Pedestrian Struck at 4th and Mass Ave, NW

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Dear PoPville,

Last week, you had a story on a bike pinned under a bus at 4th and Massachusetts. I live at that corner, and have been watching out my window as police and emergency workers deal with what appears to be a pedestrian pinned under a dump truck.

Two person-versus-heavy vehicle accidents in less than a week at the same spot. Tells you something about the dangers of our very messy intersection.

@DCPoliceDept tweets:

“Pedestrian Struck at 4th St &Mass. Ave, NW. Street Closures: Mass Ave btwn 5th & 3rd St, SB 4th St btwn I & H St’s.”

18 Comment

  • I live on that corner as well. My guess is that the issue is people coming down 4th and making a left on Mass. They have a green arrow and think they have the right of way but the pedestrian countdown sign still gives people the chance to walk. I have been honked at by numerous cars while crossing over Mass because they assume the green arrow gives them the right of way.

    • *They don’t have a green arrow… just a green light…

    • If there is a green arrow, its a reasonable assumption that the car has the right of way. If there is a crosswalk indicator to the contrary, that is a mistake. DDOT should change it so these 2 things are not happening simultaneously.

      • justinbc

        +1 … hopefully the poster meant green light, otherwise that’s a major malfunction in design / implementation

      • There is no green arrow. Just a solid green with a walk/flashing hand the entire light cycle. So at no point is it a reasonable assumption the car has the right of way.

      • I’m not sure about this intersection, but I am positive that this occurs at 11th and Mass. Everyday I think it is ripe for a pedestrian accident. The city should not allow this to continue.

  • Heart goes out to the victim and hope he or she is ok and makes a speedy recovery.

    This complex of intersections is markedly better than it was 2-3 years ago but still is tough and 4th Street turning onto Mass/395 really is the source of most problems (with blocking the box on H street across Mass and left-turners from Mass to 395 being the other major sources of problems). Not sure what the answer is but I do wonder why there is so much traffic on southbound 4th street to 395. The light is laughably short and pedestrians are almost always present slowing left turns even more. I guess skipping a quarter mile of 395 or so is worth it to them?

    • Avoidance of the speed camera on 395?

    • Approaching from NJ ave (then turning onto NY ave briefly) or coming east on NY ave are always very crowded. the Mass ave entrance is not much quicker, but the delays in approaching don’t occur right at the entrance, rather they are a light or two removed. I like to go down 6th and take Mass because I feel like I am moving a bit rather than waiting at a light for two or three cycles. But probably not quicker.

      Also, I believe they recently restricted the left turn onto Mass from 4th, I think it depends on the time of day, but I could be imagining that.

      • I recently submitted a 311 report on the light during eve rush… got this response back Sir/Madam:Based upon your initial complaint regarding this issue Commander Hickson directed First District personnel to investigate. The investigating officers found that there are conflicting street signs causing the problem. The signs were photographed and the intersection was diagramed, and this information was forwarded to DDOT for them to correct the signage. Unfortunately, MPDC has no control over the placement of street signs, this is solely a function of DDOT. The Commander has determined that he will not direct First District personnel to provide enhanced enforcement at the intersection until the signage issues are corrected.

  • Wasn’t there an accident here last week??

  • Actually, while there is no green arrow as Dave mentions, a green arrow would solve a lot of problems. I’m not sure if that’s what happened, but I know when I get on 395 in the morning, everyone is rushing to get through the 13 second light instead of looking for pedestrians (which, in 5 lanes of traffic, are sometimes hard to see with bigger cars around). Giving cars a green arrow and then giving the pedestrians their full 30 seconds to walk would do a lot of good.

  • I know this “pedestrian”. She is still in critical condition. Shame on this city for having a huge surplus in their budget, yet being too riddled with scandal to protect its citizens from senseless tragedies such as these. Shame on you DC, shame on YOU.

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