Sad news. I had heard about this crash earlier today, but only now heard that the woman who was hit has died.
Around 7:15 am this morning on Four Mile Run Trail (Fox reports Drive, but later they say trail, which is what ARLnow reports) near Columbia Pike, a cyclist called out to a 70 year old pedestrian before passing, but instead of staying put, the pedestrian turned around and moved to the left. The cyclist hit her. She fell and she hit her head. It appears her death was reported a couple of hours ago.
According to police, an adult male cyclist was coming down a hill when he called out “on your left, on your left,” to the victim, who was walking on trail. The victim turned around, moving into the path of the cyclist, and said “what? — at which time she and the cyclist collided, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
No charges have filed against the cyclist, according to police.
There is sure to be some discussion about calling out and safe passing. Reportedly, he called out "On Your Left" and she turned around.
As rcannon100 writes:
If the sequence is (a) signal (b) unanticipated response from pedestrian (c) collision, then you are calling too close. You need to call far enough back that when the pedestrian "reacts," you can respond appropriately.
With the other side being that a pedestrian has to pay attention and not make sudden movements to the left. With the measured response being.
As far as rules of the MUP's, I think that a good theme is that they are neither a road, nor a sidewalk. They are not a road, so cyclists need to be in more control of their speed and aware of other trail users. They are also not a sidewalk, so pedestrians need to be more aware of their surroundings, keep to the right and look behind before turning.
The irony is that if he had said nothing, this crash likely would not have happened. It was, in part, the result of good intentions. Though the primary culprits are probably riding too fast for the situation and a poor reaction by the pedestrian.