: 7
RE: Hains Point crackdown...
POSTED: 7/08/10 5:51 PM

I guess I better weigh in since I not only saw the accident on Hains Point, I was the first on the scene, even arriving same time as driver who hit the cyclist. I was coming to ride with DCTri Tuesday morning, but missed the group and was just crusing by when i saw it.

I heard the tires squeal, then turned and saw the rider hit the windshield and then saw him fly what seemed like 2 stories in the air and then land like a rag doll on a concrete slab on the median, with his head landing squarely on the concrete curb. His head and helmet were on the curb when i got onto the scene a few seconds later. Everyone should know that the cyclist was ALIVE and talking to me but ONLY because he had his helmet on.

Secondly, interesting that the police should be cracking down on cyclists, since it was a PARK POLICE VEHICLE that hit the cyclist and from what i could tell, THE RIDER WAS IN THE CROSSWALK.

Either way, dont stop at stop signs to avoid getting a ticket, stop at stop signs to avoid becoming a statistic.

On a related note, a running friend is an occupational therapist and currently has a triathlete/patient that was hit riding his bike and now has a severe head injury. He WAS headed to Kona, too. So, it can happen to the most experienced riders too. PLEASE BE CAREFUL.

nbehappy's ravatar nbehappy    JOINED: 5/23/09    POSTS: 135
RE: Hains Point crackdown...
POSTED: 7/08/10 6:36 PM

you just gave us the straight dope

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