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Cyclist Seriously Injured in Petworth After Hit and Run. Reader Reports Cyclist was in Crosswalk

by Prince Of Petworth August 23, 2016 at 11:10 am 52 Comments

bike death

A reader reported just before 5:30pm on Monday:

“Woman on a bike just got crushed in the crosswalk at Warder and Rock Creek. Car pulled over a block away and passengers bailed.”

The Washington Post also reported:

“A bicyclist was struck by a car and seriously injured Monday afternoon in what appeared to be a hit and run incident…Details of her condition were not available immediately.”

  • Eric Luntz

    Smh. I’ve been nearly hit by cars as a pedestrian while crossing nearby at New Hampshire & Quincy multiple times.

    • ParkViewneighbor

      This intersection is a s***-show
      Trying to cross NH on this weird 2-stage pedestrian crosswalk is playing with your life. Can they just put a stop sign ?
      I saw a huge collision about a month ago there, one car got severely t-boned and proceeded to drive away. I did my duty for once in my life and went after the car leaving (stopped at Ga and Quincy light) and snapped a pix of the car and licence plate, only to be confronted by the aggressive MD driver who didn’t appreciate the pictures. Luckily, he was stopped in his tracks by my snarling dog and just moved back to finally see the damages he had done to the other car whose occupants were shaking on the ground.

      Maybe our dear fearless Brandon could do something about it ???? Since he is not really doing anything at all, that would be an easy positive impact from him

      • jonah

        DDOT is including a study of this intersection as part of the Rock Creek East Livability study. See IC-04 on page 27. http://rockcreekeast2.com/draft-recommendations/#page/26

      • C_petworth

        I use to live at Taylor and NH. That crossing is also as bad as NH and Quincy. The neighborhood tried forever to get a stop light and stop signs. If you are heading east on Taylor, it is a complete blind spot for both drivers and people on the cross walk. We witnessed multiple accidents including a pedestrian in a wheel chair and nothing ever happened.

        NH is a major artery into the city but Petworth is a family friendly pedestrian neighborhood. Most of the local kids walk to school. There has to be some sort of compromise.

        • Taylor and NH is so scary–I have almost been hit there while walking my dogs–it’s also from people traveling down NH who just blatantly ignore the pedestrian crossing signs, or don’t slow down when I start walking, which is very scary.

        • jonah

          DDOT is also studying the NH and Taylor intersection as part of the same Rock Creek East study.

      • neighbor

        Thanks to the ANC we apparently will never have better traffic in NH. In the last meeting ANC 4C voted against the livability study recommendations for traffic calming SIGHT UNSEEN because of worries about church parking.
        Timothy Jones, among others, is oddly beholden to MD drivers who go to church in our community and would literally rather see cyclists die in the street than walk an extra block to church. It’s sickening and despicable.

    • saf

      Folks, there are lights at both GA and NH and Randolph and NH. Why not go to one of those if you don’t feel safe crossing at Quincy and NH?

      • J

        Because they have the right to cross, and it’s up to drivers to drive safely and not them to go out of their way? If people don’t feel safe crossing we need to change driver behavior, not pedestrian behavior. Sometimes I don’t even feel safe crossing at the GA and NH intersection even with the light thanks to how fast drivers come off GA and ignore the crosswalks- should I make a multi-block detour to appease them?

        • stacksp

          I do sometimes to avoid getting hit. I would rather not be hit than be right. I was hit by car at 11 at Rock Creek and Warder and I have been a defensive walker since.

  • petworther

    The situation on the district has really gotten out of hand. I saw the aftermath of another collision this morning on Arkansas just north of 14th. It was hard to tell what happened, but there was a BMW in the northbound late with a completely broken windshield just past the uncontrolled crosswalk at Arkansas and Webster and a man lying on the side of the road twitching uncontrollably and rolling around in pain in the crosswalk.
    People shoot across 14th all the time trying to make the light, my best guess would be someone came up Arkansas at an unreasonable speed and did not see a pedestrian in the crosswalk.
    MPD really needs to get traffic teams on the street, DC is the wild west when it comes to traffic safety. There is constant speeding since everyone knows where the cameras are located; taxis and ubers making midblock u-turns; trucks loading and unloading in bike lanes and crosswalks; people talking on their cell phones and texting; and frequent running of red lights. The situation is completely out of control.

    • Anonymous

      +1 to all of that. People can’t drive responsibly in this town. Hence, we need to put lights and stop signs at every pedestrians crossing in the city. I’m serious.

      • Jack5

        Maybe instead of buying all these speed cameras every year, the city could invest in technology that makes stop lights and crosswalks more responsive and safe, as well as actually updating missing old and broken road signs.

        • textdoc

          It’s not really an either/or.
          And D.C. is starting to use stop-sign cameras to make sure that cars stop at stop signs. So that gives pedestrians a little more of a fighting chance.

    • andy2

      It is not just DC – fatalities are up significantly this year across the country.

    • WestEnd

      I have never seen so many cars flipping over, crashing into bus stops, crashing into houses, running down pedestrians, etc. It really is scary trying to go anywhere in the city.

    • Anony

      What the f#@* is with U-turns with people in this city?? Literally zero regard for other drivers and zero enforcement from MPD

      • Anonymous

        Drivers do it because there’s zero enforcement. And there’s zero enforcement because (1.) there’s a lack of man power to handle the issue and (2.) laissez-faire “go along to get along” institutional attitude of DC government to things like traffic safety, crime, building code violations, etc.
        It’s truly a chicken-egg dilemma.

        • SW 20011

          Yep. DC cracks down on drivers through parking tickets, but that’s where they draw the line because they basically refuse to enforce anything else. You’d think a money-hungry jurisdiction like DC would jump at every opportunity to give out another ticket or, gasp, take a guy/gal with warrants off the streets, but nope. Too bad for pedestrians and cyclists.

          • Angry Parakeet

            Drivers travel from far and wide Georgia Ave just to make U-turns on Georgia from 2400 – 3800 blocks.

      • SoRude

        What gets me is the double parking in the middle of a lane. I see this on 14th Street constantly. I’ll just go ahead and shut down half of a major road while I go into the McDonald’s!

        • SW 20011

          Nothing wrong with that. It’s when they park in the bike lane which is the most infuriating.

        • C_petworth

          I think cars forget about the fact that when the double park they are also creating a huge blind spot for pedestrians and vehicals that need to go around them.

          • Anonymous

            Well, saying they forget it implies that they’ve ever even thought about it. My suspicion is that most folks never really think beyond what is best for them; and it’s a behavior that they see other people doing so they never really bother to think about why maybe you shouldn’t do it.

        • ***

          This! I have never seen this ANYWHERE before I moved to DC. I don’t understand this idea that somehow trips of less than 5-10 minutes means you can double park wherever you please, even if it means double parking in rush hour on a busy road.

    • Glover Park

      I’ve been having this ongoing conversation about how MUCH driving in DC has declined recently, and I really do think that Uber and Lyft are largely to blame. Legitimately, my boyfriend and I were almost in 4 accidents driving from our apartment to Dupont, because of drivers not signalling, or cutting across multiple lanes of traffic rapidly, banging u-turns in bad places, or whathaveyou. His mom was just in an accident on Thursday because of someone not signalling/looking, and then cutting her off.
      Whereas cabbies certainly can be reckless, at least they generally know where they’re going; whereas, Uber drivers aren’t licensed to drive commercially, and 9/10 times don’t know the city. To compound things, they are looking down at their phones for directions, or when they get a call – precisely what the cell phone ban was supposed to address. Given where I live, Uber is a cheap alternative to owning a car/relying on the bus; however, I’m beginning to cut back, precisely for public safety reasons.

      • JR


      • transplanted

        I agree that this is a contributing factor. I use Uber a lot and the percentage of drivers who I am surprised even hold a license is non-negligible. The percentage who are perpetually lost and careless is better than 50.

      • dcgator

        +1000000000! Uber and Lyft drivers, in my limited experience, do not know the city or streets well at all, which leads to a lot of missed turns, etc. Also, they are way worse than cabbies about posting up in places they shouldn’t (e.g., bike lane, double parked).

      • C_petworth

        I am not agreeing or disagreeing with you but for the past year I have pretty much switched to using on ly uber and lyft. Then last week I while I had family in town I took 3 cabs. Every time I had to direct the cab driver because they were not sure of how to get to the destination. One cab picked us up from union station. Cabs do not always know where they are going, and they dont us GPS systems. I have taken cabs all over the world and never run into this problem. I do not think I will be in a DC cab anytime soon.

      • zandunga

        +1 What I don’t get is why Uber/Lyft drivers think bus stops are their personal parking spots. They refuse to move when the bus needs to pull up to drop off or pick up passengers.

        • ***

          Uber & Lyft pretty much think anywhere is their parking/pick-up/drop-off spot.

      • wdc

        I think cell phones generally are to blame, though perhaps uber and lyft drivers are using them more than others.
        When I have a near-miss and I get at look at the driver, he or she has a phone in hand 90% of the time.

  • bike avenger

    The bike/pedestrian infrastructure in this city is an abomination. Hopefully this woman is OK and they catch the driver. I could spend years outlining all of the areas in the city that are dangerous for bikers and pedestrians alike.

    • jonah

      Two requests. First reach out to your ANC Commissioner and let them know you value pedestrian and bicycle improvements. Second if you live east of Rock Creek Park comment on DDOT’s Rock Creek East Livability study (link is up the thread) and support some of the improvements they are recommending.

  • nust

    They bailed. WTF is wrong with people.

    • Anonymous

      Stolen car and/or people with outstanding warrants.

    • Tsar of Truxton

      Do they have the car? It sounds like they left the car on foot, so unless the car was stolen, the cops should be able to find out who was driving.

      • textdoc

        My guess is that the car was stolen, hence the willingness to leave the car behind.
        The police do have the car. When I walked by yesterday evening, there was a van marked “Crime Scene Forensics” (or something like that) in front of the car, and police wearing blue plastic gloves were going through the car’s trunk.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Not sure about all crashes, but among fatal hit-and-run crashes, a study I read a while ago put the proportion that involve a driver who is intoxicated, unlicensed, or unauthorized to drive the vehicle in question is in the vicinity of half.

      • Yes, they have the car. It was a honda (I believe) with Texas plates. I walked by around 6:30–police and forensics were by the car, which was sitting in the bike lane with the doors open.

        Back where the biker was hit about a block and a half back there was blood on the street and a bloody towel.

        At that point, it was just police there–they were still there sitting behind the car (I’m assuming waiting for it to be towed) around 9:00pm.

      • textdoc

        I hope they get some usable fingerprints from the car and can nail the bastards who did this.

        • ParkViewneighbor

          and proceed to immediately release them the following day bc DC

  • ***

    Commuting, in general, in this city has reached Mad Max levels of terror. Safe Track has pushed more people into other means of transit – driving, cycling, Uber, etc – who have little to no experience with being on the road. The city does ZERO to enforce even the most basic of active traffic infractions. In 5 years of living here, I can not think of once where I saw someone pulled over. The passive aggressive approach to enforcement is useless – traffic cams and parking tickets assume people actually A: pay the ticket or B: even care about how much the ticket costs. My daily bike commute has become an exercise of being rouge traffic police. I’ve started going out of my way to avoid streets with bike lanes – 9 times out of 10 they are filled with cabs and parked cars.

  • Guillermo Brown

    Didn’t the ANC in this area just vote against the bicycle-related portions of the Rock Creek Livability study for where this accident occurred? Before they’d even seen the study and its recommendations?

    • textdoc

      I don’t know whether an ANC in an area voted against that, but for what it’s worth, this area of Rock Creek Church Road is the border between Wards 1 and 4, so both ANC4C and ANC1A would have an interest.

    • jonah

      ANC 4C, I am one of the Commissioners, voted to oppose potentially looking at a bike lane on New Hampshire Ave. I voted in favor of allowing DDOT conduct their study and opposed to the resolution. The hit and run occurred nearby but not on NH and the road it happened on has a bike lane. There was discussion at that ANC meeting about there already being bike lanes elsewhere and why would we need more. One problem with that is as we push bike lanes out of the public eye, away from streets like New Hampshire, we reinforce the self perpetuating idea that no one uses them and they create safety risks.

      • jonah

        Also worth noting DDOT is not recommending a bike lane on NH in their current draft recommendations. The recommendations is to study bicycle and pedestrian safety opportunities in coordination with the nearby churches and community.

        • ***

          bike lanes and churches… like oil and vinegar.

          • Someone

            They make a good salad dressing?

          • ***

            They don’t mix. The bike lane on M Street was viciously fought by the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church between 15th and 16th because it would take away their ability to non-parallel park on Sundays and lose parking spaces directly in front of the church – despite the fact there are numerous parking garages in the area that could accommodate. Thanks to the efforts of the church, the bike lane changes from protected bike lane (bike lane between curb and parking lane) to unprotected bike lane (bike lane between parking lane and drive lane and places bikers in the door zone) – so that on Sundays there is no bike (as they park perpendicular on Sundays). The inconsistent bike lane leads to driver confusion and places cyclists at increased risk in what should be a lane that reduces risk.

  • stacksp

    The DC area has long been primarily driver centric and I think all the issues that people speak of stem from that. Drivers are just not accustomed to looking out for motos and cyclist and the amount of pedestrians that are now on the city streets.

    Growing up, it was a sort of right of passage that as soon as you were legal driving age or able to get a learners permit people flocked to get their license and drive whether it was your parents car or you did things to get your own or hitched a ride with the one friend that had access to a car. People rushed to get off public transportation and now with the influx of people, alternate modes of transportation are being heavily utilized yet peoples regard for them have not change just yet imo. It will take some time for people to get adjusted.


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