Dear Bike Messengers Hanging Outside 17th & L Potbelly’s: Stop Harassing Women!

“Dear Bike Messengers Hanging Outside 17th & L Potbelly’s: Stop Harassing Women!”

Location: 17th and L st NW
Time: Daytime (9:30am-3:30pm)

There’s a group of bike messengers that have made the entrance to Potbellies (sic) and the Kita building their home. They stand there all day, hollering at women, asking them to smile, saying all sorts of terrible things. I’ve confronted them, saying “hey, you seem like nice guys. Could you please stop harassing women? We’re not objects and it’s really not ok.” They smiled and laughed it off, and were right back at it.

I’ve asked the building manager to do something, she’s gone to lecture but no success. It won’t stop. I just don’t know what else to do. Every day.

Submitted 3/7/14 by Anonymous.

UPDATE: With your help, we let @Potbelly and @GoldenTriDC know that street harassment is bad for both the community and for business. We heard from at east three other individuals that they had also experienced or witnessed street harassment at this area. Within less than an hour, Potbelly’s customer service arm, @PotbellyService, tweeted to let us know that they would contact Potbelly’s District Manager to look into the issue. We hope the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID) looks into the issue as well and — perhaps most importantly — that area bike messenger services take note and teach their employees about the personal and economic harms of street harassment. Thank you to all who joined us in spreading awareness about this problem.

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Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault? Submit your story to help raise awareness about the pervasiveness and harmful effects of street harassment. All submissions are posted anonymously unless otherwise specified. If you experience or have experienced sexual harassment on the DC Metro system: Whether the event is happening at the moment or occurred months ago, we strongly encourage you to report to Metro Transit Police (MTP): or 202-962-2121. Reporting helps identify suspects as well as commons trends in harassment. You can program MTP’s number into your phone so you can easily reach them when needed. If you need assistance in coping with public sexual harassment or assault, please contact the DC Rape Crisis Center (DCRCC) 24/7 crisis hotline at 202-333-RAPE (202-333-7279).