Monday, November 16, 2009

How rude of him

Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty apparently enjoys the exercise benefits and social camaraderie of being on a competitive bicycle team. That's all well and good, until we find out that Fenty's official police escort is allowing Fenty and his cycling buddies to piggishly take over roadways that they have no right to be using, and then openly helping them to ignore the very same traffic laws that the mayor expects his peasants to follow to the letter, on pain of punishment:

"Over the past several months, WTOP videotaped the mayor and his team on multiple dates as the team - escorted by D.C. Police motorcycle officers - rode on parkways where bikes aren't permitted, ran red lights and stop signs and created traffic backups wherever they went"


"Fenty's cycling has a major impact on traffic. The teammates generally ride three or four abreast, taking up one or more lanes of traffic.

Several times, traffic along Rock Creek Parkway, MacArthur Boulevard, and other major roads became snarled with as cars stalled behind the caravan of bikes.

At times, the police officers were seen riding on sidewalks and bike lanes as well as driving into oncoming traffic trying to keep pace with the mayor"

Sounds like a really responsible way to govern, Mr. Mayor, especially given the infantile tantrum you apparently threw once you found out your antics were being videotaped:

"According to sources familiar with the mayor's security detail, Fenty became furious after he spotted WTOP videotaping a recent bike outing."

If only the mayor could do something about that pesky First Amendment, everything would be just fine, it seems.

"Why, oh why, does the press bother me so?"

Because, sir, you're in charge of America's capital city, and are supposed to be setting a good example for city residents, not selfishly using your office to skirt the rules just to make your little jaunts more convenient for you. Duh.

Not only does this odious practice create traffic bottlenecks and hazards, it wastes valuable and scarce police man-hours as his detail sits around for hours waiting for the workouts to be over:

"In many cases, the officers would escort the team from the mayor's home or from a Georgetown cycle shop along Rock Creek Parkway to Hains Point, where the team would spend an hour or more doing laps around the park. All the while, the police officers sit and wait, and then escort the team back to the starting point."

It's not like there isn't any other police work the cops could be doing in a city with such a high crime rate, instead of baby-sitting His Honor and his playmates.

Naturally, the D.C. police chief , Cathy Lanier, does her best Sergeant Shultz impression and claims to have seen "nossing" when asked about the mayor's blatant misuse of her official police resources:

"'For the mayor to have a security team when he's out riding his bike is not unusual. It's not uncommon,' Lanier tells WTOP. 'I don't look at their daily agenda of where they go or what they do. I don't know about running stop signs and stop lights and things of that nature.'"

Well, maybe it's time you did, ma'am. Stop hiding your head in the sand over this issue. It doesn't become a so-called "professional" of your supposed caliber.

Look, we have a little bit of sympathy about Fenty having to restrict his lifestyle somewhat. That unfortunately comes with the job. The President can't just take a stroll down the Mall to get an ice-cream cone, either, but we don't see Obama shutting down the entire city in order to get a rocky road fix.

Shame on you, Mr. Fenty. Why don't you try leading by example for a change?

1 comment:

Bike Bubba said...

But hey, can't we agree that it's a GOOD thing if Fenty does his best to shut DC down? I'd even encourage the President to take a walk down the Mall to get a Rocky Road fix if it slows down what Congress, the White House, and bureaucrats want to do to us! :^)