Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Arlington Should Tell Motorcyclists To Take A Hike

[Note to readers: with this post we're back from a summer hiatus, hoping to resume posting regularly.]

Arlington County has announced that it will close portions of I-66 and Route 110 in the County this Friday afternoon between 2:30-4:00 pm so that Arlington police can accompany a large group of motorcycle riders coming into town to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Sorry Arlington, but this is BAD POLICY. Anyone who's ever driven I-66 on a Friday afternoon knows that rush hour starts early and it goes in BOTH directions. Likewise, Rt. 110 is a major artery.

We have no problem with motorcyclists coming to town to commemorate the 9/11 attacks, although we highly suspect this is more like a big party than any kind of solemn event. (Promotional material for the event on Friday touts a BBQ in Crystal City on yet more closed streets, along with a gun raffle to raise money. A lot of Arlingtonians on Arlnow.com were more bent out of shape about the gun raffle, but we're not sure Arlington authorities can--or should--do much about that.)

But on a Friday afternoon?

There's a reason why marathons, walk-a-thons, bicycle events, etc, are on Sunday mornings: because the traffic disruption is minimized (it's still disruptive if you're trying to get somewhere at that time). Why cave in to these motorcyclists?

The alert from Arlington County said, in part, that it is for the protection and safety of the motorcyclists. Fine, but if they want to ride into town on a Friday afternoon, they should sit in traffic like everyone else (and NOT hot dog it around cars, driving on medians and in the middle of lanes).

Couldn't Arlington have told the cyclists that they'd be welcome to come in at say between 10:00 a.m. to noon, or after 7:00 pm? Or on the weekend? This is a bad precedent.

If the President (current or most recent) were to motorcade through at a similar time, disrupting traffic, you can believe there'd be complainers. (Indeed, a few years ago, Bush wisely opted not to motorcade to a fundraiser in NoVa during rush hour, realizing how counterproductive it would be.)

No comments: