SY writes in with this account of a recent crash he was involved in on Penn Ave NW. He's been bike commuting for over a year and this was his first crash.A pedestrian was crossing PA Ave as he was SY was cycling west on PA Ave. SY had a green light. He rang his bell, and he thought the pedestrian saw him. It looked like the pedestrian was going to stop. But he didn't see SY or stop walking. So SY slammed on his breaks and flew over the handle bars to avoid hitting the guy. The pedestrian then claimed SY ran the red light.
I've had a number of near misses with pedestrians crossing PA Ave illegally, but after this I don't know if I can use those lanes any more. They are too flawed.
I've had a few times when a pedestrian was standing in the bike lane portion of the island (I know, that sounds weird) and didn't see me. I too have rung my bell, but it gets a bit drowned out by the auto traffic. So I usually move into the lane to my right and then move back into the bike lane. I've also gotten a couple of dirty looks from pedestrians who do move out of my way. I still think the lanes are safe,, but I'll agree that they're flawed.