“Pedestrian hit this morning in crosswalk at 14th and Otis st NW”

“Dear PoPville,

I was walking to the Columbia Heights metro this morning at about 8:45 when I saw that a woman had been hit by a car in the crosswalk at 14th and Otis St NW. I didn’t actually see the accident, but I saw her lying in the road and people were surrounding her trying to help her. The police and ambulance had been called and were just showing up. Just wondering if anyone else was there that wrote in and know if she was ok, or if the driver was caught? It didn’t seem like the firemen who responded at first were in a terribly big rush so I was hoping that meant the woman was going to be ok.

I also heard two other women who were bystanders talking about how this was the second time recently that someone had been hit in that crosswalk and how they wanted a stoplight or stop sign to be placed at that intersection. Maybe this is something we can post to raise awareness for drivers (and pedestrians) to be careful out there.”

On twitter I was sent:

“@PoPville Child struck in crosswalk on 14th street just north of CH. Everyone please slow down….your job can wait 30 seconds.”

Not sure if this is the same incident or if the victim was a child. Anyone else hear anything?

15 Comment

  • MPD facebook says the victim was conscious and breathing.
    I would be on board with another traffic light on that stretch if it were a pedestrian-activated light, like at 14th and Monroe. I fear automatic lights lead to drivers sitting frustrated at an empty intersection, and acting unpredictably as a result (blowing through the next one, for example).
    I also want more enforcement of crosswalks, everywhere. Pedestrians are supposed to have priority in all of the broad-striped crosswalks, and things ARE honestly getting better. It used to be one in five would stop for peds. Now it’s more like half. And I bet it would improve yet further if the speed limit were enforced. But the crosswalks needs to be enforced on their own merits. There is often a cop sitting on 14th in front of the empty Social/ Getaway building. But I’ve never seen anyone pulled over for speeding, running the crosswalk, doubleparking in the bike lane… anything. I don’t know what that cop is there, unless it’s just to babysit those few drug houses around that corner.

    • Both drivers and pedestrians are just as guilty of not following the laws. I can’t tell you how many times I enter a crosswalk and cars do not stop. On the flipside, I commute out and back in the city every day and the pedestrians are terrible–they cross when I have a green light or they start crossing when they’ve run out of time to walk, but are on their phones not paying attention. The worst is when you’re driving along and a crosswalk is nowhere in sight, but a pedestrian pops out of nowhere in front of your car! Police need to do more to ticket drivers who do not stop for pedestrians as well as ticket pedestrians who put their own lives at risk.

      • Agree. The stretch of 14th Street between Upshur and Newton is really scary to drive. So many folks run out between cars and cross where there are not crosswalks. As it gets darker, it becomes really hard to see people. Just today, 2 pedestrians screamed at me for not stopping for them illegally crossing 16th Street in the middle of the road, no crosswalk in sight.

        That being said, plenty of drivers fly down 14th street and really don’t treat it like a residential area, which in many ways it is. We all need to follow the rules better.

      • MPD simply needs to bring back the Traffic Division and crack down on violations. Unfortunately, Bowser has stated publically that she thinks the current level of enforcement “is fine”. I disagree with her.

    • Yes to everything you said. I live near this intersection and I am super careful when I cross 14th in a crosswalk without a traffic light/stop sign because I have seen way too many motorists who don’t stop. At the very least we need more of those signs in the road telling people to stop for pedestrians in crosswalk that also list the fine for failing to do so. As a driver, I find those very effective. When I bike I make sure to stop for pedestrians waiting to use crosswalks without lights or stop signs and it amazes me how all other car and bike traffic will zoom past. As a driver, cyclist and pedestrian I try to be super conscious about it. I hope the person who was struck is able to make a full recovery.

    • Pedestrians have the right of way in ALL unsignalized crosswalks, no matter whether they use the parallel line or high-visibility zebra stripe paint patterns.

      In fact, a legal crosswalk exists at all intersections unless there is a specific pedestrian prohibition. Pedestrians technically have the right of way here too.

      Also, not sure what you’re thinking of, but the light at 14th and Monroe NW is not activated by pedestrians. It’s on a regular timed cycle, there isn’t even a button for pedestrians to push.

      • You’re right, I meant 14th and Meridian, by Johnny’s Carryout. That one has a button.
        Park View Res, I agree with you. Pedestrians need to be held to the same standard, and use crosswalks and obey signals, always. I would feel no sympathy for someone who got a jaywalking ticket.
        Anonymous, you have my sincere appreciation! Bikes stop/slow even less frequently than cars, by a lot. They just assume you will have cleared their path by the time they get there, I guess. Or they think they can swerve around you at the last minute. But especially when I’m walking with a little kid, it’s frightening to have a cyclist barreling down on me with zero intention of acknowledging my right of way.

    • Agreed! we need much much much much more enforcement. I cross several unsignaled crosswalks with the yellow sign in the middle of the road saying cars must yield every day. It never fails that I’m honked at least once by a car who has to slow slightly (not even stop, just slow) as I’m walking across.

      In other countries, as soon as you step off the curb, everyone stops. We can do that here.

    • I was driving behind two motorcycle cops yesterday afternoon on Maryland NE. A woman was crossing in a zebra crosswalk, standing on the median (with a stroller), and neither of the cops attempted to stop to let her cross (and neither did the car in front of them). Absolutely blew me away.

  • Damn. Glad she’s alive. I live there and look both ways twice before trying it. People are always gunning up the hill there.

  • Sad, but not at all surprising. Cars regularly blow through stop signs, red lights, and crosswalks on 14th. And on 13th., 11th., etc. And pedestrians completely ignore the crosswalks and walk across 4 lines of traffic against the light while texting. DC is truly third-world when it comes to traffic safety. If only something could be done.

    • Look, I agree that we need more enforcement and I agree that cars blow through stop signs (nearly got hit by one last night) and never stop at crosswalks. And lately there seems to be a trend of drivers stopping at a red light and then proceeding if no traffic is around.

      But I don’t think you know anything about third world traffic safety if you think DC is that bad. For example–in Hanoi, 30 people die in traffic accidents on average each day. DC had 26 in total in 2013. Hanoi is about 10x bigger than DC in population so if we were as bad, we’d expect to have 1/10 of the traffic fatalities or somewhere near there. But in fact Hanoi has more than 400x the rate of traffic fatalities of Washington.

  • As both a sometime pedestrian, and sometime driver, I really wish that people were a bit more aware of their surroundings, both walking and driving. There are crappy drivers, who blow through cross walks, and there are crappy pedestrians who walk out in front of cars, cross while not in crosswalks, or when their light is red.

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