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Posted at 01:49 PM ET, 02/10/2012

Traveling along Florida Avenue in Northeast? You might want to pack a snack

You know traffic must be bad when a griper asks us to come out and take a drive and “bring a sandwich.”

Apparently, traffic lights stay red for a long time, but only green for a very short time which backs up traffic on Florida Avenue to Fifth Street in Northeast, a griper says. The wait can be so long that it’s probably wise to pack a snack for your commute.

So, the Daily Gripe checked in with D.C. Department of Transportation to see if the timing on the lights had changed and was causing the congestion.

“This really is not about the signal timing,” said John Lisle, spokesman with DDOT. “[The griper] is complaining about the traffic pattern at the intersection of Florida Avenue, First Street NE and New York Avenue. Traffic flows in a circular direction around the property with the Wendy’s. The pattern was changed to make the complicated intersections safer for everyone including pedestrians. That does mean there can be a longer wait sometimes to get through the area, especially if you are coming from the east on Florida.”

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By Bonnie Smith  |  01:49 PM ET, 02/10/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:06 PM ET, 02/07/2012

When parking in the District, what should an out-of-towner to do?

If you have out-of-state tags and want to avoid an ticket, it might be wise to brush up on D.C. parking laws. (Amanda Voisard - THE WASHINGTON POST)
If you have Maryland, Virginia or any other state on your car’s license plates, you might want to check on the parking laws for the District if you plan on hanging out in the city.

A griper wrote in to say she was ticketed and now has to register her car as a “Recurring Out of State Visitor” after she parked in a residential area, twice in 180 days.

“Is this really necessary?,” the griper asks. “I feel like this is a hassle for everyone involved. In a city with so many temporary residents, interns, students, etc., I find it hard to believe they often find someone legitimately avoiding D.C. registration. I think it probably wastes more money processing these ROSV registrations than they make up in ‘caught’ registration”avoiders.”

John Lisle at D.C. Department of Transportation said the parking laws are clear and will be enforced.

The law’s the law, so best to get all the information instead of the ticket.

Did you know visiting a friend in the District could cost you more than just putting a few coins in a meter?

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By Bonnie Smith  |  12:06 PM ET, 02/07/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:01 PM ET, 02/01/2012

Capital Bikeshare: Coming to a neighborhood near you?

Capital Bikeshare has 1,100 bicycles at more than 110 stations across the District and Arlington. (Sarah L. Voisin - THE WASHINGTON POST)
If you live in the District or Arlington County, you’ve surely seen the Capital Bikeshare stations: Sturdy red bikes lined up, waiting for riders. For a fee, you can rent one and cycle to work, run errands or just tool around with family or friends.

Now Capital Bikeshare is poised to wheel into the suburbs. Rockville and Alexandria are the next communities slated to feature the service.

And if the enterprise proves as successful as the District’s program, College Park, Bethesda, Silver Spring and other locations might not be far behind.

Borrowing a bike could be a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, but what about the Monday morning commute? Could Capital Bikeshare be a viable option for suburban commuters?

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By The Daily Gripe  |  11:01 PM ET, 02/01/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:50 PM ET, 01/26/2012

Wipe away those parking ticket penalties

Got some old, unpaid parking tickets? Friday is your last chance to get rid of them courtesy of D.C.’s ticket amnesty program. (Amanda Voisard - THE WASHINGTON POST)
Attention, parking ticket slackers (and you know who you are): The District is in a forgiving mood — but only until Friday.

If you have any outstanding parking tickets, photo-enforcement tickets or moving violations dating from before Jan. 1, 2010, this is your chance to step up and pay up and all those pesky penalty fines will be waived.
(See Dr. Gridlock’s blog for more about the program.)

Added bonus: If paying those tickets would have cost you points on your driver’s license, those will be forgiven too.

You can get rid of those fees the old-fashioned way and pay in person, or you can pay over the phone or online. But what we really want to know is if you did it? Take our poll.

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By J.C. Reed  |  01:50 PM ET, 01/26/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:26 PM ET, 01/11/2012

Life in the fast lane, as a pedestrian

Now that the city has bike lanes, should bikers be allowed on the sidewalks? (NIKKI KAHN - The Washington Post)
Ever wonder who really owns the sidewalk? Obviously pedestrians use it, but do cyclists have the same rights to it even though bike lanes have been created for them?

A griper says no. Cyclists using sidewalks on R Street in Northwest Washington are riding too fast and creating a safety hazard for pedestrians, according to the griper.

“It is dangerous for us all,” the griper says.

We reached out to D.C. Department of Transportation to find out who really owns the sidewalk. According to D.C. policy, bikers are allowed to travel along sidewalks as long as it isn’t within the Central Business District. (See map here.) And according to the map, 17th and R streets isn’t within the CBD.

“We certainly encourage cyclists to follow the laws and to always yield to pedestrians, regardless of where they are riding,” says John Lisle, spokesman to DDOT.

So we ask you, who do you think really owns the sidewalk? Are D.C. laws too lenient on cyclists? Take our poll and tell us what you think in the comments below.

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By Bonnie Smith  |  03:26 PM ET, 01/11/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)


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