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Metrobus Among the Vehicles Ticketed by Police in Rosslyn

by ARLnow.com November 9, 2010 at 2:10 pm 3,038 41 Comments

A Metrobus operator was among the unlucky drivers who did not heed warnings of stepped-up traffic enforcement in Rosslyn today.

Arlington police officers positioned themselves at the busy intersection of Wilson Boulevard and North Lynn Street during the morning traffic rush and the lunch time pedestrian rush, in an effort to catch people violating basic traffic safety laws. During the course of the morning rush hour alone, they handed out 33 citations to drivers and gave 50 verbal warnings to pedestrians and cyclists.

The enforcement was part of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Government’s eighth annual Street Smart safety campaign, which officially launched today with a lunchtime press conference in Rosslyn.

“They key message here is: we’re not pointing the finger at the motorist, we’re not pointing the finger at the pedestrian, we’re not pointing the finger at the bicyclist… when you’re talking about prevention, we all have a responsibility,” said Arlington Police Chief Douglas Scott.

“Pedestrians, bicyclists and cars need to coexist and watch out for each other,” said Arlington County board member Mary Hynes, who told reporters that her own daughter was once struck and injured by a bus. (Clarification: Ms. Hynes’ daughter was struck by a bus in Europe. It was not a Metrobus. This article, which remains in its original form, did not mean to imply the type of bus involved in that incident.)

Scott said the police department will have stepped-up enforcement in the morning and evening rush hours throughout the course of the two-week campaign.

Among those nabbed during today’s lunch time enforcement was a Metrobus operator, who was issued a $91 ticket for making a right turn on to North Lynn Street from the center lane of northbound Wilson Boulevard. At one point, after the officer left to run his information, the bus operator slammed his window shut as television news cameras rolled.

Each year, a whopping 1,000 traffic citations are issued at just the Wilson Boulevard-Lynn Street intersection, according to police.

  • LP

    And all the pedestrians claim that drivers are the ones that cause all the issues. Hmm. Looks like pedestrians are more of a threat to themselves than cars are to them.

    33 citations for drivers
    50 for pedestrians/cyclists

    • YTK

      Keep going after the cyclists. They speed by you with no room to spare, usually coming up behind the pedestrian who has no idea that there is a bicycle about to rush by — one false move and that pedestrian is toast.

      • Eslater

        YTK says: “Keep going after the cyclists. They speed by you with no room to spare, usually coming up behind the pedestrian who has no idea that there is a bicycle about to rush by — one false move and that pedestrian is toast.”

        From your post it doesn’t sound like you’ve been hit by a cyclist, just startled. I’m a cyclist and my experience is most peds don’t know what to do when I say “hi, on your left.” Many actually turn and pivot to the left, which I guess is natural. But it’s not safe and shows these peds are not thinking of sharing the lanes with cyclists.

        • TGEoA

          Don’t be a dumbass. It is the cyclists responsibility to yield to pedestrians on sidewalks.

    • Let’s Be Mobile

      LP says: “Looks like pedestrians are more of a threat to themselves than cars are to them.”

      It’s hard to draw such a conclusion from the statistics provided. Because the pedestrians and cyclists were combined (50), it could have been 49 cyclists and 1 pedestrian.

      And I’d much rather be walked into by a pedestrian on his cell phone than be hit by a car.

      • Jason S

        Well, the best way to avoid this is to obey the signals and cross when it is legal and safe.

        • Let’s Be Mobile

          Jason S, I 100% agree with you.

        • a’town

          if all the pedestrians had windows phones, the cops wouldnt be sitting there saying “really” and giving them tickets

          • LP

            Hah! Well played.

    • Walk don’t drive

      Of course the fact that there are more pedestrians than motorists along there has nothing to do with it.

  • DK

    Why were pedestrians and cyclists only given warnings? Fair is fair, break the law and PAY the consequences.

  • Wilson Blvd Express

    Could it be that the bus driver had to turn from the center lane just to turn wde enough so that the tail end of the bus would not take out Pedestrians at the corner on the sidewalk?

    Officer Faust should have looked at the camara and smiled!

    • Ryan

      That would be an issue for the courts to consider. If the bus was in the center lane originally to turn it’s violating the law. If it, as my family has descried, “Hoosiered” it (moving a little to the left to turn right) then the ticket would be considered bogus.

    • phan

      Nope. I actually saw that today. Dude just didn’t want to wait. He was pissed. The best was the clamoring by all of the local newsmedia to talk to the guy.

  • NorthAdams


  • Runaway Train

    I think it is great that a Metro bus driver was ticketed. I live on S Four Mile Run Dr. where the speed limit is 25 MPH, the Metro buses (22A) constantly travel more than 10 mph over the speed limit. When I motioned for one Metro driver to slow down, he flipped me off. Metro fails to live up to a reasonable expectation for safety.

    • YTK

      You should see the 16Y speeding down South Courthouse Road!!!

    • Thirsty

      Off and running!

    • charlie

      that is one scary ride thru there. buses are always straddling the yellow line.

      • S. Arl 2

        The 16 busses on S. Courthouse between 2nd and Columbia Pike speed like maniacs AND straddle the yellow line-very scarey. I feel sorry for the residents.

    • PurpleFlipFlops

      53A can barely handle 20 MPH on Military Rd.

  • MikeyinCrystalC

    LOL @ the Metrobus…

  • Janel

    Since when does Wilson Blvd run north in Rosslyn? I’m pretty sure it’s an east-west thoroughfare.

    • Wilson Blvd Express

      North, up hill, west; it is all the same….

  • WalkerNotDriver

    Why can’t ACPD do this on a regular basis and not when it’s announced, hyped up with a press conference, and all the media outlets on hand? It’s more of a dog and pony show to appease the pedestrian safety advocates, so the PD can say, yea we did address your concerns on such and such day. I’m sure the 33 drivers will pay their fine, and become responsible drivers for the rest of the 364 days this year, and Rosslyn will now become an Urban Oasis and the poster-city of pedestrian safety. I bet that bus driver gets his ass reamed out by his supervisor. We really should be profiling AC school bus drivers, they’ve also had an impressive kill score lately.

    • Concerned

      Don’t forget Arlington County government vehicles. I don’t know that they’ve killed anybody, but many employees drive rather recklessly.

      • Wilson Blvd Express

        they have 🙁

      • Ali

        And park illegally. They’re constantly blocking the exit from my building.

  • Mark

    I would love to see the police hang out around the Metro bus depot on the corner of Glebe and Eads. There is some much bullshit that goes on there on a daily basis. To include: illegal parking, blocking traffic, illegal turns by the buses, rude and inappropriate actions by metro employees.

    • Deege

      Hey! Go sit on Little River Turnpike any day and watch the Metro Bus Drivers holding a Cell phone to their ear, then hiding their phone between their legs and texting.

  • Dave

    To echo some other comments, if the ACPD Chief wants to drive home the point that “we all have a responsibility” it seems only logical that pedestrians and cyclists should get citations as well. I wonder why the decision was made to only warn one group, while financially punish the other.

  • Sunny617

    I’m all for this. I carpool through that intersection almost every day and people, cars and peds alike, are so selfish. The cars block the box constantly and the peds jaywalk. If everyone was a bit more considerate of others, commuting time might be that much more tolerable. They’ve had police there in the past, and every time they do traffic eases just a bit in that intersection.

  • Veeta

    Can we please agree that cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers ALL make mistakes. Whether I am on foot, on bike, or behind the wheel, I try do my best but admittedly sometimes makes mistakes. However, it would take a strange confluence of circumstances for me to kill someone. Drivers who have animosity and aggression toward cyclists are a real problem. If everyone simply followed some really basic laws laws–obeying lights and calling out passing (cyclists), passing with 2 feet clearance (drivers), and not jaywalking or stepping into bike lanes without looking (pedestrians)–Arlington would be a safer place for all three categories.

  • Rosslynite

    Rosslyn is really the jaywalking capital of the Western World. I have never been in a place where pedestrians so steadfastly refuse to cross at a crosswalk.

    • Kevin

      Try driving near the Ballston metro

    • Rosslynday

      Rosslyn wasn’t built for pedestrians. That’s why they built the elevated skywalks. Now that (most) of them are gone, walkers are almost forced to jaywalk.

  • Confucius Kitchen

    That’s right ACPD, stick it to the taxpaying citizens for the politicians!

  • Greg

    I have the misfortune of needing to drive through that intersection on the way to work every morning and if the police were there every day I would be thrilled. Cars and pedestrians alike are constantly going through the red lights (and blatantly). I especially love the pedestrians who see the light click over to red, look for a few seconds, and then start strolling across the intersection only to look angry that cars start driving toward them.

    (To “YTK” up above, I do have to say that having gone through this intersection five days a week since mid-2005, cyclists are probably the safest of the three classes of people going through. Pedestrians and drivers are much, much worse at this intersection. I suspect the cyclists feel like they’re marked for death and are just hoping to survive.)

    • All three groups need to clean up their respective acts, but I too find much fault in pedestrian behavior as you pointed out. Too many feel their rights give them license to be oblivious to the existence of autos or cyclists among them, and refuse to use common courtesy when approaching intersections and crosswalks. Pedestrians need protection but the pendulum seems to have swung too far, as it usually does, in fostering the attitutes of many that they are the center of the universe.

  • S.Arlington

    Lets be clear here, Metrobus drivers are abusive and just plain lousy rude drivers. No doubt about it in my mind.

  • OC

    Just heard this incident reported on WTOP by Sprawl And Crawl Reporter Adam Tuss and he cited arlnow.com as his source (at 9:12 AM 11/10/2010).


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