Never a Dull Moment on the Metropolitan Branch Trail

by Prince Of Petworth October 4, 2016 at 9:50 am 26 Comments


A reader reports around 6:30pm yesterday:

“Right as I was coming down from the RI Ave pedestrian bridge a few mins ago, a car hopped the curb from Forman Mills and sped north on the MBT at about 40 MPH. Obviously lots of cyclists and runners out this time of day, so I hope nobody got hurt!”

  • why tho

    this is honest-to-god something that happened to me in a nightmare once

  • Truxton Thomas

    It’s absolutely barbaric and disgusting that this person would have the gall to disregard the need of other people to know whether the car had Maryland plates.

    • wdc


  • No Bikes

    I really wish I could use this trail, but it just doesn’t seem worth it.

  • SickOfMBTproblems

    Seems like the only solution is… cameras. Everywhere. And not those grainy gas station types. HD cameras that can capture license plates. Just take a few off those squad cars and spread them around the MBT to catch the jerks willing to mow people down to get home faster.

    • cars

      Is this a regular occurrence? Can they just block off entry points with steel posts so only bikes can get through, or do the police need access to the trail with their cars to catch people doing all the other bad things that go on here?

  • Marty

    I’ve never been on the trail, but don’t most trails like this have yellow posts/columns placed strategically so that runners and cyclists can get by easily, but larger vehicles don’t fit?

    • cyclist

      they’re usually made of plastic, which means that they get run down and disappear often

    • [rrrrr]

      Been a few years since I lived near the trail, but I recall police using it semi-regularly and I’d imagine it could be helpful for ambulances as well. Perhaps that’s why they keep it semi-passable? seems like they could use posts that lower either pneumatically or manually.

      • Evan Tupac Grooter

        I have also seen cherry-picker trucks on the trail to repair/maintain the lights on the trail. Some vehicles need to have access.

  • aszal

    Its not just police cars/trail repair crews that use vehicle access to the trail – every day large trucks and regular vehicles cross the MBT at the R street entrance to access the WMATA lot on the other side where they work

  • Anon

    I didn’t provide this report. It actually witnessed this. The car entered from the pedestrian bridge entrance (no barrier).

    They almost mowed down 2 pedestrians, a dog, and a bicyclist while heading towards Brookland.

    I guarantee this was not someone trying to get home quicker. This kind of shit(not driving on the branch trail, but reckless endangerment) happens all the time around the area.

    Honestly I’m still waiting for the snarky “you live in a city, you should expect this” comments.

    • LCinDC

      I know what you mean. I live in Eckington and cross a residential intersection with a crosswalk 4-5 times a day to walk my dog…zero cars have ever stopped/slowed down for us and are always speeding like crazy. In that same intersection, I’ll often see cars drive the wrong way on a one-way street for a block just to cut over to the next street more easily. Zero cares. It’s astonishing and terrifying, not to mention what a shame it is to not be able to somewhat trust that you don’t need to be in constant fear of getting hit.

      • sameAnon

        I have to teach my two year old daughter to keep her head on a swivel wherever she goes. I honestly don’t even feel safe walking on the sidewalk seeing what people do around where we live.

        • Anonymous

          “I have to teach my two year old daughter to keep her head on a swivel wherever she goes.”
          I take your point but to be honest, this is a good habit to get into from a very young age, so you are doing her a favor. Being generally aware and observant of your surroundings is a very valuable life skill to have.

    • JoDa

      “Not someone trying to get home quicker.” What’s your read? Intoxicated? Stolen car? Followed the GPS, not realizing they had it on bike directions? An idea why might help to push for solutions.

      • Original anon

        I put it at stolen car, intoxicated. or assholes being assholes and pushing the envelope.

        The latter is the most likely. Many people don’t give a shit about societal norms of not endangering themselves or others.

        The car jumped the curb and immediately accelerated up to 30-40 mph. Struck me as “joyriding” in one of the most dangerous ways possible in DC.

        • Anon2

          I saw it too. Seemed like stolen car or joyriding since they did not appear to be fleeing anyone.

          • JoDa

            Good info. The only way to stop people like that is probably full-on gates. That has the downside of slowing response times of emergency personnel when they have to get out and unlock the gate. With one incident like this and so many more muggings conducted on foot/bike, I’m not sure it’s the right solution just yet. But if we start to see more of this, definitely something to think about.
            And I’m glad you all are okay. That really is a busy time for commuters and recreation in that area.

  • JL

    Do we even have a traffic enforcement division of the MPD? If not we need one. Badly. This driver should lose their license for this shit.

  • Anon.

    Could it have been an unmarked police vehicle?

    • Anon

      Not a chance – almost hit multiple people, no lights.

  • Robbed on 10th

    It wasn’t a silver Honda Fit was it…?

  • laszloB

    I once saw a car on the canal path in Georgetown, a little Jetta. The young driver said “this is where my GPS said I should go”. Really

  • Verbz

    probably a part of gentrification


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