BREAKING NEWS — Pedestrian Struck on Four Mile Run Drive

by ARLnow.com January 5, 2011 at 3:43 pm 5,095 89 Comments

(Updated at 5:30 p.m.) A 15-year-old boy suffered critical injuries when he was struck by a car on the 4500 block of South Four Mile Run Drive, police said Wednesday evening.

The accident occurred around 3:30 p.m. The driver of the striking vehicle stayed on the scene, according to police spokesperson Det. Crystal Nosal.

Nosal said police are continuing to investigate the accident. As of 5:30 p.m., the westbound lanes of Four Mile Run Drive had reopened, but the eastbound lanes were still closed.

Based on initial reports from the scene, the victim was said to have been bleeding profusely from the head after he was struck by the black Honda heading eastbound on Four Mile Run Drive. The car’s front windshield appeared to have suffered heavy damage as a result of the collision. A parked car also suffered damage to its rear driver’s side window, apparently as a result of the accident.

A shoe lay across the street from where the victim was struck. A black backpack also could be seen near the point of impact.

Police were seen interviewing a group of school-aged children shortly after the accident occurred.

Update at 5:55 p.m. — All lanes of Four Mile Run Drive are now open.

Update at 9:30 p.m. — Wakefield High School principal Dr. Chris Willmore sent the following letter to parents this afternoon.

Dear Wakefield Parents:

I wanted to inform you about an incident that happened this afternoon. While walking home from school, a Wakefield student was seriously injured when he was hit by a car near the 4500 block of Four Mile Run Drive.

The student was transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital with serious injuries. Parents were notified and are at the hospital with the student.

The Arlington Police Department is investigating the cause of the accident.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at 703-228-6700.


Dr. Chris Willmore

  • Rover

    Wow. Those pictures don’t make it look good.

    • FrenchyB

      I hope it’s better than it looks. I was just over there visiting friends yesterday – with the cars parked tightly along the southwest side of the road there, there’s not much visibility for pedestrians or drivers.

      • jan

        that’s a problem all over the area, particularly when trucks and SUVs are parked near the corners.

        Hope his youth helps him to rebound quickly.

  • Lou

    Wow, you can draw a few awful conclusions from those pictures, but I’m not going to speculate. I just hope if wasn’t a friend of those kids.

  • MB

    Ugh. Best hopes for the kid and his family.

  • Bender

    Here we see the fruits of Arlington County’s on-going project of narrowing the roads. About a year or two ago, they came and moved the curbs in by a foot or two. At the time, it was clear that they were creating a very dangerous situation along that stretch of road.

    Perhaps now the County Board’s policy of “traffic calming” by narrowing the roads and making them less safe, so as to encourage people to drive slower, will be seen for the culpable foolishness that it is.

    • Thes

      Incorrect on many counts.

      – Four Mile Run is not subject to the neighborhood traffic calming program and it seems unlikely that it was the subject of any narrowing at this location. However, if they did so, good for them otherwise this car may have been traveling another 5mph faster and smashed the kid even harder.

      – Narrowing drive aisle widths has been proven to reduce auto travel speeds (about 3mph per foot) which is the leading cause of deaths for pedestrians. When people are hit at less than 20mph, they usually walk away from the scene (slowly perhaps, but they walk). When people are hit at over 40mph, they usually leave in a hearse.

      – An example of an incredibly wide street with high pedestrian deaths is Route 50 at 7 corners, which despite being an 6-10-lane monstrosity with open space for another 50 feet on either side was the subject of so many pedestrian deaths that a new bridge had to be built over it.

      – Contrast this with many streets in urban Europe, which have no sidewalks, are often less than 20 feet wide and in which pedestrians and cars share the same travel lanes daily. Pedestrian deaths are lower, because cars can’t go fast enough to kill them.

      – Conversely there is no evidence that wider streets or lanes make streets less deadly. Drivers simply speed up until accidents are as difficult to avoid as before.

      If you want to use Arlington-only data (suspect because of its small sample size) consider the locations of the last few reported vehicle vs. pedestrian fatalities. All or nearly all have been on arterial streets such as 4MR and I can’t remember Arlnow having reported any on a low-speed neighborhood street, much less one that was made safer by traffic calming.

      Hopefully the County will continue their evidence-based approach to saving pedestrian (and driver and passenger) lives and not stop because of invalid anecdotal fear-mongering.

      • MB

        Thank you, Thes, for a much smarter and helpful response than I was initially inspired to give.

      • Tom

        Wow. Thank you for the background info, Thes. Very helpful.

      • Arlwhenever

        Most tragic accident we’ve had around these parts was when a trash truck and school bus sheared off each other’s sided, colliding head on at the Columbia Pike, Courthouse Road intersection killing two school children on their morning ride to Hoffman Boston Elementary school. The drivers were acquitted of negligence at trial.

        Another six inches of clearance and both those kids would be alive today. So much for the claims that narrow lanes are safer lanes, a bogus claim because by far the most deadly accidents are head on — reducing lane width increases the probability of head on collisions.

        • Maria

          Can a truck and a school bus physically fit next to each other at that intersection? I’m going to assume yes, otherwise I feel like we’d be hearing about a lot more accidents like that one. To be fair, I know nothing of the details of this incident – or, for that matter, anything about the width of lanes increasing or decreasing accidents – but I’m assuming that just because the drivers weren’t convicted of anything does not mean they played no role in driving too close to each other.

          Like I said, I have no data about lane widths, but when you say things like “so much for the claims that narrow lanes are safer lanes” because of one (admittedly very sad and likely avoidable) incident, it does not lend your argument much credibility. Can you give us any other examples?

        • mehoo

          Are either of these roads unusually narrow?

        • R.Griffon

          Horrible example. Not horrible in its tragedy (although certainly also true), but rather horrible in that it lends absolutely no credibility to your argument. It happened because both drivers were likely distracted and both slightly encroached over the yellow line simultaneously, thus overlapping one another. This occurred on a piece of road that is 5, yes *5* lanes and nearly 60 feet wide. Another 6″ of clearance (barely over 1″ per lane) wouldn’t have made any difference at all.

          • charlie

            I’m sorry R.Griffon — it is still an accident because of — distractions — those vehicles were too close to one another.

        • G. Clifford Prout

          OK I have to say you’re an idiot. I witnessed that accident. The streets could have been as wide as the Potomac and nothing would have changed.

      • TotalAbsoluteBS

        This stretch of Four Mile Run is MORE DANGEROUS now that it has been narrowed.
        I used to bike on this stretch (bikes are allowed on all streets) and it is now TOO NARROW for a bike to ride on this street and be passed by a car. (I’m entitled to ride on the street and am no longer required to be on the adjacent path).

        1. Four Mile Run was narrowed from Columbia Pike alongside these buildings for the purposes UNKNOWN and this work was OPPOSED by the CONDO residents. (Unlike in Clarendon where whatever the neighbors say, happens).

        2. This stretch had NO pedestrian incidents until narrowed. Go tell the family these wonderful statistics.

        3. Route 50 is ridiculous comparison as the speeds are excessive and the road is huge. Plus it is in Falls Church.

        4. Compare to Europe? We are not EUROPE. Europe doesn’t have HUGE SUV’s. Sure it was a small car. This time. Even if this street is narrowed people speed on the rest of this street once you get passed this absurdly narrowed part.

        Thes once again demonstrates his complete inconsideration of the reality of life. The technical data is bogus and skewed to the point of view.

        In reality this is a busy street that has been made more dangerous by being narrowed. Just like the accident on Columbia Pike with the school bus and trash truck — narrow lanes give less margin of error. And since we are ALL human, we make mistakes. Roads need to accommodate that. If not we will have more young kids ending up on hoods of cars.

        A tragedy. Arlington policy for narrow roads is GUILTY.

        • AsherYuki

          Why would it matter that Four Mile run is too narrow to bike on, when there is a bike path that runs the whole length of this street, and all cross streets are extremely wide? Bikers and runners need to use the path when it is available.

          Firstly, my heart and prayers go out to the person who hit the child, the poor kid who got hurt and his family. I hope they all come out of this alright.

          Secondly, and this comment has nothing to do with this incident, but I am so tired of seeing kids and adults in NOVA thinking they can walk out in front of vehicles (traveling fast and slow), and think they are invincible. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen parents with small children trying to beat a vehicle across the road as it narrowly misses them. No matter who has the right of way, too many folks think the vehicle will stop for them no matter what.

          When the sun is in your eyes (even with sunglasses) on, or the pedestrian is dressed in dark clothing, it is impossible to see them until it is too late.

          Pedestrians and bikers all need to heed crosswalks, street crossing lights (a red hand means stop) and traffic rules instead of thinking they always have the right of way.

          The seven corners area has people taking great chances at their own risk all the time. There are so many pedestrians killed because they don’t heed the metal vehicles they are playing chicken with.

          • TotalAbsoluteBS

            Good point, and the LAW used to say the bikes were REQUIRED to be on adjacent trails, if available. That law was changed. The W&OD Trail from Columbia Pike to Shirlington Road is more dangerous than the road. The entrance/exit at Columbia Pike is dangerous. All the crossings are dangerous.
            I actually feel (or used to) feel safer on the road.
            The Four Mile Run trail in this area is equally difficult to navigate with low bridges and front ends of cars parked on it.
            I feel safer on the road. but this narrowing has made this small stretch tough.

          • Set the controls

            The car in this story was traveling east at 3:30 PM, so the kid walking north or south had to look west for oncoming traffic. At that hour his view was negligible. Such is the story for most accidents-narrow lanes don’t cause accidents, it’s the attention paid to the parked cars at the side of the lane which should be paid to the traffic in front of you. SUV’s and minivans don’t cause accidents, it’s the inability of everyone else to see more than one car length in front of them (or warning signs and traffic lights) that causes accidents. Trucks don’t cause accidents, it’s traffic engineers who fail to learn from their mistakes and place traffic lights above the intersection where they can be obscured by the trucks instead of at the corners of the intersection where everyone can see them. Trim the trees at intersections, do not allow tall vehicles to park within 100 yards of a walk signal and impede the view of all signals for motorists and pedestrians alike, do away with speed traps (again, they divert precious attention to the side of the road), be more selective about traffic signs-too many and they become more like advertising, just a meaningless blur. Don’t do road work in the early morning or late afternoon (sun), don’t jaywalk, basically it’s all about the eyes, peripheral vision, and keeping one’s eyes on the road in front, not to the sides.

      • jan


      • Jill

        While Arlington County used these stats to support their plan to modify the road, in the hopes of traffic calming, it absolutely has not worked. Speeding happens all the time and there is less visibility – for people, for cars pulling out. There needs to be increased enforcement or speed bumps. I am not surprised that there was an accident – but it it is tragic. My thoughts are with the victim and his family.

    • mehoo

      Huh? I don’t know about this road, but in our neighborhood, we narrowed the streets to both slow traffic and have room to add sidewalks. Pedestrian safety was improved dramatically. How the heck would narrowing roads make it less safe for pedestrians?

  • Bobin

    I hope the teen is OK, but was he in a crosswalk?

    • kc

      From the pictures there does not appear to be a crosswalk. We pedestrians really need to be careful. I say this as a runner and person who does not have a car so am out on foot all the time. We are not going to win a collision with a vehicle. My prayers with the youngster and his family.

  • Bender

    **it seems unlikely that it was the subject of any narrowing at this location. However, if they did so . . .**

    So you admit that you are totally ignorant of the situation at this location.

    I drive down that road often. It WAS narrowed.

    **Narrowing drive aisle widths has been proven to reduce auto travel speeds**

    Why would narrow roads reduce the speed of some drivers? Because they are afraid of hitting someone! The whole idea is to someone make it “safer” by making it more dangerous so as to encourage people to be extra careful. More dangerous equals safer?? That is some twisted logic there.

    It is LESS safe to have less room to manuveur. It is LESS safe for people getting in and out of parked cars when there is less room for traffic — especially when there is a barrier in the median, as is the case here. It is LESS safe for pedestrians who might be coming out from between parked cars since a travelling vehicle has less time to react.

    • TotalAbsoluteBS

      Bender, THES knows everything. Don’t forget that. (dousing sarcasm now).

    • mehoo

      Yes, exactly – fear of hitting someone increases so they go slower and are more careful. It works.

      Actually, it causes drivers to fear hitting other cars, not pedestrians. But you get the picture.

  • Bender

    As for Europe, you obviously have never been to Rome, where cars are speeding and zipping along at all sorts of high speeds — without having to come to a full stop at stop signs — and a pedestrian takes his life in his hands trying to cross.

    • Maria

      What would you define as “high” speeds? I’ve been to Rome several times, and cars generally go fast on the “wider” roads. I think what he is trying to say is that on the narrow, smaller roads, cars just simply *can’t* go as fast. I don’t know if his data about pedestrian accidents is right though, so I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with anyone here… just saying.

    • Sam

      I went to Rome in 2006 and I agree with you 100%. When I was walking from the train station to my hotel, I was almost hit by a Mini that drove onto the sidewalk to pass a car at a stop sign. That really doesn’t have anything to do with this… just sayin’.

  • Wakefield

    This was bound to happen. Every day Wakefield HS kids walk from Douglas Park and along George Mason Dr up to Wakefield HS. For all Arlington’s much self-touted focus on pedestrian safety it sucks when it comes to kid safety. County Board and School Board members over the years have reelection campaigns with platforms that included Safe Routes to Schools, a federally sponsored (but not funded) program. And what has happened about it? Not a G-D thing!!!! Why on God’s green (greener in Arlington because we’re green) earth are these kids forced to walk across such busy roads. Walking some distance to school is one thing (in the part of a Douglas Park Wakefield student it is uphill both ways). But forcing them to submit to dangerous streets is another. Whether this boy was crossing at a cross walk or not isn’t the problem. The factors which created it shouldn’t have been allowed to exist in the first place. And neither our County Board or School Board members have done a thing about it. This tragedy rests on their shoulders.

    • TotalAbsoluteBS

      +10. and last year we shoveled all the snow up to our school and they never did their snow. And while they did most of it this year, they didn’t do it all.

      We want people to walk. They have a false sense of security. Our Roads are DANGEROUS and making them narrow makes it WORSE. NOT BETTER.

      • mehoo

        How does narrowing make it less safe for pedestrians exactly?

  • B

    You all are talking like you know exactly what happened. You don’t. For all we know the kid ran out in front of the car. Perhaps we should wait for more details before spouting off about our pet peeves on policy issues.

    • Rick

      Yeah but that isn’t as fun

    • TotalAbsoluteBS

      Who cares. If a kid runs out in the street, a car on this street should be able to stop. But by widening this road the driver is more focused on making sure they don’t hit the curb or the parked cars, they aren’t going to see the stray kid.

      • AllenB

        “If a kid runs out in the street, a car on this street should be able to stop.” That’s got to be one of the dumbest statements on this thread, and there are many. You have NO IDEA what happened in this accident. If a kid runs in front of a car going 30+MPH and is only a few feet from the car, that car has no way of stopping. Give up your useless, uninformed speculating about this and wait for some details. Right now the only thing that is important is that the student recovers, not you puffing up your ego by making stupid statements.

        • TotalAbsoluteBS

          Allen, I sometimes feel like you seek out my comments just so you can say something stupid.
          If a kid runs out in a street a car should be able to stop. Of course if the street is narrow and packed with parked cars, like this street is, then the car isn’t going 30. Oh wait, they are, because the other stretches of this road are still wide open. SO now this car is speeding and can’t stop.
          Do you see how we have created a hazard by narrowing this street in this one section but leaving the rest a wide open street where speeds are often 50?

          Do you prefer the statement, “if a kids runs out into a street, I don’t want the car to be able to stop.” Now go get your mirror and see who is saying stupid things.

          • AllenB

            You give yourself a lot of (undue) credit since I think this is the first, maybe the second, post of yours that I’ve responded to.

            And please shine the stupidity mirror on yourself as cars going thirty or so miles per hour physically are unable to stop if a kid darts out in the street unexpectedly right in front of them. Is it a tragedy? Of course. But is it the drivers fault, or in your view, the County Board’s fault? Probably not, but can’t say for sure until we know the facts.

            You do know what facts are, don’t you TABS? They are those pesky little things which you have none of in this case since we don’t know the details of the accident. But why let that stop your bloviating?

    • mehoo

      Thank you. Excellent comment.

  • Rick

    The culture of bike tires > shoes > car tires on county asphalt needs to be re-evaluated. Seems like asphalt should be car and bike turf, sidewalks should be people turf. Cars should be cognizant or people when pulling onto driveways, people should go back to RESPECTING that asphalt was put down for cars. If you get picked off in a crosswalk and you have the walk signal, send that driver to jail. If you’re not where you’re supposed to be, you should know better.

    • AsherYuki

      Preach it Rick

    • Thes

      Pedestrians came first, then roads, then bicycles, then cars and then, finally, asphalt. Yes, the asphalt was put down for cars. Too much of it, as it turns out. And so now we’re ripping up some of the asphalt and returning more of roads to a greater share of their earlier urban purposes, which is to provide access to adjacent uses and allow people to interact with one another, not just pass each other. The culture of cars going faster > all other factors needs to be re-evaluated as well.

      • Rick

        Doesn’t change the fact that asphalt is for cars though. Asphalt allows me to interact with taco bell, i don’t care about who I pass on the way there

    • mehoo

      Actually, rural and suburban roads were first paved for cyclists during the cycling craze that swept America a few decades before cars were invented. This paved the way (literally) for the development of cars. Thank a cyclist.

      • Rick

        I’ll thank henry ford before i thank a cyclist for anything

        • mehoo

          Ungrateful bastard.

          • Rick

            potty mouth

    • R.Griffon

      “people should go back to RESPECTING that asphalt was put down for cars.”

      A sweeping generalization that promotes a very dangerous “get outta my way” mindset amongst drivers. By your own admission, the asphalt belongs to a pedestrian, and most decidedly NOT a driver, if crossing at a crosswalk at the appropriate time. So who’s road is it? The truth is that it just depends, and in the end it’s EVERYONE’S responsibility to know the rules and follow them without fail.

      And when in doubt, just yield to the other guy if at all possible. The only thing better than having the right of way is NOT hurting someone or getting hurt yourself.

      • Rick

        It seems like you read what you wanted to read, and took what you wanted to bend it your way. You neglected the part where I said vehicles should yield to pedestrians when entering driveways (i.e. crossing a sidewalk). If you are where you are supposed to be, you should not fear for life and limb. Simple as that. When you’re on someone elses turf, you need to be aware of your surroundings.

        I’m all for pedestrian safety. I hate walking in ballston, but I hate driving in it more. I have to walk the “very dangerous” intersection of quincy and 9th ever day. I deal with it by looking both ways. I think little things like letting the pedestrian signals turn to walk a few seconds before the signal goes green is a good idea. People walking out in the street and expecting cars for them to stop shouldn’t be surprised if they get picked off. I’m not saying thats what this person did, but that seems to be how people on Wilson blvd behave at least and its dumb.

  • MB22204

    I’m a lifetime pedestrian in Arlington and I cross at right places, although crossable intersections are sometimes hard to come by. I take responsibility as a pedestrian. But the simple truth is that many many drivers in this area drive like maniacs. I’ve had people yell at me to hurry up while crossing the street. Drivers just need to take a few deep breaths and realize that it’s better to arrive somewhere late than not arrive at all or kill someone in the process.

    I’m not saying this is what happened in this case. But since everyone is talking about how pedestrians need be more careful, I just wanted to stress that it cuts both ways. Drivers really need to take a damn chill pill (and get off their phones too)!

    • Sam

      Agreed. What’s worse is when drivers BEHIND the driver that is waiting for you to cross starts beeping (as if the person waiting for you should just run you over). Drivers: if you’re behind someone and can’t see why there is a delay, relax. Chances are the person in front of you can see and cannot go. There’s no need to start beeping because you’re in such a damn hurry. Leave earlier.

  • Teyo


    Here is a timely study talking about making roads “safer” and how that leads to more dangerous driving: http://www.autoblog.com/2011/01/05/study-making-roads-safer-has-led-to-bored-risk-taking-drivers/ The important quote comes at the end of the article: “…the researchers have apparently recommended adding more turns to roads and incorporating shared space to force drivers to pay attention, among other actions.”

    Also, last I checked, Route 50 goes through the middle of Arlington, not just Falls Church, and is prone to drivers speeding in Arlington as well. I’m not sure how half a mile into Falls Church suddenly makes drivers behave differently, but I’m sure you have an explanation.

    • Rick

      Arlington has a pedestrian bridge to TJ, which is the only thing worth crossing 50 for on foot. Seven corners foot traffic is 1000 times more than middle arlington foot traffic. Every signal has a pedestrian signal if i’m not mistaken as well.

    • TotalAbsoluteBS

      Teyo, please don’t attribute my brilliant postings to someone else. Pay attention here.
      To cite an example of the crossing in Falls Church is absurd. It is a street with huge retail destinations on both sides and people who want to be on the otherside. NOWHERE in Arlington (other than around Iwo Jima) is there a similar situation.
      The pedestrian bridge is a very important addition and dramatic safety feature.
      But it has nothing to do with Four Mile RUn traffic.
      Oh, by the way, aren’t we tearing down our pedestrian bridges (Rosslyn Skywalk and Crystal Skywalk) as a way to have “eyes on the street.”
      So are those Falls Church people just less capabale of crossing a high volume street? Because if you are touting this pedestrian bridge why are we tearing them down in Arlington? I’m sure you are going to say that it isn’t a good comparison. GOod because it isn’t and neither is comparing Route 50 at Seven Corners a good comparison to two-lane Four Mile Run Drive.

  • John Andre

    Was the victim within a designated crossing area or was he running across Four Mile Run Drive in an area other than the crosswalks?

    We have too many vehicles around, but pedestrians, too, have responsibilities. They shouldn’t be darting into traffic in areas not designated for pedestrian crossing.

  • Bender

    **incorporating shared space**

    Mixing cars and pedestrians is dangerous. Purposely doing so shows a reckless disregard for public safety.

    **to force drivers to pay attention**

    Once again proving my point that the idea is to intentionally increase the danger — purposely making it less safe in order to “force drivers to pay attention,” which is somehow supposed to be safer.

    In other words, playing chicken with people’s lives.

    Why not simply remove seatbelts and airbags from cars, ban bumpers, and bring back the Pinto, with the exploding gas tank if rear-ended? Then people would really drive safe!

    It is backasswards thinking like this that gets people hit by cars.

    • mehoo

      But we have to share space. We can’t put people and pedestrians in separate little airtight tubes. People have to cross the street.

  • Travis Parsons

    I live in a high-rise building called the Brittany right beside where this accident happened, just off of S. Four Mile Run Dr. and I think people use Four Mile Run Drive as a cut through because of traffic on Columbia Pike and they drive WAY too fast! It’s like a race and as I pointed out earlier, they are cutting through, so they are already driving aggressively and in a hurry! Two other unfortunate things are there are both a lot of foot traffic (pedestrians) and bikes along this road (especially because of the bike trails), so I agree with your point that “Mixing cars and pedestrians is dangerous”!

  • Brittany Resident

    In combination with driver and road safety, it seems there is very little attention to JAYWALKERS — which occurs widely on that block, among other areas. Only the teenage victim, the driver, and witnesses know what really happened. However, pedestrians too are accountable for their safety, especially knowing that some people behind the wheel are either jerks or just flat out not paying attention.

    • Travis Parsons

      How do you really expect “kids” not to JAYWALK without an actual escort of some kind? In my opinion, that is way too “pie in the sky” all we can do is try to teach them to do the right and safe thing, but unfortunately kids are kids and even adults are risk takers! In the end, pedestrians have the right of way and the cars should slow down and pay attention on residential roads like this! Not a sermon, just a thought!

      • Boognish

        Sorry buddy – pedestrians do not have the right away to cross a street any old place they want to. If you dart out into a road outside of a crosswalk, you’re taking your life into your own hands – if a driver is obeying the speed limit and not driving recklessly it is absolutely not their fault if you get hit.

    • Rick

      Teach your kids how to cross at a crosswalk. Problem solved.

  • Travis Parsons

    I live in a high-rise building called the Brittany right beside where this accident happened, just off of S. Four Mile Run Dr. and I think people use Four Mile Run Drive as a cut through because of traffic on Columbia Pike and they drive WAY too fast! It’s like a race and as I pointed out earlier, they are cutting through, so they are already driving aggressively and in a hurry! Two other unfortunate things (pertaining to this strip of road)are there are both a lot of foot traffic (pedestrians) and bikes along this road (especially because of the bike trails), so I agree with your point that “Mixing cars and pedestrians is dangerous”!

  • David Morrison

    I am a resident and board member of the Carlton, the condo at 4600 South Four Mile Run, right across from the Brittany. We have long found the county’s approach to Four Mile Run puzzling and dangerous. They have allowed parking on the road in ways that make them noticeably more dangerous and they do not enforce traffic laws adequately. For example, cars often DO NOT STOP when pedestrians are in the CROSSWALK for crossing Four Mile Run. I am not surprised this accident occurred. I am more surprised it had not happened sooner.

    • mehoo

      I imagine that condo residents are among those who would complain loudly if street parking were banned. As for cars not stopping for crosswalks, how is that the County’s fault?

      • Sam

        Isn’t it the county’s job to enforce the law on a county street?

        • mehoo

          Absolutely. But that’s true everywhere. Not sure how it applies just to 4MR, unless you’re saying the cops never patrol it.

  • Aaron

    Crosswalks in Arlington tend to be far more dangerous than cutting at midblock. All most drivers at an intersection do is just see a green light (or think “Right turn = no stop on red!”) and just blow through without regard for pedestrians with the right of way. Crossing at midblock is safer because all of the potential threats to your safety are coming from at most two directions.

    • Clarendip

      I thought the same thing last night when I was driving south on Walter Reed crossing Columbia Pike. A man ran across the street from the Rite Aid–and I thought, yea you actually have more visibility than you would crossing at the proper crosswalk. THAT is a very dangerous intersection for pedestrians.

  • Mothership

    I hope someone publishes an update on the child’s condition, good or bad. This corridor is very, very dangerous. The intersection of FMR and GM drive is a disaster (service roads, arterials, bike paths plus sidewalks). It’s a disgrace that kids don’t have a better option for safe walking.

  • Minnie Me

    When I walked by the accident site last evening before the car involved in the accident was towed away, I observed that a well-marked crosswalk was approximately 10 yards away–to the south of the accident site. A couple of crosswalks were put in when the county updated that part of Four Mile Run about 2 years ago. The street was narrowed but many new street parking spots were created as a result.

  • mars v venus

    I think cars are from venus and pedestrians are from mars.

    • mehoo

      And cyclists are from Earth!

      • mars v venus

        i like to lump cyclists in with pedestrians.

  • SinSA

    I also live at the Carlton, and when I got home last night, I asked the concierge what had happened, and did he know if the boy was okay. He said (this sounds like a game of telephone, and I’m sorry) that he was told the boy was being chased by 2 other boys who had a BB/pellet gun, and ran out into the road and that’s when he was hit by the car.

    • Clarendip

      That is FUBAR

      • Jason S

        It’s also speculation, but connects this to the bullying article quite nicely.

        • Lou

          Yeah, except this is already assault, possibly ADW if the kid thought it was a real gun. If his injuries prove to be fatal, it’s manslaughter. No need for a bullying statute here.

  • Minnie Me

    Could be bullying or it could be boys with too little supervision and access to things that they should not have access to. There is a group of about 4-6 teenage boys that hang out between the Brittany and the Carlton and the two boys in the Brittany’s lobby last evening (talking with the police officer) were part of the group. I’m not sure if the injured boy was part of their group or someone completely outside the group. Hopefully we’ll get more facts in time. If the BB thing is true then it may not have had anything to do with how narrow FMR is or isn’t. Tragic either way for all affected…hopefully the boy can make a speedy recovery and hopefully the driver isn’t too scarred by what happened.

  • MB

    Good examination of the issues related to narrowing roads (“road diets”) – http://ladotbikeblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/safety-traffic-and-you-the-case-for-road-diets/

    • charlie

      That looks great. i wish we would do more like that. I don’t think i’ve seen anything like that in Arlington. The Walter Reed Hill is close and that is an excellent improvement, as a driver and as someone who has been dared to bike that hill.
      This isn’t what was done to FMR Drive, though.

    • jan

      Makes too much sense for Arlington drivers

  • Tiffany

    The bottom line is that EVERYONE needs to be more careful…drivers and pedestrians who are both easily distracted these days. You need great caution in crossing the street regardless of how narrow the streets are. Cars do drive too fast down what’s a residential area which compounds the problem. Sending lots of prayers and positive thoughts to the child hit as well as the driver.

  • Jules

    Sorry folks… I know the child that was in the accident quite well. The story as it is unfolding( ie. the chase) is accurate. I can’t comment further, but I am not surprised that this happened at all. This is just one incident among many….it is still terrible that it happened.

  • Minnie Me

    If it is true that he was being chased by someone with a BB/pellet gun then that is pretty scary since the accident site area is heavily traveled with kids walking home from the school bus drop, people walking their pets, people just walking, people pushing kids in strollers, etc… Especially at that time of the day!! I smell a big lawsuit coming against the parents/guardians of the person with the BB gun (if he/she was underage). WOW!

    • Westover

      Folks in that area don’t have that much to sue for.

      • Melissa

        Westover- you have no idea about that area then.

  • Gregory B.

    Every Saturday at about 7:00am when I am going to work, from the intersection of Columbia Pike and South Four Mile Run Drive then driving east bound towards 395, why is it that every traffic light turns red. I literally stop at seven stop lights before I am able to enter the 395 hightway. I believe this is over regulation of traffic and at a time when there is very little traffic on road. It is very very frustrating and it is a waste of time and gas. This is happening because of two traffic lights. The first light is next to the Barcroft Sports Center and the other is in front of the DMV. If there were vehicles waiting to enter Four Mile Run Drive at those intersections or pedestrians waiting to cross, then it makes sense for those lights to turn red. But when they turn red for no other reason than to stop traffic, it is over regulation.


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