« New Bike racks at Dunbar High School | Main | Public Meeting on the Proposed Trail Connector in Little Bennett Regional Park »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

"to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway"

Does that apply to a cyclist making a vehicular left? If so, then the obligation was on the right bound car to stop. If not this ounds to me like the classic case of the cars in the left lanes improperly yielding ROW.

I have had issues where the vehicle in the closer lane to me is yielding ROW to me improperly (when Im crossing in a crosswalk, but have not entered the crosswalk, but am waiting for a gap in traffic) and I wave them along but they won't go. I am afraid, in that situation, of just this - that the vehicles in the next lane (which I can't see very well) will not stop. This happened to me on Friday crossing the 14th str bridge approach by the Jefferson Mem. The driver just sat there waiting for me to cross, and had a dozen cars behind him - I finally crossed, and was fine but it was scary.

Where the accident took place is actually right in front of Bike Doctor of Arnold. I make frequent trips to this shop, since it is a favorite of mine.

My guess, if I had to guess, is that she was in the dedicated turn lane as stated in the article. The north bound traffic was probably backed up because of the light at Jones Station Road. Almost everyone drives in the left two lanes because the right lane ends shortly after the light. As you are approaching this shopping center on the north bound side there is a rise in the road. In a car it is diffcult enough to make this turn from the south bound lanes because as cars come up over the hill it is hard to judge their speed. I would not be surprised at all that the car coming up the right lane did not see that there was someone attempting to cross, either in a motor vehicle or on bike. I would also not be surprised that the driver was flying up the right lane to either make the right turn at Jones Station or to bypass the stopped traffic to eventually force its way back over to the left as the lane ends.

I have not had a chance to talk with any of my friends at the shop who were on hand to get more specifics, so everything I have stated is purely speculation on my part.

Are those crosswalk regulations applicable here? The article makes it sound as though the cyclist was traveling on Ritchie Highway, and moved left into the left turn lane. On-coming traffic stopped for her in two of the three lanes, and she started to turn left across the opposing traffic lanes. The driver in the third (right-most) lane did not stop and hit the cyclist. I don't think crosswalk regulatins come into play here.

It looks like the accident happened here: http://goo.gl/maps/HnvR5

From the account, it seems like the cyclist was operating as a vehicle and not a pedestrian. If so, was there really negligence and illegal behavior on the part of the driver? Even if 2 lanes of traffic stopped for her, the third lane would not be required to stop unless she was walking her bike.

As a cyclist, I have experienced close-calls similar to this one when I assumed that I was safe to cross a multi-lane highway because 1 or 2 lanes of traffic stopped for me. Sadly, she wasn't as lucky as I was.

I hope she is able to heal fully and quickly.

It sounds like she was operating her bike in a safe and legal manner, at least consistent with how a car would behave in this situation.

Every road user has an obligation to every other user. Its not good enough that the driver was not drunk or exceeding the speed limit: were they behaving in a prudent manner? We need to ask THAT question. If there are kids playing in the street, do you get to run them over provided that you stay under 25mph? If its crowded traffic, with people turning, is the legal speed limit all that matters? Of course not: or at least it shouldnt be.

If the cyclist had been in a car, she probably would have been OK. This points to the problems of infrastructure and laws focused on cars, and ignoring all users.

Finally, I think this also points to the inadequacy of our "punishment" system. I don't want to put the driver in jail for being carless. But I think we should be able to rescind the license for at least a period.

PS: Bike Snob has been on a tear about this sort of thing.

there is no evidence the driver of the Hyundai was "speeding or traveling in a negligent manner prior to this collision."

No, there never is, is there?

In DC, drivers can (and do) do 35 mph down narrow, residential one-way streets w/o "exceeding the speed limit". We've seen photos of SUVs that ran down children in residential culs-de-sac with front grills stove in as though they'd hit a mature oak tree.

But, y'know, unless the driver was doing 50+ mph, speed is not a factor.

Oboe: the child failed to yield right of way to the SUV. This lack of respect for authority must be punished.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Banner design by creativecouchdesigns.com

City Paper's Best Local Bike Blog 2009


 Subscribe in a reader