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Bicyclist Struck on Columbia Pike

by ARLnow.com October 26, 2010 at 11:45 am 2,419 24 Comments

A bicyclist was struck by a car on Columbia Pike near the intersection with South Jefferson Street around 11:30 this morning.

The cyclist, who was reportedly alert and conscious after the accident, is being transported to a local hospital.

The fire department temporarily shut down the westbound lanes of Columbia Pike while treating the victim.

No word on the extent of the cyclist’s injuries or whether charges will be filed against the driver.

  • Dave

    Hopefully the cyclist is okay. I have to say though, the last sentence assumes the driver is at fault but this isn’t always the case. While I see plenty of bad behavior from drivers, I see just as much from pedestrians and cyclists. For example, this past Sunday I saw a cyclist almost get creamed when he rode out into the section without slowing down, against the light, attempting to go around the right side of a vehicle while it was turning right. If everyone (cars, buses, cyclists, and pedestrians) payed more attention to signs and signals – and respect them – I think we would have a lot less of these often tragic incidents.

  • tuesdayschild

    Not commenting on the cause here, but every day I see bike riders on M Street (some having crossed in from Arlington on Key Bridge). The vast majority of them are reckless. Riding in between cars, switching lanes with no warning, wearing Ipods, riding in the lanes reserved from oncoming traffic, wearing no helment, wearing flip flops, etc. It is really a mess. I know there are bad car drivers too, but the potential consequences to a biker are much more dangerous.

  • TGEoA

    No charges have been filed against which driver? The cyclist or the motorist?

  • PikeHoo

    I hate to see anyone get hurt and hopefully this guy turns out to be ok. Unfortunately, there are just as many nuts on bikes as there are in cars. It’s extremely unsafe for pedestrians when people ride their bikes on the sidewalks downtown.

  • Darwin

    We need to ban cars and bikes! Cars alone hurt FAR more people than guns in the US and people always want to ban those instead of just the individuals that don’t use them responsibly!

  • GK

    As a cyclist and driver I agree with most of the comments here. Its great to see so many more people commuting by bike by a vast majority completely ignore traffic and bike safety rules. Just because you are more maneuverable doesn’t give you the right to side step all the basic laws and common sense too! If cyclists don’t behave according to the traffic laws then drivers will never take them seriously. I admit sometimes some of our roads are scary to cycle on, but if you take to the sidewalk not only are you breaking the law (as a motor vehicle) you also reduce bikes to the level of toys.

    As for the drivers… people just need to chill out. Everyone is going to get where they want to go.

    • TGEoA

      Uhhh.. Biycles are allowed to ride on the sidewalk.

      • Deb

        Riding on sidewalks is more dangerous than riding in the street. You’re more likely to get hit at intersections. Even when you’re obeying the law.

  • Rover

    Columbia Pike near Jefferson Street isn’t exactly bicycle or pedestrian friendly. What the area needs is a trolley! (he said with sarcasm)

  • I agree car drivers can do a better job on the roads, but I’m just shocked to see how cyclists disregard the law and common sense.

    I tend to drive on roads where the bike trails cross busy streets. Cyclists think they have the right of way and they don’t stop at red lights or signs and they out in front of flowing traffic. I’m amazed more are not hit!

    Most of these cyclists tend to have very nice bikes and the cyclists clearly take their sport seriously. The immigrants on bikes tend to ride on sidewalks, and they don’t seem willing to risk their lives to get someplace. I know that’s a generalization, but I do think the most reckless cyclists are those who take cycling as a serious sport – not transportation.

    • South Arlington

      I sit at the marked crosswalk at the circle at the Arlington end of the Memorial Bridge everyday on my bike and watch cars disregard the crosswalk and zoom through. The pedestrians and bikers DO have the right of way here. Depending on where these bike paths are crossing and if the crossing is marked, those bikers may have the right of way. Arlington PD has been ticketing drivers not stopping for pedestrians and bikers in marked crosswalks across the county thankfully.

      At the same time I’d never zoom into the marked crosswalk without stopping and making sure it was safe with all of the arrogant and impatient drivers disregarding traffic laws.

      • SA, I totally agree with you on the issue of cars. As said before by others, the problem is that cyclists are much more vulnerable on the roads. The intersection I was discussing is 4mile run and S. Geo Mason. The cyclists have stop signs at the intersections and they are required to stop (they also have the usual crossing signs that flash the time left to cross). They don’t have right of way at the intersection – it is way too caotic and busy.

        What annoys me about the cyclists is that I really think it’s great that people can ride bikes as a means of transportation (or walk for that matter) but they defeat their own cause by breaking the law. Cyclists want to use roads made for cars, but they don’t do their part in keeping the roads safe.

        As for cars – I wish the police could stop and ticket all those can’t follow basic rules.

  • capybara

    I agree cyclists can do a better job on the roads, but I’m just shocked to see how motorists disregard the law and common sense.

    I have almost never seen a car come to a complete stop at a stop sign when there was no cross traffic (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=en02Z61oMD0).
    Easily 80% or more cars exceed the speed limit on local streets–probably all of them. Makes one wonder what the word “limit” means.
    Most do not yield to pedestrians at crosswalks unless the pedestrian asserts herself
    Most cars roll through a red light when turning right instead of coming to a complete stop behind the crosswalk, checking for peds, bikes and cross traffic before proceeding.
    Most will speed up on a yellow light to “beat the red” instead of slowing
    In congested intersections they constantly will enter before there is enough room on the other side to proceed, risking they will block the box.
    Seemingly half of all cars fail to use their turn signals.

    I could go on and on. For the most part, people seem to accept law-breaking behavior by automobile drivers that is perceived as “normal” (like going 31 in a 25 mph zone). These same people often perceive similar law-breaking by cyclists (although it’s hard to go 31! in any zone) as being unacceptable.

    One big difference, of course, is that a car can kill, while a bike–except in extraordinary circumstances–cannot.

    • Dave

      I agree with everything you said except that bikes can’t hurt people. Obviously a bike running into a car isn’t going to do much damage, but a bike/pedestrian can cause a car to swerve into another car or come to a sudden stop, causing an accident that could lead to multiple injuries.

      • BasedHerein

        Weird… I didn’t see capybara say bicycles “can’t hurt people.” He/she just said that a bicycle collision is not very likely to kill the people involved “except in extraordinary circumstances.”

        • Dave

          Sure, and football is totally safe because you’re not going kill anyone except in extraordinary circumstances. Killing someone is the extreme, but a lot of horrific things can happen to someone in an accident without dying. Taking the attitude of, “Well I’m not going to kill anybody”, ignores any other possibilities.

  • Bringmetheyuppies

    I actually passed this guy just before he got hit this morning. He was in right lane of C.P. weaved near me while I was passing him. Don’t think he wanted to share with cars. On the way home I saw the wreck. Looked like someone tried to pass him, he weaved and car collided into car next to it on the pike then they both shot right into him. Man stick to the sidewalk on this section of road too many cars not enough space.

  • Tree

    I’m very relieved the cyclist wasn’t injured. I live at this intersection and see wrecks constantly. Its a very poorly designed intersection with a lot of pedestrians. One thing that would make a vast improvement is if there was a leading green for traffic turning left from the westbound Pike onto South Jefferson.

    • Let’s Be Free

      The Jeffson/CPike intersection is exactly where the trolley is slated to turn off of Columbia Pike and down towards Skyline before proceeding on to NVCC. If you think that is a bad intersection now, just wait.

      • NorthAdams

        just wait to have to get your bike electrocutred.

      • Teyo

        It would be a good place to put a traffic circle, in my opinion.

      • Tree

        This is off topic, and I apologize, but regarding the trolley: does anyone know what they’re going to do about the SW6 boundary stone on Jefferson?

  • Brandon C

    ARLNow will be on par with DCist for cyclist-anticyclist comments if I have anything to say about it. So here goes:

    “Columbia Pike isn’t for biking! There’s no room! It’s for Cars! Don’t bring your Stalinist biking rhetoric to our town!”

    “You carbon-emitting douchebag car owners are worse than Hitler!”

    Since the cyclist didn’t die, ghost bikes are out, but maybe Legba Carrefour can make a bike with cast or sling on it? Will that work?

  • Columbia Pike scarface

    I’m a cyclist who had Columbia Pike closed when I had my acccident too. I wasn’t doing anything illegal either. A driver did not see me, pulled in front of me, and I actually had to dive off my bicycle to avoid hitting his car with my head. (Yes, I had a helmet on, but it made no difference.) The driver was very nice as were other drivers who stopped to help me while an ambulance came.

    I know cyclists break laws, but drivers do all the time as well and, as others have said, can kill people. Columbia Pike is a bad road for cyclists. I’m surprised Arlington doesn’t do better with it.

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