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>> All I could think was how unfair that is, what with the cyclist strapped to a backboard and in shock, unable to refute anything the cabbie was saying. >> That is what happened to me in my accident. While I was being taken to the hospital in an ambulance, the driver who ran his car into me from behind is lying to the police. It was his version that was entered in the official police record. It is very one sided.


I was riding by last night, going to Georgetown, when the accident happened a block away from me (behind me). It was very scary, and I hope the biker is okay. I to do not know the details of the accident, but a biker and a cabbie is a dangerous mix. By far, cabbies are the most aggressive in the city, and bikers egregiously running of red lights is troublesome and frustrating, as it gives us bikers a bad name.

Don't know if the cyclist ran a red. Could have been green. Either way, the cabbie had the same signal. If it was red for cyclist it was red for cabbie.

I am very worried about the cyclist, I had just turned south on 31st, heard the loud pop, turned around and saw the aftermath. The cyclist did have serious head trauma (bleeding.) I cannot find any news posted on his condition. I did not see a helmet but there were many people around helping that may have removed it. I believe the pedestrian crosswalk across 31st (along south side of M street) was red at the time, for whatever that is worth (not sure if it was at the end or beginning of its cycle or whether or not there are green arrows on that intersection) I overheard one of the cops saying something about 'turning' after getting the cabbie's story. The cab driver was doing everything he could to try and help. I couldn't help but think that two lives have been ruined. I think M street has to be one of the best candidates in the city for a bike lane, although in this case it may not have helped. I tend to bike on K street under the freeway to get through that area because it is less intimidating for me than M.

Cabbies are definitely the most aggressive and stupid drivers in the city. Cutting in and out of people, stopping in inappropriate places, etc.

@Brendan - not necessarily, one travel direction can have a left turn arrow while the other is red. (I assume this is what jen is alluding to with the pedestrian signal comment - it would signal "don't walk" if there were a left-turn signal on)

I bike this intersection just about every morning. There are no turn arrows. It's a standard traffic light. Pedestrian signals are immaterial since bikes are supposed to obey the traffic light.

It is very common in DC for cabbies waiting to make a left turn to wait until the light is changing from yellow to red, because it's one of the only breaks in oncomming traffic in larger intersections. So typically you see them make a very sudden break to the left just as the light turns red but before cross traffic has entered this far. Often there is also another car from oncomming traffic looking to make a last-minute left the other way, and he blocks the cabbie's view of oncomming traffic in the adjacent lanes.

So it's possible that the bicycle, moving more slowly, entered when the light was still green turning yellow, and the cabbie is looking only at the light signal waiting for oncomming traffic to finish (but relying on the light if view is blocked), as well as monitoring cross traffic he wants to bolt in front of.

My last car was totaled this way by a cabbie who did this - it's very common.

sorry if every athletic cyclist on this blog is tired of hearing me say this- but EVERY vehicular cyclist that I have ever known has been in an accident while trying to ride with the car traffic. It is inevitable- when a smaller and un-protected conveyance like a bicycle is in the midst of heavier and often distracted motor vehicle drivers that something bad will happen.

A bicycle is NOT a motorized vehicle and cyclists should NEVER be forced to "share the road" with auto traffic. This is barbaric, and it is a sign of the BACKWARDS mentality in the USA cycling community that this kind of suicidal behavior is acceptable.

We need dedicated, auto pretected bike ways in every major city and town- just like they have in other countries. Anything less is the cheap way out.

I don't think it's only the "athletic" cyclists that are sick of hearing you say that, w.

Way to blame the victim W.

Yep, tired of hearing it, W.

"After the cyclist was on the way to the hospital, the cops took a statement from the cabbie. I couldn't hear him well, but he was definitely getting his two cents in vehemently. All I could think was how unfair that is, what with the cyclist strapped to a backboard and in shock, unable to refute anything the cabbie was saying."

If the accident was being handled properly, the cops will interview the cyclist in the hospital. The incident interviews are purposely held independently with both parties (as well as any witnesses) to try and get each side of the story without having the other party openly refute, argue, etc.

At least I can hope that was done.

The only thing I can see as being bad with this (besides using M Street as an after-dark travel thoroughfare, when streets north of there are far, far safer) is the possibility that the cyclist squeezed by already-stopped traffic to make it through the light before it turns red. This gives the cab driver very little time to react, even if the cyclist has proper lighting and light-colored clothing.

He did have a helmet on, but a helmet can't do much for his neck. :-/

The cyclist was not squeezing through stopped traffic. The cab was driving westbound in the eastbound lanes so he could make a left without having to wait to get to the intersection.

If you've ever seen two cars lined up to make a left turn, and while the first car declines to go, the second car makes the left turn from behind.

That's what the cab did.

As far as police procedure goes, that's what happened to me too. Officer interviewed me at the ER after I had a head injury. I couldn't even put 2 words together at that point. He ticketed me while I was flat on the bed.

I hope the cyclist is going to be okay and want to follow this story through.

My sister was hit so hard her leg was broken badly (full leg cast for 6 months)and several stitches from head injury (no helmet-this was 1975)and while she was in the ER, the driver told police that he was only going 2 mph when he turned turned left into her (didn't yield.) He got completely off with that lie, with no fine or fault and my Dad had to pay her $1000 medical deductable. Oh, and her bike was crumpled - 2 mph.

Technically, 2mph is possible if your sister was going fast enough. But even if you're stopped you can be at fault if you're stopped in the wrong place (someone else's ROW)

I was behind the taxi before it went into the eastbound lanes. Does anyone know the condition of the cyclist?

I am the lawyer who will be representing the cyclist. My client is alive, but seriously injured, with multiple fractures. I would be grateful if the persons who posted comments as "AB" , "Crin" and "Jen" - who appear to be witnesses to the incident or the aftermath - could call me to talk briefly. Thanks. Kenneth Trombly, 202-887-5000

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