Submitted by MedicalSpecializer t3_yzcwq5 in washingtondc

I’m new to the area, and I work in DC (commute in) and for the most part, I genuinely love this city. However, walking to work in NoMa from Union Station or to clear my head on my lunch break, it feels like a gamble with my life. Drivers here have no respect for pedestrians or pedestrian spaces. I’ve never been in a city with such poorly-trained, entitled drivers. The best I can do at this point is give glowering looks and hopefully make them feel guilty. Short of carrying and/or physically fighting bad drivers, which I don’t have the time or energy for, I can’t think of anything that would make drivers respect pedestrians. How do you all deal with bad drivers as pedestrians/bicyclists and stay safe in this city?



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throws_rocks_at_cars t1_iwz91o5 wrote

>give glowering looks and make them feel guilty

Brother this does not work. They don’t give a shit. They can kill you while watching tiktok on their phones and they won’t even be charged with manslaughter. And they know that.


MedicalSpecializer OP t1_iwzanvk wrote

so what’s the solution besides carrying or fighting, both of which are risky at best? i feel like re-education wouldn’t work with most of these drivers and reasoning with people who can’t understand counterfactuals is pointless. and obviously the cops won’t do anything to enforce traffic rules, they’re car drivers as well.


[deleted] t1_iwzblla wrote



IcyWillow1193 t1_iwzcyxu wrote

you should lengthen your user name to add "and be prepared to run"


throws_rocks_at_cars t1_iwzemzf wrote

I run a 6 and a half minute mile 😈 car fatties got nothing on me


Susurrus03 t1_iwzqlge wrote

I'd be less worried about someone coming to fight me, and more worried about a bullet coming my way. Many of these aggressive, no fucks given, drivers are also armed, usually illegally. Unless you're faster than bullets.


insoul8 t1_ix1tvaz wrote

Last I checked, DC had a little under 10k active concealed carry permits as of this year. Really not that many in a city of 700,000. Virginia has something like 638k or 7.4% of the states population.


erineegads t1_ix034cv wrote

Aren’t all guns banned in dc? Wouldn’t any type of carrying be illegal in the city? I could be wrong I don’t actually know


ngfdsa t1_ix1epqw wrote

If you meet the legal requirements for concealed carry, which most citizens do, DC is required to issue a concealed carry permit. It'll cost you $300-$400 and take 1-3 months but you'll get it


cloudytimes159 t1_iwzrg3j wrote

Throwing a rock at one car isn’t going to educate the next 100 Evel Knievals coming next. Risk/benefit seems a little off.


MintyLacroix t1_iwzrfj2 wrote

Ceramic is better than rocks. Smash a spark plug and save all the little pieces. They shatter glass just by touching it.


SabbathRulez t1_iwzmiwv wrote

This is what you get when you combine minimal human enforcement with minimal consequences (i.e., Maryland/Virginia drivers have no reason to pay camera tickets and thus zero reason to care about cameras, DC residents can renew their driver's licenses even with thousands of dollars of dangerous moving violations on their records, a comically understaffed city boot team).

The people who have created and enthusiastically support the status quo keep getting re-elected (well, except for Silverman), so nothing will change.


MedicalSpecializer OP t1_iwzn0jq wrote

you would think the city would love to enforce traffic laws to improve overall quality of life and create an inclusive space that reflects well on the nation’s capital. i just don’t get why they love the status quo.


SabbathRulez t1_iwzodr9 wrote

MPD thinks active traffic enforcement is a poor use of resources, especially when their numbers are down and certain violent crimes are on the rise.

The Council thinks human traffic enforcement creates an inequitable environment.

And so here we are, with the city trying to traffic-camera its way to Vision Zero.


xqe2045 t1_iwzw597 wrote

and yet people continue to re-elect the mayor of the city when nothing changes


borg359 t1_ix062j0 wrote

Well everyone she ran against in the Democratic primary cared even less than she did about these issues, so it’s not hard to see why she was re-elected.


MedicalSpecializer OP t1_iwzp6d3 wrote

antisocial behavior is a good indicator of propensity to engage in other antisocial behaviors. im sure the mpd knows this, so why not correct all antisocial behaviors?


alizadk t1_ix10368 wrote

You mean like the Broken Windows theory of policing?


MedicalSpecializer OP t1_ix12wxu wrote

what about it? the general consensus is that it probably had a modest effect on reducing crime but probably works better when used in limited contexts with other inventions. furthermore, ensuring order in a community is a valuable goal in and of itself.


BPCGuy1845 t1_ix0rlw5 wrote

Yet MPD does squat about violent and property crime either.


giscard78 t1_iwztlcs wrote

> you would think the city would love to enforce traffic laws to improve overall quality of life and create an inclusive space that reflects well on the nation’s capital. i just don’t get why they love the status quo.

DC can’t enforce tickets on cars with Maryland and Virginia plates and the governments there don’t care about the quality of life in DC, it’s a place to earn an income and bring back to their states. Neither political party wants to be the party responsible for allowing DC to collect millions in ticket revenue, they’d frame it as an equity issue for their residents.

source: from Maryland


joe_sausage t1_iwztqm2 wrote

Police don’t exist to improve quality of life or create an inclusive space. They exist to protect property and wealth. That isn’t being threatened by crazy drivers mowing down pedestrians.

If a wealthy, prominent business owner/donor got hit by a car the mayor would be out stopping red light runners that afternoon.


Yithar t1_ix1ras3 wrote

It's the reason they avoided giving tickets for fare evasion on Metro. It was seen as creating an inequitable environment.

My recommendation? Just run and do your best to be aware and assume that drivers are not paying attention.

I wouldn't recommend starting a fight. Someone might be bigger or stronger than you or have a gun. It's not going to make a difference. It's like walking into an open office and telling people to shut up. It's a waste of your energy.


OcelotControl78 t1_ix2ckrm wrote

First mistake right there - DC gov doesn't care about quality of life. Not sure what DC gov does care about honestly.


Tahh t1_ix39php wrote

we don't have enough resources to solve half of the murders in this town. how far down the list are minor traffic offenses


Def_Probably_Not t1_ix82sqp wrote

That's not entirely true. I went in recently to renew my license, and the DMV person said I had to pay a parking ticket from 2007 that I completely forgot about because I appealed it and never heard from them about the outcome. It was only $15, but she still made me pay it before she would renew my license.


SamHinkieKnew t1_iwzbuo7 wrote

To be honest, this is every city in the Northeast. I’m not saying that’s right and that drivers shouldn’t be accountable for driving like assholes, but it’s just a fact. I will say, DC is far and away the best city I’ve seen at having bicycle-safe infrastructure, which it deserves credit for. We also have a substantial amount of speed cameras in place throughout the district and recently passed a law to make right on red turns illegal by 2025. Many cities don’t employ such measures, which makes life for pedestrians harder.

My only advice is just to always assume that a driver is driving distracted because the vast majority are (watch how many cars are delayed at accelerating when a light turns green because they’re on their phones) and to never assume they will slow down/stop for you until they actually do.

Stay safe.


pantsattack t1_iwzkvmx wrote

Generaly agree with you, but do speed cameras really do anything except make it aggravating to drive (not in itself a bad goal, just not the stated goal)? The city has a reputation for not following up on traffic tickets or getting dangerous drivers off the road.


SamHinkieKnew t1_iwzlvfr wrote

I think your thinking is right on. Speed cameras only temporarily cause drivers to drive slower, but they indirectly force drivers to drive more vigilantly so as to not get a ticket. I often see drivers speed, then slow down when they see a camera and then speed up again when they’re out of the camera’s view. But, just my opinion, that’s more reassuring than having drivers use some of the multi-lane avenues like a highway while texting or looking at IG.


snarkyturtle t1_iwzpfsd wrote

I would say that Philly definitely has it worse. We at least have sorta slow drivers just due to the inherit limited physical space — Philly has more space and those peeps just floor it and expect anyone in their way to get out.


SamHinkieKnew t1_ix01812 wrote

Lived in Philly for over 10 years and it’s considerably worse there. No crosswalk pedestrian signs, deplorable road conditions, extremely narrow roads (old city, so understandable) and a very liberal view of what constitutes an acceptable parking spot (I.e. middle of Broad, the sidewalk, etc). Love that city though.


slicknilla t1_iwzc110 wrote

Its definitely been getting worse. It's rare that I drive anywhere in the city without witnessing something outrageously dangerous from a driver. It seems like it's a pretty bad combination of drivers that genuinely don't give a shit at all, and drivers so unaware that it could be considered malicious.

I suggest car cameras and driving like you don't wanna die. That's what I do


mslauren2930 t1_ix1b7el wrote

I've noticed that people are just so much more angry than they used to be. And it shows in the way people drive around here. As a driver, I've literally slowed down and pulled into the right lane so that an angry speeder can pass me, and they'll still stay behind me and get pissed off, even tho they could've passed me and gone on their way. I'm tired of caring anymore. If people want to be angry and take it out on everyone else, so be it. I'll just do my best to drive defensively and walk defensively. It definitely does not work 100% of the time, but it helps some. A little.


girafftastic33 t1_iwz7044 wrote

Have you tried walking on the MBT? There’s a path right from union station to NoMa.


mastakebob t1_ix22fu2 wrote

Been a few years since I've been on the MBT. I thought it terminated at the noma metro and the connection to union was on-road?


RoeRoeRoeYourVote t1_ix8gg1h wrote

The off road part of the trail ends at the noma station, but it's a protected lane from there to union station (iirc)


True_Blue_112 t1_iwzxmqg wrote

DC needs to announce that they will place a Denver boot on any car in DC, at any time, day or night, with outstanding tickets. Then, the Mayor could send police cadets to both parking lots and street parking to scan licenses and call/scan them into DDOT’s teams to immediately boot cars, emphasizing those with the highest number of tickets…until they pay. Sounds aggressive, but it might bring neighboring governors to the table to make reciprocity the law, in the name of pedestrian safety.


jednorog t1_ix18vr5 wrote

Most of the tools you're describing already exist, it's just that the Mayor has not made them a priority.

DC has underfunded the booting and towing crew for years. During the first year or so of the pandemic they all but entirely refused to do their jobs, until (now-outgoing) CM Cheh got on their cases. Still, as of last year, their capacity to boot was only 50 cars per day (!) which is basically the same as zero.

Several Council Members noted that the Mayor's proposed budget kept the same funding for the booting/towing crew as in previous years, which is obviously insufficient for the problem. I recall that several Council Members proposed better funding for the booting/towing crew, but I don't recall whether they succeeded.


dc_laffpat t1_ix4bayi wrote

What does parking tickets have to do with pedestrian safety? Seems like just another way to squeeze less wealthy residents out. Actually enforcing moving violations is where the city is lacking, but it's easier revenue to just do more parking enforcement rather than spending comparatively more money to enforce moving violations, the things that actually endanger pedestrians.


True_Blue_112 t1_ix5ieby wrote

Drivers who are ticketed for moving violations are likely to park in DC for work or leisure. The car owner’s license tag is noted on the ticket. Therefore, finding a car which has outstanding tickets, simply by checking the license tag (while the car is parked on the street or in a lot) is a straightforward way to find cars to Denver boot when their owners live in MD or VA and have outstanding tickets of any kind in DC. However, as a previous post noted, the department charged with traffic/ticket enforcement is woefully underfunded and has been for many years. At this point, it would take a sustained and organized public outcry to change this. So far, that hasn’t materialized and there is no impetus to change at all.


snowman93 t1_iwzaxii wrote

Yeah, it didn’t used to be this bad. Covid seems to have wiped out everyone’s ability to drive. Stay safe out there, and just assume every car is going to run a red or a stop sign for safety.


CriticalStrawberry t1_iwzhem8 wrote

I don't think covid has much to do with it. I think not enforcing a single traffic violation for a decade probably does though.


snowman93 t1_iwzzuge wrote

Well, anecdotally it seems that the last 2 years have been much worse for pedestrians. I’d put that with the other social problems that arose with Covid. People are more selfish now.


CriticalStrawberry t1_ix02j4z wrote

I definitely think that accelerated it, but I still think the root of the problem is there being zero consequences for your actions when in control of a 3 ton metal weapon.


sl8rfan2 t1_iwzdo2y wrote

Keep your wits about you and head on a swivel. Never trust a red light and run for your life.

Drivers here are, in my opinion, the worst in the country. The combination of not giving a shit because there are ZERO consequences, narcissism/selfishness, clout chasing, phone gazing, and constant weed smoking while driving is dangerous for everybody.


zapatocaviar t1_iwz82rj wrote

I feel ya, bud. Worst driving I have ever seen. And I’ve been around.


my2cents4free99 t1_iwzc8uo wrote

I hear ya. Almost got hit on K st NE yesterday afternoon by a guy running a red FOUR SECONDS after it turned in a freaking school zone


OhPooForgottheBags t1_iwzdmtg wrote

If you're inclined, become active with organizations working to change the laws and enforcement. What's needed is a cultural change, but the enforcement has to happen if it's going to change.


JustAcivilian24 t1_iwzmi4y wrote

I stopped biking in the city because I was scared of always getting near misses from cars, and drivers yelling obscenities at me because I’m using the lane lol. It’s absurd.


WuPacalypse t1_iwzksk8 wrote

Every city thinks they have the worst drivers. This isn’t some profound observation. There isn’t any traffic enforcement in DC, and MD and VA drivers don’t have to pay traffic camera tickets. What do you expect to happen?


Gaijin_Monster t1_ix1p68a wrote

i've been all over the world and US. It's really really really bad here.


mastodfow t1_iwzojwm wrote

It can be frustrating and sometimes scary. Walk with confidence but don't be stupid, remain observant (i.e., do not stare at your phone while walking like so many other peds and drivers), and assume that the driver does not see you. Make eye contact with every driver closest to you when you are crossing a street. If that does not happen, wait for them to stop or pass. The near-misses are terrifyingly infuriating, but you have to let the small things go. I've become a big fan of giving people 'thumbs downs' and yelling, "Booooooooo!"


plasmainthezone t1_iwzusfl wrote

My first month in DC i almost got hit by a speeding car with MD plates by the Archived metro station. Light was green for pedestrians. If I got hit they would face minimal repercussions. Nothing will change.


Skowhegan t1_iwzxq4d wrote

I wouldn't recommend handing out "glowering" looks. (I had to look that word up btw :D). Someone will eventually accept your challenge.


MedicalSpecializer OP t1_iwzxxnf wrote

it’s a good thing i like to tussle, i just won’t start it while wearing business casual


Skowhegan t1_ix02c6v wrote

I jumped out of the way of a car that nearly hit me while I was walking (with a WALK sign) in a Georgetown crosswalk. I glowered at the driver, and he stopped the car, lowered the window, and yelled at me, "What the fuck are you lookin' at?!" I remember saying to the friend I was talking to on the phone, "I'm gonna have to call you back." I walked up to the car and kicked it, HARD.

The guy pulled over (double parked) and got out. I could see he was not only bigger than me, but really pissed off. I weighed my options ... and I ran :)

I ran and ran, through crowded sidewalks, diagonally across streets, maybe 15 blocks I skedaddled. Eventually I either lost him or he just broke off the chase.

Anyway, I surely escalated that situation, but it all started with me staring him down.


dbag127 t1_ix2roww wrote

Someone had a gun pulled on them on video about 2 years ago at M and 1st by Harris teeter. Don't fuck around with these people. The ones giving the fewest fucks about you as a ped/cyclist are the same ones who already have felonies on their record and who's whole persona is about not stepping down/back and who are armed illegally as a rule.


AceMcClean t1_iwz6zts wrote

If I can spit on their windshield, they’re too close to me. That usually makes me feel better.


gator_fl t1_iwzd28o wrote

Practice the art of meditation and laugh it off with driver.

Trust me, escalating shit ain't the way.

You're not gonna change their horrible driving habits. Most will get even more pissed if you look at them and they are never to blame in their eyes.


MedicalSpecializer OP t1_iwzdp1u wrote

I get the sentiment, but some people need to be put in their place though. I’m tired of being a good pedestrian and following the rules only to almost get splattered on a weekly basis.


Ancient-Isopod-2991 t1_ix0efws wrote

I agree that drivers do not pay attention but I also feel that pedestrians do not pay attention. While pedestrians have the right away in the crosswalk it appears that numerous pedestrians believe that if they are approaching a crosswalk they do not have to stop and look. I am not talking about crosswalks in which they have the right away because they have the green light.


joymarie21 t1_ix0ihuj wrote

Yes. Every time I've driven through Dupont Circle with the light I've had to beep at pedestrians ooking at their phones and walking against the light.


mostlylighthearted t1_ix1ayh4 wrote

Yes! I’m all for pedestrian right of way, but it’s annoying when my vehicle is already in fast motion or damn near crossing a crosswalk and a pedestrian decides to start crossing. Now I have to slam the brakes when it probably would have been faster to let me pass then cross.


foxcat0_0 t1_ix6zwge wrote

You should be slowing down as you approach a crosswalk. You should not be "in fast motion" at all near a crosswalk. Even an attentive pedestrian cannot react as fast as your car can move.

Drivers bear the greater responsibility for road safety. If the pedestrian light is on, pedestrians are not responsible for letting you drive through the crosswalk because you were not slowing down to begin with.


mostlylighthearted t1_ix86e8q wrote

I’m not referring to crosswalks with the walk sign/light on.


foxcat0_0 t1_ix8dzb6 wrote

Pedestrians have the right of way in all marked crosswalks even if there is no traffic light, you should be slowing down as you approach crosswalks without traffic lights as well. As a driver, you should always assume that there are pedestrians waiting to cross even if you cannot immediately see them. The worst that can happen to you by doing this is that you are slightly delayed. The worst that can happen to a pedestrian when cars are not properly yielding at crosswalks is that they are seriously injured or die.

Obviously, pedestrians should not expect cars to slow down for them if there is a "don't walk" traffic light.


mostlylighthearted t1_ix90zuj wrote

I think our perspectives are different and my message is not coming across the way I intended, which is okay. I mentioned in my original comment I’m all for pedestrian right of way and not arguing that :)


jerjackal t1_ix0gwlg wrote

Out of the countries and cities I've lived in, DC has the worst drivers. Feels like everyone got their license a day ago without passing the test.

The responsibility to be safe from other cars is entirely on you and if you have to drive, learn to meditate so that the road rage doesn't cause you to have a coronary.


r3rg54 t1_ix0lnxy wrote

Baltimore is for sure worse than DC


MightyWoosh t1_ix18x95 wrote

One thing I see often is drivers smoking a joint while driving. Doesn’t make me feel safe at all


RoeRoeRoeYourVote t1_ix8fw4w wrote

One time, a man turned left at a red light while I was crossing the street. He followed me for a block to scream out his window. I just don't get it. You're in such a rush that you have to run a red light, but you have enough time to follow someone walking for a block? The worst part is that this isn't the first time a driver has followed me for one or more blocked because I existed in public on foot or on my bike. In fact, it's the third time.

I'm fresh out of fucks to give when it comes to coddling drivers and their fragile egos. If they fuck up they can (and regularly do) kill other people. Fuck em.


WeakAnkles94 t1_iwzov2b wrote

I honestly want to always carry a carton of eggs and have them ready in each hand for when people almost run me over


Wity_4d t1_ix12b1l wrote

I drive in D.C. having moved here from a relaxed rural setting about two years ago. I used to be super chill and gracious to other drivers on the road but man, these local drivers have really ramped up my aggression if only to not be constantly cut off and to actually make it to my destination. It sucks, and I hate that I've become this way.


joe_sausage t1_iwzj9vm wrote

I’ve started laying on the horn whenever someone does insane shit near me on the road. Some idiot passed me on the right in a dual active construction/school zone doing like 45, then got two more lanes over, only to get stopped behind another car at a red, so I pulled up a car length’s ahead of him at the light. 🤔

Just pointlessly aggro driving. I horned that dude for like 5 solid seconds. It’s a small thing, but I feel like if more people shamed the reckless drivers, they might think twice about it.

And it makes me feel better.

I’ll probably get shot for it.



St1834 t1_iwzqxm4 wrote

Yah, don't do this. Horns are used for alerting people to something that's happening, not shaming people for something that happened. When anyone on the road, drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, hear a horn, they look for the source to make sure they're safe, so you're just causing confusion and creating more danger by using the horn that way.


joe_sausage t1_iwztefr wrote

I mean to be fair, there is something wrong/something happening: there’s a maniac weaving through traffic at a high rate of speed with zero regard for anyone else. I want people to be aware of that. It’s extremely unsafe.


St1834 t1_iwzvkiy wrote

No, a maniac was weaving through traffic. That's when you honk the horn, to alert people to something that's happening so they can make sure they're safe. That's when it's okay to distract other drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians, because there might be a threat to their safety.

Like you said, you only honk the horn when you're at a stop light to shame bad drivers. So then you're distracting those other people on the road just so you can express anger.


joe_sausage t1_iwzx2zd wrote

When did I say that I only honk at red lights? That would be pretty stupid. Learn to read more critically before you’re imagining things to get mad at on the internet.


St1834 t1_iwzxsms wrote

You literally just described how you honked at someone only when you were able to get near them at a red light to express your anger, not when the honking could help. And you should know that, to everyone around you, it just looks like someone honking at a red light for no reason. And you're distracting them with that


joe_sausage t1_iwzy5pk wrote

kk dude. 🫡


St1834 t1_iwzyhnh wrote

And since this is a thread about unsafe drivers, it's worth noting unsafe behavior.


IamMe90 t1_ix0015c wrote

In the one anecdote you provided to make your point, this is exactly what you did. Can't blame them for thinking that's what you normally do when that's the only thing you've described doing in relation to the subject.


joe_sausage t1_ix00mgg wrote

Oh apologies, you aren’t the same guy.

Nowhere did I ever say that Iaid on the horn at the light. I reflected on how long I was on the horn, and the description of that came later as I was describing where I was at the light.

But to say “he pushed the horn when he was at the light” is reading something into the account that isn’t necessarily there.

(And indeed I did not do that, because that would be silly and counterproductive to what horns are for.)


joe_sausage t1_ix00oiy wrote

This is why reading comprehension is important.


IamMe90 t1_ix023eq wrote

So, I mean, here's what you said:

>so I pulled up a car length’s ahead of him at the light. 🤔

>Just pointlessly aggro driving. I horned that dude for like 5 solid seconds

So if I'm rereading REALLY carefully, after already being supplied additional context by you, I can see that you technically did not specify when you "horned that dude." However, given that you decided to place that sentence immediately after the sentence about pulling up ahead of the driver at the light, and didn't supply any additional information about when you used your horn, most reasonable people would have inferred that you used your horn after the fact, at the light.

Like, if you wanna say you're technically right, fine, you're technically right that you never said you horned the dude at the light. But don't blame it on our reading comprehension, it was at best an ambiguous statement that easily could have been construed the way that two separate people did in fact construe it.


joe_sausage t1_ix04kdl wrote

“I was in Paris for two weeks. I just got home. I ate so many croissants.” Where did the person eat the croissants? At home?

Dude insisted that’s what I said, I pointed out that it wasn’t, they dug in, and here we are. Technically right is still right, especially when someone’s calling you on technicalities.



IamMe90 t1_ix074n8 wrote

Idk man, seems like both of you were digging in when you could have just as easily admitted that you weren't very clear and could have constructed your sentence better. This whole thing could have ended after one comment with a "my bad, I can see how you might've read that from my comment, let me rephrase" and an edit to the original comment.

And no, no one was "calling you on technicalities," you were legitimately misunderstood by someone, and then they dug in because your first instinct was to insult their reading comprehension ("learn to read critically dude") instead of just clarifying what you actually meant.

I'm sure this won't be received positively since you're on the defensive, so I'll bow out here. Just posting this because we all get this way on Reddit from time to time and I find it's useful to get a heat check from someone when I need to tone it down. Have a great day.


joe_sausage t1_ix07ruh wrote

Oh you’re completely right. Not disagreeing with any of 👆🏻.

You have a good weekend.


smgoalie13 t1_iwzr7ti wrote

I like that your reasoning for not physically fighting bad drivers is that you don't have the time or energy lolol

In all seriousness, it doesn't really get better but don't let it ruin your day! I do feel like there has been a very slow turning of public opinion on overall traffic safety in the city in recent years so maybe we will see meaningful change in the years to come.


Rae2wice t1_ix0s5re wrote

About two or three years before the pandemic, MD took parallel parking off the driving. Now there's a slew of drivers who can't park for the life of them. Also, let's not forget about slick weather conditions. I swear, Marylanders have no clue how to drive in the rain. They either drive to fast and cause accidents or they drive to slow and back up highway traffic for miles.


sl8rfan2 t1_ix0vtvw wrote

It was only a matter of time before someone came in hot with "mUrLaNd dRiVeR".


Maximum-Share-2835 t1_ix0sui3 wrote

Idk, don't go in the road and it's normally fine for me


sobchak_securities91 t1_ix1h2u4 wrote

Literally saw a fucking huge ass truck hit the side railing entering the bridge by Lincoln memorial to go into VA. I think the driver was drunk or something. At around 11 am today,


dog_champ t1_ix1j7no wrote

Every time this is brought up, people jump straight to enforcement. Enforcement would help to some degree, but what would help more is street design that forces the drivers to drive safe like raised crosswalks and narrower streets so that they drive safely even when they’re not being actively watched.


jay3349 t1_ix1x6u5 wrote

There is no political will in a city with 100% single party politicians. It’s different shades of the same solutions. Entitled politicians reflect their entitled base. This results in entitled driving culture. See what happens when they hit you. The y will drive away and pay no price. Independent and Republican candidates would fight for stricter traffic laws but they’ll never win in the People’s Republic of the District of Columbia.


daltonfromroadhouse t1_ix219nj wrote

I used to think DC drivers were such a-holes and than I went to Boston now you all are a pleasure to share the road with


StevenOfAppalachia t1_ix27brd wrote

I lived there for over 3 years, and would Metro as much as possible and use my Raleigh RXC bicycle to move fast in the bike lanes…only draw back was that metro hours didn’t always correspond to my work schedule. Go fast in the bike lanes, and learn how to make up time on the less busy routes. I used H.street quite a bit to move laterally to avoid North Capital, especially on Friday evenings. I guess in a gist, go fast, use metro as much as possible, the buses with metro aren’t a bad option either.


politics_junkieball t1_ix2pl26 wrote

I 100% feel this. Glad to see a post like this up. DC drivers suck so much. Today, I had a guy rolling his car towards me while I was crossing the stop sign. I stoppef and gave him a look, his car still rolling got so close. Shitty ass drivers.


crocodile_ave t1_ix3dhhz wrote

It’s not exactly the lack of enforcement that I found to be the main cause of chaos: rather the sheer number of cars operating only by gps (gps that thinks the lanes actually make sense) when actually most turn lanes are de facto parking spots for delivery trucks and Ubers, and every other street is one way, super narrow, or literally changes constantly between blocks or times of day.

The result is that a driver cannot expect to safely navigate the city using traffic directions alone; and instead has to adhere to a mad-maxian set of ad-hoc rules that have been formulated to keep you from running smack into a (sometimes official or diplomatic) car “parked” in a turn lane. It’s dangerous to walk here, yeah, it’s also dangerous to bike and still dangerous to drive.

Seems like this city was designed to keep most of its poor residents as out-of-sight and out-of-luck as possible, so no mass infrastructure for people to travel by car was ever really implemented. This would seem like a good thing for pedestrians, except that when the city finally did start gentrifying and putting money into massive urban growth, they’ve done nothing to make the city driveable for the actual cars that belong to the people that inevitably show up to live and work here.

Edit: to be clear, I walk everyday in this neighborhood to work. I would love to suggest everyone do the same, but as OP clearly laid out, walking is risky. So we have kind of a chicken and egg problem rn.


webbmoncure t1_ix3stwb wrote

The only thing that I’ve seen working every day I drive to work are physical “traffic calming” measures made of concrete and steel.


Tom_Leykis_Fan t1_ix4zm2t wrote

Amen. I have lived here 14 years and feel the same as you. Drivers behave with impunity in DC and they know it. They know they will suffer zero consequences for their behavior if they hit and kill you, are sober, and say the magic words like "I didn't see him or her," or "the sun was in my eyes. It's completely outrageous.


camelkami t1_ix0zk55 wrote

100%. I was crossing in a crosswalk the other day—waited for all oncoming traffic to clear first. AFTER I start crossing, a gentleman decided to TURN LEFT INTO ME. I literally had to sprint to not be hit. I was reflexively screaming “what the fuck dude!!” the whole time. Dude gave me a lil wave as he pulled away. 🙃 (Oh, and the cop sitting in his car half a block away did NOTHING.)


rossimus t1_ix0yxm8 wrote

98% of the posts on this sub are just people complaining about cars. Meanwhile I'm just trying to dodge all the reckless people running across the street without a walk signal or bikers blowing through red lights and stop signs.


MedicalSpecializer OP t1_ix0zp1b wrote

you can slow down, you know. no need to dodge if you’re going 10-15


rossimus t1_ix257j3 wrote

People probably shouldn't be running into the street where there isnt a crosswalk

People on bikes should probably stop at red lights


VodgeDiper_10 t1_ix22k86 wrote

Sometimes when a car gets too close I'll push their mirror in or smack the side/hood/trunk of the car. Maybe not productive, but I'm sure if DC was notorious for pedestrians pushing mirrors in, cars would leave more distance. MDP is useless.


30ThousandVariants t1_iwzsp1h wrote

>walking to work in NoMa from Union Station or to clear my head on my lunch break, it feels like a gamble with my life

When I think about the area you're describing, what first comes to mind is it's most visually distinctive landmark: a highway-like, interstate-sized overpass traversing a massive railyard with 20-30 sets of tracks. As you travel north from that gargantuan structure, the tracks are crossed by a succession of lengthy, dank underpass corridors that most drivers are in an understandable hurry to get out of. The neighborhood is framed by highly congested major road traffic corridors: NY Ave/Rte. 50 where everybody from PG/AA counties comes in and out; the terminus of I-395 where everybody from Virginia comes in and out; North Capitol Street.

Honestly man, if you thought to yourself "I'm highly motivated to organize my life around urban pedestrianism," and THAT'S the place you decided to root down, you don't have a DC problem. You have a judgment problem.

The vast majority of DC neighborhoods have vehicular traffic congestion/pattern/flow characteristics that are *completely* unlike the neighborhood you picked to walk around in.

Wherever you came from, or wherever you're comparing DC to, is certain to contain more and less walkable areas, just like DC. And you picked probably the singularly most inappropriate neighborhood for the kind of life you say you wanted.

Just move.


MedicalSpecializer OP t1_iwzt53t wrote

I mean, I commute in and don’t have the option of working from home. It’s unfortunately where my office is, I’d love for it to be somewhere different.


30ThousandVariants t1_iwzwodc wrote

It's just that your whole post is negatively generalizing about DC as a whole, when you're really just saying "trying to walk around in the vicinity of Dave Thomas Circle is fucking crazy, right?" Yes, it totally is. And it's not really representative of living in DC as a pedestrian writ large.

If you worked south of Union Station instead of north of it, you'd have a walking commute that passes beautiful historic landmarks that people travel across the world just to see once. To me, that seems like a more truthful experience from which to generalize about pedestrian life in the District, rather than the generalization you're making.

EDIT: And the pile-on that your post encouraged, where a dozen Pedestrian Supremacist guerillas start talking about petty forms of political violence, is just fucking tweaked.


WontStopAtSigns t1_ix0aobm wrote

Someone in this sub will always blame the op for whatever they are complaining about. It's a regional character flaw.


Kriegerian t1_iwztugr wrote

I’ve driven in downtown and I disregard mean looks by now. Especially because of the number of people who blithely walk out into traffic or blow through stop signs and lights on their bikes.


MedicalSpecializer OP t1_iwzu8ma wrote

have you considered you’re the issue?


Kriegerian t1_iwzuvlt wrote

Nope, because it’s not my decision to casually ignore the stop sign and sail through the intersection on my bicycle.


xqe2045 t1_iwzx5hu wrote

so all the mean look you get are for obeying traffic laws....


WontStopAtSigns t1_ix0b7eg wrote

Yep, he's just a perfect model DC citizen and it's EVERYONE ELSE that is the problem. Very common wreckless driver attitude.


sl8rfan2 t1_ix0rnvw wrote


Every fucking time when we're talking about shitty drivers, somebody brings up bikes.


WontStopAtSigns t1_ix0axou wrote

Your car and your stop sign are of no interest to me and you should stop driving in the city. I'll do everything I can to make that selfishness difficult for people like you. Stop. Move away. Go somewhere else.


antiherofederation t1_iwzae4f wrote

Walk around with a pocket of pennies, flip em at the bad cars