Friday, August 11, 2006

Signs Of the Times

This week I was making a quick stop at the bus stop to drop someone off when I was hassled by an employee who informed me I was in a Bus Only lane. He insisted that there were signs "everywhere" and hinted that perhaps I was an idiot if I didn't see them. Since I was well aware that the signs were in fact not present, this really got me fired up. To top the whole thing off, he told me that if something "were to happen" I would be held liable. Whatever the hell that means. I questioned him on it and he stated that "anything can happen". Sounded like a veiled threat to me.

Being that I have some free time on the weekends I decided to write a nice letter to Fairfax County DOT and ask them to clarify the claims their employee made. I also photographed the area and its lack of no bus signs and put them into a power point presentation. Yeah, I know, I'm an asshole. The letter is below, and the power point presentation is HERE.

Letter:

Loren XXXXXXX

XXXX XXXX XXXXXXX

Reston, VA

Fairfax County Department of Transportation
12055 Government Center Parkway
Suite 1034

Fairfax, VA 22035-5511

Good Day,

I am writing in regards to a conversation I had on Tuesday, August 8th at approximately 6:40am while dropping off a passenger at the Wiehle Avenue Kiss and Ride. I had the pleasure of meeting one of the supervisors (although I have no further information on what he supervises). He informed me that I was driving my vehicle in an area exclusively reserved for busses. Furthermore he notified me that I would be held liable for “anything that may happen”. He additionally indicated that the area was covered with “Bus Only” signs and suggested that perhaps I was unaware of my surroundings and should be a better observer. Unfortunately, there were a number of things about this conversation that are causing me great concern and hopefully you can clear them up for me.

Firstly, I have been unable to locate the signs he referenced. I returned to the terminal the following day and spent nearly 90 minutes checking all of the signs in the area, and much to my dismay, none of them were related to bus only traffic. My primary reason for concern with this is, I have spent many years in fields of work that require me to be a trained observer. My inability to detect the location of these signs can only mean my vision is failing on a massive scale, pranksters have removed the signs, or there may be something more sinister at work. Either way, it doesn’t sound good.

Secondly, the issue of liability is also a source of consternation. Can you please clarify for me what exactly I would be liable for? Does this liability have a radius? Is the said liability limited to vehicular liability or pedestrian as well? Is there a time limit, what if something happens in the area my car was in after my departure? When I asked the supervisor about this he explained to me that “anything can happen”. Anything is such a broad term. What if someone trips on an oil slick while walking to the bus and breaks an ankle, a driver sees it, recoils in fear, stomps on the gas and strikes a parked car. Will I still be liable? If so, then I must insist that signs be erected to tell others of their liability. Surely they will want to increase their insurance to compensate for this. You may want to consider sending out some kind of mailer as well, people really need to know about it.

I have taken the liberty of photographing the area and preparing a Power Point presentation as well as the original photos used to prepare the presentation. If you could review this and provide me with a clearer explanation as to the location of the “Bus Only” signs, and the extent of my liability I would appreciate it!

Regards,

-Loren Bachman

Thursday, August 03, 2006

New Galleries, New Pictures

We've rebuilt the galleries on the studio site. It was a pain in the ass, so the least you could do is go look at it and tell us what you think.

Thanks!

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