“he had to jump to avoid a car as it almost struck him, he was then drilled in the back by the white van”


A reader reports:

“It might be time for better yellow crosswalk signs, stop signs or a yield sign in the middle of the street on Columbia Rd between 16th and 19th, just like 18th street has received.

I walked out of my apartment this morning to see a man crossing Columbia Rd at Mintwood Pl and watched as he had to jump to avoid a car as it almost struck him. Circling that car he was drilled in the back by the white van pictured. He was loaded into an ambulance by gurney and taken to hospital. While police took statements from 3 witnesses that stayed on scene (myself included).

The response time was 7 minutes for fire and 15 for police, but at what point is something going to be done about this and the several other crosswalks on Colombia Rd which don’t really need (or want) a light, but we need something more.”

94 Comment

  • Lower speed limits on every road in town. More time for drivers to react to pedestrians means less pedestrians getting hit by cars.

    • Good idea in theory, but reckless drivers already aren’t paying attention to speed limit signs. These sorts of problems need rumble strips, flashing pedestrian lights, speed bumps, and stop signs.

      • All of this. Also, a lot more enforcement–both from cameras and live police officers.

      • justinbc

        Yep. Better signs and lower speed limits won’t matter to entitled drivers who ignore each because the road “belongs” to them.

      • The original scope of the streetscape project on 18th street included this stretch of Columbia Road. It suggested a tree lined median to calm traffic as well as, if memory serves, bulb outs to shorten cross walk lengths. That stretch of Columbia has a lot of frenzied drivers and those changes would slow them down and beautify the street. Maybe time to revisit those ideas

        • randomduck


          The road already needs a wholesale repaving, preferably with a concrete deck rather than soon-to-be-pothole-laden asphalt. While they do this, DDOT can redo the streetscape and install traffic calming elements.

        • I can see where this would happen on this part of Columbia Road. I take the road mostly from eighteenth eastward, and even though there are traffic crossings without lights, the pace of the traffic tends to keep speeds low. It’s that curve right around Mintwood that get speeds up.`

          I’m all for lights, and treescapes, but I hope no bumps. The potholes on that road already make for bone jarring rides.

    • +1
      Also, continuing driver education to re-educate drivers about how to share the road and use it safely. People learn how to drive when they’re teenagers and bad habits last a lifetime.

    • Useful only when there is enforcement of traffic laws by the police. As DC gets more densely populated the MPD needs to prioritize visible and consistent enforcement of traffic laws – both to protect the public and to make it obvious that breaking the law will no longer be tolerated.

    • Very timely article in the Post today. It’s geared toward cyclists, but applies to pedestrians as well: http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/04/15/dont-make-bicyclists-more-visible-make-cars-stop-running-them-over/?hpid=z3

  • Hopefully, his injuries aren’t serious.
    It’s broad daylight in a clearly marked crosswalk…if that isn’t enough to see someone, then I agree, they need a light or stop sign.
    Glad there were witnesses.

  • Actually, a pair of speed bumps 50 to 75 feet before any un-lighted crosswalk would be a good policy measure to implement throughout the city. Drivers are oblivious and/or reckless.

  • i swear I am seconds from dying every time I cross 14th from my work to grab a drink from Teds. It’s all most always out of state drivers speeding and not looking out for pedestrians, cross walks, bike lanes & bikers.

    • I always take it slow when crossing unlighted/signed crosswalks. Then I started walking to work, and found out its just as bad with stop signs in place. Actually got yelled at. Ugh! I always slow down at crosswalks even if someone is standing on the sidewalk. Not only are you risking an injury to someone else, you’re risking a huge bill. If you care nothing about those around you, the huge bill should be a motivator to take it easy.

    • Agreed about risking death on 14th. Same applies to 15th.
      But 14th Street has become so busy that I honestly think they should remove the unlighted crosswalks. There are plenty of lighted crosswalks to utilize and cars are quickly weaving in/out of traffic (i.e. many are driving too fast and don’t have time to stop). Same goes for 15th Street. I’ll walk up half a block to get to the light rather than risking my life with a dumb driver, hoping that they see me.

      • Especially with 15th, which is set up for traffic to hit all the green lights and move quickly out of town. No one is going to stop for you at an unlighted crosswalk, so might as well remove them – would make it safer.

        • I don’t think 15th is nearly as bad because it’s one way. There also aren’t that many cars entering the traffic flow north of RI Ave. I find the unlighted crosswalks very convenient and relatively safe–you just time your crossing with the red light at the next intersection south of you.

        • This will not make it safer. Pedestrians have the right of way at all intersections regardless of whether there is a marked crosswalk, lighted or unlighted.

          A crosswalk exists at the curbline of every intersection whether painted in the roadway or not. In other words, if a pedestrian is in the roadway of the intersection where you would expect to see a painted crosswalk, they are in fact in a crosswalk, and you must yield the right of way.

          The problem, as with most traffic laws and accidents, is that drivers do not know or abide by the law in ways that risk life and limb for everyone.

          • And I think it’s stupid to risk my life simply because I’m technically in-the-right. I also think it’s dumb for other people to risk their lives at an unlighted cross walk (especially at night).
            But I wouldn’t expect anything less in a city full of lawyers. Being in-the-right won’t mitigate injuries or years of physical therapy. I pretty much avoid unlighted crosswalks at all times.

      • I think they should just put flashers on the unlighted crosswalks.

      • Removing the painted crosswalks will only make it less safe. Per DC law every intersection is a crosswalk (unless signs indicate otherwise). Pedestrians have the right-of-way in both marked and unmarked crosswalks. Removing the paint doesn’t mean taking away pedestrian’s right to cross there.

        • Agree that the city shouldn’t just remove the crosswalks and assume the problem will go away…pedestrians in this city seem to cross wherever they want, so at least a crosswalk offers some sense of order. That said, there’s a responsibility for pedestrians to LOOK BOTH WAYS, just as your momma should have taught you. Drivers are usually distracted and/or speeding, and all too often I’ve seen pedestrians walk directly into traffic without even looking.

        • HaileUnlikely

          There is actually a large body of research that contradicts your first sentence. Although you are correct that taking away the paint does not take away a pedestrian’s *right* to cross there, it does greatly reduce the *probability* that a pedestrian will try to, and it hardly has any effect one way or the other on the probability that a driver will yield to a pedestrian. Note: I am not saying that the paint should be there or that it shouldn’t be there, what I am saying is just that there are lots and lots of studies showing that taking away the paint does not make it less safe, and if anything, might actually make it safer.

    • It’s pretty much every crosswalk and intersection in the city. I walk everywhere and am not exaggerating when I say I am nearly hit at least twice a day. There is a lot of red light running and drivers who don’t care about getting very, very close to pedestrians. I always give drivers an extra 5 seconds when crosswalk signals change to make it through the red and always look behind me before crossing to make sure no one is going to turn into me. Cops don’t care when drivers put pedestrians in dangerous situations- you’re really on your own as a pedestrian in the city.

      • So much THIS. What is up with the red light runners??? I saw a van cab make a left turn on a red the other day. The light hadn’t just changed. He was sitting at the red light for a while and then decided to make the left turn before the light turned green. What the actual F!

        • Unfortunately, that kind of driving is very common. I also notice lots of drivers making turns try to out-run pedestrians entering into the crosswalk right when the light turns, which means that drivers are gunning it into a crosswalk inches from pedestrians who rightly believe they have the go-ahead to walk. Cab drivers are particularly bad about this.

    • justinbc

      Yeah, I don’t miss running through 14th and 16th St crosswalks. Easily the most blatant abuses of crosswalk driving I’ve witnessed in the city.

    • Yes 14th street is the worst. I recommend attaching a small sharp piece of metal to your bag. If a car doesn’t stop just turn to the side so it scratches the car. This is a highly effective deterrent.

  • I’ve found that busses and taxis are the worst offenders here, but during rush hour it seems like no one wants to stop. I almost always have to walk out into the middle of traffic before cars decide to slow down, which is both frustrating and dangerous. I think it’s less an issue of drivers knowing there’s a crosswalk and more an issue of them not wanting to slow down or stop. Maybe stationing police there to hand out tickets for a couple weeks would help?

    • I don’t think we have enough police to cover all the problem areas. Yea, this stuff happens all the time. Playing chicken with cars isn’t fun!

      • That’s probably true re: police time, but it doesn’t have to be permanent – just stick those crosswalks in with the usual rotation of ticketing cyclists and people at stop signs for a week or two to act as a deterrent.

    • More crosswalk cameras! The city would make bank, at least.

    • I actually think taxis are pretty good; they’re trained to look for pedestrians and I rarely find one riding up on me. Not to beat a cliché, but it’s usually Maryland plates that are about to rub my shin.

      • it’s the cabs AND the MD drivers. Every. single. time.

      • I have to disagree 100% with your claim about taxis. And come down closer to where the VA drivers are coming in and out of the city and you will see that they are just as bad as the MD drivers. If it appears that they are worse it’s only because you cross paths with a lot more of them.

        • That’s true but Virginia drivers, on average, tend to only drive into the city for their job and then run away as fast as possible. Maryland surrounds DC on 3 of its 4 sides, so it’s logical that we’d have to endure far more of them on a regular basis in our neighborhoods than just the commuters racing from downtown to 395.

          • One time my girlfriend’s brother, who lives in Springfield and only comes in to DC for work, called to ask me if I could give him a ride to his car which had been towed. He gave me the address and I said “Isn’t this two blocks from your office?”. The guy’s been working at Federal Triangle for decades and still is only familiar with a handful of streets!

        • I live on 14th and work near Lenfant. The drivers trying to get to 395 are insane and impatient. I must say that the most careless drivers are Maryland drivers.

      • When I lived in Adams Morgan I was constantly surprised that cabs routinely stopped at the unlighted ped crossings *provided* I was standing on the edge of traffic waiting to cross the road. In fact there would often be a line of non-cab traffic barreling down Columbia Road that would only cease when a cab stopped to let me cross. The critical element seemed to be *waiting* for the traffic to slow/stop rather than just wandering blindly into the crosswalk. As others on the thread have noted, there’s responsibility of pedestrians to avoid creating an unsafe situation by walking in front of speeding traffic. My sense is that cab drivers are more often than not scanning the sides of the street for fares and will therefore stop for pedestrians if there’s someone waiting on the edge of an unlighted crosswalk.

        • Exactly. I live in Adams Morgan and, at least in the central urban neighborhoods, taxis are your best friend as a pedestrian. When I said they’re trained to look for pedestrians, I didn’t mean in a literally sense but in the sense that they drive the city everyday and, like a bike rider constantly scanning, they’re just accustomed to looking out for anything popping in front of them.

          Suburban drivers tend to be more accustomed to zoning out on the road because the roads are built for a homogenous use out there. Suburban drivers are the ones who terrify me, not cabbies.

  • Thanks for reporting, definitely a city-wide issue. Any suggestions for planting seeds for change, e.g. DDoT, Ward Consituent Services, Office of the Mayor (HA)? I think speed humps or rumble strips leading to these crosswalks would be a great solution.

    • Every ANC has a transit committee that addresses these things, you’d see this sort of thing for neighborhood issues on their docket monthly.

  • I have to say, though, even signs aren’t enough in reality. I have to cross 19th Street right outside the World Bank and IMF to get to class in the evening. I’ve almost been killed so many times because people simply don’t respect the right of way of pedestrians. Moreover, when there are multiple lanes of traffic, it’s difficult for drivers to see a pedestrian past a car that has actually stopped at the crosswalk. Too often someone will actually stop for me, but they’ll be blocking the view for the next person who won’t see me and zoom right through the intersection. This just isn’t a place that will simply stop for pedestrians at crosswalks. We need stop signs or traffic lights.

    • Except that’s not practical at all crosswalks. What we need is for the police to do their job and enforce laws.

      • Right, because the supply of police in D.C. is so large that we can station one at each and every crosswalk.

        • Right, because to enforce laws we need cops everywhere all the time. Is everything with you 100% or 0%?

          It works in many cities around the country to have periodic enforcement. The fear that you MAY get a ticket is perhaps not as strong as the fear you DEFINITELY WILL, but it sure is a heck of a lot better than being sure that nothing will ever happen.

          So please explain why occasional enforcement wouldn’t help. If we’ve got enough police to ticket cyclists and pedestrians, I fail to see why we don’t have enough to enforce laws for the only mode of transport that constantly kills people in this city.

          • I would love to see more enforcement. But enforcement on its own has its limits. That’s why you see speed bumps on many residential streets — to force people to slow down. I think adding stop signs at problem crosswalks like this one would be a good idea.

  • 15 minutes for the cops to show up?? there are cops stationed at the 7-11 four blocks south 24-7 and it still takes 15 minutes?

  • This stretch can be really bad. In particular the stretch that is Columbia/Wyoming/19th – even when the school crossing guard is there, people regularly treat that area as though there is no stop sigh. Always a bad intersection even though it’s a highly residential area.

    • Yes! I see people run the stop sign there every day (mostly northbound)!

      One day there were cops standing across the street when it happened. I told them and they just shrugged.

  • Over near Stanton Park in NE on Maryland Ave there are several crosswalks and big yellow signs saying yield to pedestrians it’s DC law…several times I have tried to cross drivers seem to not care at all they keep zooming by when pedestrians are clearly trying to cross…I will say that the parked cars on the adjoining curbs don’t help…pedestrians are often blocked from view by these cars and have to almost go into the crosswalk at the risk of almost being hit in order to see if any cars are approaching

    • And not just at Stanton Park…Maryland Ave is a nightmare to cross all the way up. They’ve done a bit to help, like at the library on 8th(?), but it’s still insane how fast people go.

      • 7th and D (and a little of Maryland) – yes, they now have barriers, but cars still don’t signal whether they’re turning right on D or 7th or going straight on Maryland and definitely don’t slow down for pedestrians. Even with the “Stop for pedestrians” signs, crossing Maryland is a crapshoot.

    • The sight lines at many of the crossings up and down Maryland Ave NE, East Capitol, and around Lincoln and Stanton Parks are really bad. They’re even worse if you’re in one of the bike lanes. Removing a parking spot before each crossing would really improve visibility, but we know how sensitive that is.

  • This is a widespread problem in the entire city from Foggy Bottom all the way to RFK Stadium. It’s almost as if drivers think the crosswalks are just a guideline for pedestrians who don’t know how to walk straight. Police do nothing to enforce this and there have been plenty of times where drivers have yelled or honk at me to get out of the street, while on the crosswalk.

  • Ugh, that’s terrible — I hope the pedestrian is OK.
    I remember this crosswalk from when I lived in Adams Morgan. (Fortunately, I didn’t have much occasion to use it.) It seems like adding a stop sign here might be the best course of action.

    • People already ignore the other stop signs in that area – I don’t think a stop sign would help.

      • But they probably at least slow down when rolling through them, right? As opposed to just going through at normal speed?

  • I take my legal right-of-way at mid-block crosswalks when there’s adequate room for a driver to see me and stop, but it’s terrifying every time because some people in cars still think the road was built just for them.

    Of course, people get entitled in all forms of transportation but being in a car adds an element of deadly potential that other forms do not. We just have to keep taking the risk, stepping in front of them and forcing them to stop until they learn to share.

  • Bad drivers are bad drivers. No sign or light is really going to make them good drivers.

    Though, I do have to question the accuracy of all of these comments supposing they take their lives into their hands when crossing streets. I cross streets quite a lot and have had one close call and that was 11 years ago this summer. I’ve seen plenty of ridiculous driving antics, but nearly being hit in a crosswalk isn’t something that I recall happening with any frequency.

    However, I also do a lot of driving and what I have experienced quite a lot of is pedestrians entering the intersection/beginning to cross when cars, myself included, are too close to stop safely. Cars are supposed to yield to pedestrians IN crosswalks. This doesn’t mean that every pedestrian who has a power complex should jump out in front of cars just because they’ll have to stop. The rule is cars have to stop for pedestrians if the pedestrian has entered the cross walk before the car arrives. There is the expectation that both the ped and the driver will act responsibly. Far too often have I witnessed pedestrians entering the crosswalk in front of approaching car that is quite close and either get pissed that the car keeps going or miffed that they had to slam on their brakes. Don’t even get me started on the peds that just stand on the curb and get all huffy with cars not stopping…. Obviously that’s not much of a safety issue…

    • I’m a daily pedestrian and it really is that bad in a lot of areas. It’s up to everyone- driver or pedestrian- to follow the laws and pay attention to their surroundings. If we could all manage that, we’d be a lot safer.

    • I walk every day. I cross in crosswalks when I have the right of way, and am almost hit on a regular basis by drivers disobeying the law. Your experience is rare.

    • @anonx: I don’t think that’s true. At least it doesn’t mention it here:


      In fact it says, “(a) The driver of a vehicle shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross the roadway within any marked crosswalk, or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, when the pedestrian is upon the lane, or within one lane approaching the lane, on which the vehicle is traveling or onto which it is turning.”

      If you can’t stop in time for a pedestrian, then you’re probably driving too fast.

      • Quoting one part of the code that actually supports part of my point isnt an effective way of telling me I’m wrong.

    • I’m with you, Anon X – I have been walking in DC for my daily commute for 20 years, and I can only readily recall one time that I felt close to being hit in a crosswalk (and that was at night). Perhaps I’m more cautious/aware of my surroundings than others. Also, I never assume a car will stop for me. I know that anecdotal evidence of two people doesn’t debunk anything or mean that it’s not an issue, but I’m surprised that so many people say they are almost hit “on a daily basis”. Good lord – I would never leave the house!

      • That’s funny. I had a car actually start accelerating into me just 2 days ago when he saw me while he was turning left. He thought he could scare me but I stood my ground and he slammed his breaks.

        Drivers like to use the 2,000 pounds of steal they use to buy a gallon of milk to threaten manslaughter but when you present the very real possibility to them, they tend to not like the legal fees and time commitment of the whole endeavor.

    • You’re obviously a discourteous and dangerous driver. If you cannot stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk, you’re driving to fast. There is nothing in the law about “who gets there first”. A pedestrian waiting to cross has the RIGHT-OF-WAY. This means that THEY are allowed to proceed and you must give way. That means you in your car need to STOP. They are NOT supposed to yield to you despite what you say.

      Besides, you lost all credibility when you said this is not a problem in this city. Seems everyone else here disagrees with you. It’d drivers like you who are the problem.

      • Actually, you’re wrong. “waiting to cross the street” does not give you the right of way. being WITHIN the crosswalk gives you the right of way.

        And, to the topic of always being able to stop, that doesnt even pass the most basic test. No matter the speed, there is a certain distance at which a driver will take to stop. If the cross walk is under that distance, then the driver cannot stop. Its called physics. If the speed limit is 35 MPH that is actually a fairly long distance.

        AND, yes, “who gets there first” is just a basic traffic law. It applies to how four way stops work, and it applies to who has the right of way. That is why the law is phrased the way it is in the abovementioned section. Basically, cars arent allowed to hit pedestrians and pedestrians arent supposed to jump out in front of near by cars in order to make them stop. As a pedestrian, you wait until there is a reasonable break, you get into the cross walk, and then you are protected by the law. Standing around on the curb you aren’t in the crosswalk. Walking into the crosswalk with a car rapidly approaching and do not

        And, to my record as a driver, I havent had a ticket (even camera ticket) or accident (well one that was my fault, I was hit by a drunk driver) since I was a teenager and I have driven several thousand miles a year since then.

        Since we’re taking wild stabs in the dark about people on the internet, it sounds like you’re one of the asshole pedestrians who thinks its their right to hurry up to get into the crosswalk, or worse yet, get into the crosswalk just to make a car stop. I’ve seen you before. You walk as slowly as possible and stare me down as you cross in front of me.

  • sad to see this but im not at all surprised…i live a couple of blocks from there and those crosswalks between 19th and 18th are all very dangerous…on the other hand disappointing response time from MPD considering they are usually hanging out all over that area and the stations is just a few blocks away on 17th. lots of takeaways from this accidents

    • You can’t always see a person at a crosswalk. It could have easily been blocked by the car on the right (even though the van had a higher vantage point). Crosswalks suck…..

  • I hope the white van driver is charged and served a lawsuit. Even though the guy was jumping out of the way of another car, that van should have already stopped when he saw the person in the street. That driver is not innocent.

  • Identification of what is a cross walk varies across the city. There’s no lights at most of them, sometimes you’re relying on up to 8 drivers to all see you and voluntarily give way. Turn right on red, cars and pedestrians all being told to go at the same time, untrained cyclists not obeying rules of the road and out of state drivers. I thought guns were going to be my biggest concern moving here. MpD should spend a day at a crosswalk issuing tickets for not giving way to pedestrians.

  • Based on my non-scientific survey of the number of drivers I see every day texting while they drive, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that the driver was distracted by a cell phone.

  • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The problem are crosswalks themselves. It is a ridiculous idea to have a crosswalk on a busy street without a streetlight. it’s just an accident waiting to happen. For example, the crosswalks on GW Parkway by the Key Bridge, and on Canal Rd by Fletcher’s Boat House are two of the worst ideas of any kind I’ve seen. It’s insane. You won’t find such crosswalks in many other countries. Cars just do not stop at crosswalks unless they see a person at the intersection, and sometimes it’s just not feasible to see the person. The car next to it often blocks the view.

    • But removing the crosswalks won’t help if there’s no other place to cross as in your examples. People will still cross there because there’s no choice.

  • nightborn

    Hope this person’s injuries are not too severe. I have been honked at, yelled at and flipped off for crossing 16th, 15th and 14th streets at crosswalks – a lot of drivers seem to think they have the right of way and are doing you some sort of favor by stopping. And I’m always super careful to make sure I’m not jumping out in front of a rapidly approaching vehicle or anything equally dangerous. It’s the law, people! See a crosswalk with a person about the cross? Slow down/stop!

  • The problem is…those pedestrian signs are USELESS! They need to be taller and light up so drivers and bikers can see that pedestrians are crossing. Yes, it’s more costly, but most people seem to disregard those tiny BS signs anyway. :/

  • Nearly two decades ago I first noticed crosswalks in Europe that have flashing lights along the crosswalk boundaries when pedestrians step into them. Such technology should have been employed in D.C. years ago, at least selectively.

  • I think that better education/enforcement to change the culture is needed. From my experience living in ca, drivers we’re trained to stop when pedestrians were waiting in the sidewalk. At the same time, pedestrians didn’t jaywalk.

    • I know. People talk about this like there is no solution. Enforcing rules makes people obey them. In Calif. they do, here they don’t. It’s pretty obvious.

  • i live on that block, and yeah. that crosswalk is bad (i rarely use it for this exact reason), but even where there are posted stops, i have to constantly keep an eye out. one block down columbia is a 3-way stop sign where cars and buses rarely do a full stop – that’s where i normally cross. a block from that is a a lighted intersection with kalorama where cars make right turns into the pedestrians. a block from that is a 4way stop with 19th that’s even worse, where the cars and buses will accelerate through the intersection towards pedestrians because they are impatient or don’t pay attention. i’ve almost been hit at all 3 on numerous occasions, especially crossing columbia at 19th.

  • I CROSS THAT STREET EVERYDAY TO GET TO THE BUS IN THE MORNING. I’ve almost gotten hit on multiple occasions because the cars on Columbia Road repeatedly ignore the pedestrian crossing signs and the drivers fail to yeild or even realize they are going through a walk way. The same thing happens along 18th street on the other side of Belmont Road in Adams Morgan. Is the solution to put up bigger, brighter signs?

  • Thanks all for the supportive words and for coverage of the incident I experienced Wednesday morning. I’ve almost been hit a few times before this occasion, as I live right on 18th. Thank you to the bystanders who stayed with me until the medics and police came. In the end, my injuries were not very serious–a banged up right leg from where I hit the pavement, a concussion, and pain and soreness all over my body. This is the first time since being treated in the hospital that I’ve been able to use an electronic screen for more than a few seconds due to the concussion, the effects of which have now mostly passed.

    I do have to say that there is a culture of impunity in Washington that contributed to my experience on Columbia Road. Both drivers and pedestrians regularly ignore and violate basic laws meant to keep us safe. I am not innocent myself–I have in the past crossed the street against the light or in the middle of a street (after checking that no one was coming). I have also mistakenly turned a corner while driving when I should have yielded to pedestrians. We have all done these things accidentally or assuming no harm would come of these actions.

    However, at the root of all this is the knowledge that the law is very rarely enforced and that you can generally get away with anything in this city. From my front window on 18th street, I can watch dozens of minor violations of the law in the span of a few minutes. Many times, police are present and also directly observe these violations being committed and do absolutely nothing. Double parking (sometimes employing the magical use of flashers), people standing in the street rather than on the curb while waiting to cross, jaywalking, walking in the middle of the street at a slow pace, not yielding, walking in crosswalks with one’s nose in a smartphone, pausing at a crosswalk while looking at a phone… All these behaviors make vehicle and pedestrian traffic in DC even less predictable. I find pedestrians to often be more guilty of infractions than drivers!

    One constant I see is that the DC police can’t seem to be bothered to write tickets or even warn people for minor infractions in order to put people on notice that we are all responsible for our safety. This is a lawless city and the police allow it to be so. It took 15 minutes for a policewoman to show up at the scene where I was injured. When she asked me what happened, she didn’t even give me a moment to explain about the first red car that sped off after causing me to jump out of the way and into the path of the white van that also should have stopped for me. Brusquely dismissing my statement, the policewoman identified the white van as the one that hit me: case closed. No additional work was desired to attempt to identify the other car or the driver. The easy answer–the one that would get the paperwork done most expediently–was already clear in her mind. She did, however, appear to thoroughly document the scene as she saw it, speaking to Prince of Petworth and the other witnesses. Credit where credit is due, and I look forward to retrieving the police report.

    Thanks again for the coverage and bringing attention to these issues.

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