Camera in hand, I went to the see the inspection of the Washington Monument for earthquake damage. It was amazing, a man came out of a hatch at the top of the Monument and began repelling down it. At one point, he even seemed to wave to me.
The scene on the Mall was a media circus, with tourists and locals staring up at the obelisk, and reporters and TV crews documenting the action.
I love taking pictures of people in the city, especially people on bikes (I bike everywhere myself) so this scene caught my eye:
They picked it up and ran it under the cheeky title, Only You Can Prevent Bicycle Crashes. Commenters observed that not only was the ranger not wearing a helmet, but he’s talking on a cellphone and has a bag perilously slung from his handlebars. They even identified the rider – it’s Bill Line, the spokesperson for the National Park Service, who opposed the expansion of DC’s popular bikesharing service to the National Mall.
A photo I took just as a curiosity makes a larger political point for bike advocates in the city, highlighting what they believe is the hypocrisy of bike opponents who bike, as well as a cavalier attitude toward rider safety.
It also underscores the fact that public servants are “public”, especially if you’re a spokesman. If you’re in public, you’re going to be observed and possibly recorded by citizens. Anyone with a camera and an internet connection is a journalist these days.
Sorry to get you in trouble, Bill Line, but put on a helmet!