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Another Accident at Dangerous On-Ramp

by ARLnow.com May 27, 2011 at 2:35 pm 2,406 7 Comments

Another accident has occurred at the dangerous Washington Boulevard/Columbia Pike interchange.

The two-car accident happened this morning on the on-ramp from eastbound Columbia Pike to northbound Washington Boulevard. No injuries were reported, though the ramp was shut down for awhile.

The on-ramp was mentioned in our Most Dangerous On-Ramps list in February for its lack of room for merging cars to get up to speed.

VDOT is set to start work on a new Washington Boulevard/Columbia Pike bridge and interchange later this year.

  • SoCo Resident

    ARLNOW was right on the money in Feb. as identifying this as one of the most dangerous. On these old arterials, the speed limit should be drastically reduced at these unsafe intersections.

    VDOT missed the opportunity to correct the Wash Blvd/interchange when it replaced the bridge.

    The new interchange at Rt. 50-Courthouse-10th St. will have two new left turn on 50 inbound: one for 10th St, one for Courthouse Rd. This will be an “improvement”???? They also need to stop calling it an “interchange.”

    • Josh S

      I thought we went over this before. The bridge at Columbia Pike hasn’t been replaced. Yet. It was the bridge at Route 50.

      • SoCo Resident

        Sorry I was too brief. Yes, the bridge at Rt. 50 and Wash Blvd was replaced. Now, VDOT will do an inadequate job of replacing the Wash. Blvd and Columbia Pike bridge, followed by yet another inadequate job on the new so-called “interchange” at Rt. 50-Courthouse-10th St, which is really just the installation off two left turn signals off 50. .

        It is well worth attending meetings with VDOT and ArlDot — if only for the entertainment value. VDOT is so out of touch and ArlDoT closeby.

  • G::TheNativeArlingtonian

    This whole area is dangerous, especially headed west in the evening. Everyone is in such a hurry that they are switching lanes left and right and making it harder for everyone. With development on La Columbia it is only going to get worse.

  • Darwin

    I don’t know – thousands of people seem to navigate these “interchanges” every day without issue. Even if it’s only 100 cars/day, this would’ve been an accident rate of 1%. Since there isn’t an accident every day, the actual percentage is much, much lower.

    Maybe it’s just teaching bad drivers a lesson…?

  • fo’ realz

    Why doesn’t the cop get a black bar on his eyes? Did he sign a waiver for you?

  • brad

    Coincidentally, there’s a huge dumptruck merging at the very second Google streetview snapped a picture of this onramp: http://is.gd/F8n07P

    I drive this road every day. This whole section of Washington Blvd is dangerous. There are too many cars coming together at the same time and not enough safety barriers/features.

    Traffic from 395 S/Crystal City ALWAYS goes as far as they can and then merges at the last second (I believe this is what causes most of the traffic here by the way). They just recently installed new signs saying “Exit Only” and it has helped, but they NEED arrows painted on the road and a small median so that cars have to decide earlier which way they are going. Currently, they merge from the right side as other cars are merging from 395 N on the left side – 4 lanes merging into 2.

    Right after all this merging happens, this onramp joins the cluster of cars.

    The type of accident seen in the picture is typical…the first car looks like it’s going to merge, then stops. The second car thinks the first is making a move, and while looking back to see if they can keep their momentum and make it too, runs into the back of the first car that stopped. It’s a serious nuisance but not a life-threatening accident.

    What worries me is the kind of accident that might come from a head on collision – a collision caused by a an aggressive merge from the onramp, pushing the flow of traffic toward oncoming traffic. This is the ONLY place that does not have a guard rails along this highway speed (poorly marked, and never enforced 45mph limit, and constantly 55+mph drivers both ways) section of Washington Blvd. Take a look at the Google streetview – the guard rails stop right when they’re needed! The 395 N late mergers are also merging around the same time.

    It’s a recipe for disaster – a perfect storm of traffic that is hopefully fixed by the upcoming bridge replacement project. Maybe I’m crazy because there has not been an accident like this that I know of, but I am certainly wary while driving around here.

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