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Bike Accident Involving Police Car Along Custis Trail

by ARLnow.com August 16, 2011 at 4:39 pm 8,690 106 Comments

A bicyclist struck an Arlington County police cruiser on Lee Highway this afternoon as the cruiser was responding to a bicyclist struck by a car a couple of blocks away.

The cyclist was heading downhill on the Custis Trail, toward Rosslyn, at the time of the accident. He struck the front bumper of the police cruiser as it was entering westbound Lee Highway from N. Oak Street, tumbled to the ground and suffered a bloody head wound. The wound was said to be superficial and the cyclist was conscious when medics arrived to treat him.

There is a painted stop sign on the trail just before the intersection.

It’s unclear if the cyclist was wearing a helmet at the time, but none was spotted near the scene. He was loaded into an ambulance and taken to the hospital.

The police officer involved in the accident was responding to a bicyclist who was reported struck by a car at Lee Highway and N. Quinn Street, also along the Custis Trail. The cyclist in that accident reportedly only suffered minor injuries.

  • BerryBerryCold

    Sucks for all parties involved.

  • waaaah

    Online commenter accident reconstruction team assemble!!

    • Lou

      Speed is believed to be a factor in the accident.

      • Clarendon Cruiser

        Gravity was picked up nearby claiming he had nothing to do with this.

        • Jezebel

          you made me smile

        • NPGMBR

          Thats a good one!

    • Theakston

      OK cycling Lycra scofflaws never stop at signs / lights /should walk bikes in crosswalks. Get out of the road/ off of the sidewalk (delete accoridng to your preference)…………………..
      there that should save everyone some time!

      • BrownFlipFlops

        You should really throw in, “Lance Wannabes,” too, if you want to properly troll a cycling post. For extra credit make accusations about paying no taxes, rant about licences, and threaten to run someone down.

        Pretty good, though – you were 90% there.

        • Theakston

          damn only 90% must try harder.

        • BrownFlipFlops

          Ah, fiddlesticks. The commenting system is acting strangely. When my repeat post shows up down thread, I’m going to look really out of it. I’m OK, I promise!

    • Clarendon Cruiser

      Later, Momentum was questioned and admitted there was nothing to stop him.

      • BrownFlipFlops

        Theakston said, “OK cycling Lycra scofflaws never stop at signs / lights /should walk bikes in crosswalks. Get out of the road/ off of the sidewalk (delete accoridng to your preference)”

        Add “Lance Armstrong Wannabes,” throw in a little, “bicyclists should pay road taxes and be licensed,” and then threaten to run someone down in Rock Creek Park, and you will have trolled the post like a BOSS.

        • BrownFlipFlops

          THERE’S that repeat post – the commenting system has a little latency in it today. Sorry.

          • Theakston

            flipflop lance wannabe

    • Just Me

      waaaah that was funny, sadly true.

    • PikerShorts

      HAHAHA +infinity

  • Art Deco

    There was also a bike accident yesterday near Starbucks across from Whole Foods in Clarendon. Two neighbors on my block have also been struck by cars within the last year. This is not a safe place to bike. Too many inattentive drivers in too big a hurry.

    • Bender

      Sounds like this is not a safe place to drive. Too many inattentive bicyclists in too big a hurry. Too many inattentive bicyclists who negligently or recklessly speed along paths shared with pedestrians and streets shared with motor vehicles, and too many bicyclists who don’t bother to stop at intersections and instead cruise through stop signs and red lights.

      • steam roller

        That kills me — “not a safe place to drive.” Yes, there are stupid cyclists. Yes, riders need to be prepared to stop at the many intersections on that section of the Custis. But it’s pretty rare for a motorist to get hurt by a cyclist. Drivers generally remain pretty safe whether hitting or being hit by cyclists.

        • Mr. Brown

          Sounds like not a safe place to police anymore. Too many citizens in too big a hurry. Too many inattentive people who negligently or recklessly run into police who are responding to calls for police services, and too many calls requiring a police response.

      • Novanglus

        It’s a perfectly safe place to drive. If a driver has a collision with a bicyclist, the driver will be perfectly safe.

        I remember that when I’m biking, and I don’t take any driver behaviors for granted. When I’m driving or walking and a bicyclist runs a red light across my path I yield to them and make sure they know they’re in the wrong.

    • CrystalMikey

      Ummm…cyclist hit the car. Not the other way around

      • arlresident


      • Rick

        Ummm… cyclist [ran a stop sign and] hit the car.

    • CW

      This is solely in response to the Starbucks incident you mention – I was hit there a couple years ago while minding my own business in the cycle lane. I wanted to be respectful of the fact that the county had provided cycle lanes by using them. Not anymore. Anywhere the cycle lane pushes up against metered parking, I ride with traffic.

  • Don Ager

    How do we know the bike struck the cop car and not the other way around?
    Is the cop being given the benefit of the doubt here?
    Most times when I read these car/bike accidents, it’s always car strikes bike or, for example, in the case of the accident the cop was responding to “bicyclist who was reported struck by a car”.

  • Southeast Ben

    Looks like a Dos XX bottle to me in picture one. Maybe a Yuengling?

    • PikerShorts

      Could be Pine Sol again

  • noj

    *arlnow’s collective readership reads article, head proceeds to explode*

  • bob

    You’ve got new lights installed there. And I’m not surprised at all by this. Both cops and bikes behave very badly.

    Although I am glad the cop spent time rushing to the scene of the accident. I mean, it’s not like there are any bank robbers out there.

    • ArlHoodSouthie

      It’s only Tuesday…

  • kc

    This morning I ran by the intersection of the previous two accidents at Lynn and Lee. There was a line of about 30 kids and adults (mostly kids) lined up to cross the intersection heading east and go down the hill toward Roosevelt Island. When the light changed I held my breath but all made it through safely though it took the entire cycle for the group to get across. An anxious driver then pulled up into the southbound crosswalk so I had to go behind him to get into Rosslyn. Got to pay attention out there to keep safe.

  • Tre

    Recursion alert

  • Curious George

    I actually saw someone on a bike come to a full stop behind the stop line at the corner of north 9th and oakland Friday. That is rare even for drivers.

    I was so surprised I almost fell over.

    • Rick

      If he had stopped for a full 5 seconds there would be confetti and klondike bars for everyone

      • Michelle

        I’d stop for a klondike bar.

  • I know this intersection and you can’t see the bikes coming down the hill and they can’t see the cars until they are right on top of them. I didn’t know the bikes had a stop sign but they need it. It’s a dangerous spot.

    • Bender

      It is an intersection. There is an obligation to STOP whether there is a sign there or not. It is at best negligent to simply zip through the intersection without stopping, looking, listening, for opposing traffic.

      Let’s try a couple hypotheticals. What if, instead of a bicycle and motor vehicle, it had been —

      –a bicycle and another bicycle approaching the intersection from opposing streets?
      –a bicycle and a jogger approaching the intersection from opposing streets?

      Who has the obligation to stop whether there is a stop sign or light or none at all?

      If this bicyclist had struck another bicyclist instead of the cop car, who would have been at fault?

    • bobco85

      Actually, at this intersection there is a stoplight specifically made for cyclists (I thought they were cool but unnecessary when they were installed). There is no stop sign (not a red octagon at eye level), but instead a stenciled “STOP” on the ground about 20 feet from the intersection.

      I bike through there all the time, and know to slow down so I can check for cars coming around that corner. It’s not an excuse, but I think it could be better if they could cut back on the ridiculously thick walls of the stairwell that seem to block both the driver’s/cyclist’s views.

      • SaveDaveMcKenna

        The Building Museum had an exhibit on translucent cement (concrete?) in the last few years. Solution?

        • bobco85

          I went to that exhibit! It would be cool to incorporate that, as long as they also put in some transparent parts. Truthfully, I think anything would look better than what it looks like now.

        • Captain Kirk

          It’s a shame we still have to wait centuries before they invent transparent aluminum. . .

        • Clarendon Cruiser

          Transparent Lycra boggles the mind!

    • cyclist

      I think there’s a stop sign there, but I don’t know because I stop anyway. It’s dumb not to.

  • charlie

    biking is like driving.
    i could total my car and five others almost everyday to and from work.
    but i don’t. I pay attention while driving.
    same thing when I’m biking.
    i could have ten concussions a year from my big fat head hitting the road.
    But I don’t. i pay attention while biking.
    no, i’m not perfect. i know that the biggest danger on the road is “the other person”.
    be careful folks.

    • bobco85

      I couldn’t agree with you more. I myself have been biking around this area for about 20 years and the only contact I’ve made with a car was in 2nd grade (it was a parked car).

  • Bob

    “Sounds like this is not a safe place to drive. Too many inattentive bicyclists in too big a hurry. Too many inattentive bicyclists who negligently or recklessly speed along paths shared with pedestrians and streets shared with motor vehicles, and too many bicyclists who don’t bother to stop at intersections and instead cruise through stop signs and red lights.”

    I’m all for sharing the road, but I do have to agree with this comment. I drive safely (personally speaking — I sure the heck don’t know about the rest of you!) and so should bikers.

    Actually, it’s more complicated than that: we’ve definitely got density here, as in many places. Yet I remember recently in Richmond walking over a foot-bridge underneath a highway. Man, forget about the cars on the highway above — we were dodging bullets every second with the bikers, and we were just trying to *walk* and enjoy the beautiful day! Bikers need to do a self-check, too.

    • jjbug1

      [This comment has been deleted due to a violation of our comments policy.]

      • Elle

        Look up ad hominem, jjbug1, and see how it helps your argument.

  • bobco85

    I am a cyclist, and I think this is a case of both parties making multiple mistakes that resulted in a crash.

    Here are the mistakes I think were made:

    Mistakes by the cyclist:
    – entering an intersection without checking if the way is clear
    – failure to yield to a police car with its lights on
    – not slowing down when approaching from a steep hill
    – (possible) crossing when the bike stoplight showed red (they are installed at this intersection)
    – (possible) not wearing a helmet

    Mistakes by the police officer:
    – quickly entering an intersection without blaring the siren to alert other people
    – not checking for bicycles (there’s a yellow “watch for bicycles from right” sign)
    – (possible) making a right turn on red (there’s a “no turn on red” sign)

    Truthfully, I think this is mostly the cyclist’s fault in this situation. I just can’t stress enough to everyone that one of the most important things you need to do before entering an intersection is to make sure the area is clear of all people/bicycles/vehicles.

    • Narlington

      Cyclist are all crazy and if you don’t want to stop at an intersection thats cool but don’t bitch if a car hits you.

      • Jen

        I can’t believe it took this long for a little cycling hyperbole! Ah yes, all cyclists are crazy. Every last one of them.

      • Grammar Police Officer

        I do believe if you’re talking about all of the bike riders on the planet you need to make “cyclist” plural. As a side benefit, it would improve your argument about all cyclists being crazy if the sentence were grammatically correct.

    • Benjamin

      The police officer had his blue lights and siren on at the time of this accident. I was there.

  • JimPB

    Both the bicyclists and the police officer almost certainly learned about the need for caution at intersections. Hopefully others have, too, from the report on the accident.

    Translating from the new regulation that cigarette packs prominently display depictions of the adverse consequences of using tobacco, perhaps caution and obeying traffic signs/lights would be increased if pictures of accidents were displayed prominently by/around intersections where these incidents had occurred.

    The adverse consequences of not wearing a helmet should also be displayed. The consequences, at their best, can be severe. I’ve seen them. The brain can be marvelous at recuperating, but it is not always fully successful, and the time required is often long and the discomforts along the way, e.g., fatigue, headaches, dizziness, impaired attention and cognitive engagement, are unpleasant to impairing. Prevention is best. Get a good helmet and wear it. And of course, try not to test the helmet — cycle with continual vigilance and care. Your body and mind will thank you.

    • jjbug1

      Helmets! +1

  • yequalsy

    I want to elaborate on something bobco85 briefly mentioned. I bike through there every day. Oak is one of the intersections that now has a specific bike stop/go light. (Indeed cops were sitting in “ambush” there a bunch last month to catch cyclists running that red.) The question is whether the bike light was green or red. A smart cyclist rides very much under control at that intersection, regardless if it’s green, but if it’s green then the cyclist has the right of way.

    • TGEoA

      Wrong. The painted stop is still in force.

      • yequalsy

        Seriously? Any reasonable person is going to see the green light — a green light specifically for bikes — as granting the right of way. Put it like this. Imagine you’re driving a car. You come up on an intersection and you notice this old painted “STOP” on the road at the same time you see a GREEN light.Which one are you going to obey? I know you’re going to come back and claim that what is supposed to happen is that the cyclist is supposed to stop at the sign and then proceed if the light is green. Well then explain to me why the other day a cop was stopping people who blew through on green (without stopping at all) while others who tried to blow through on red got stopped. The cop sure wasn’t adhering to the painted stop sign probably because the sign likely isn’t supposed to be there anymore. If the county seriously wants people to stop and then go (which makes zero sense on any level) then they need to either put in a more prominent clear sign or get rid of the bike light and put in a stop sign. Otherwise it’s just entrapment.

      • CW

        There are definitely mixed messages at this intersection. As a cyclist I adhere to the rule of doing what prevents me from getting killed. Whether that is being conservative (stopping even though I have “right of way”) or agressive (jumping a red light when there’s no cross traffic to get a head start and open up some distance on the cars behind me), I do what keeps me the safest.

      • cyclist

        yequalsy is right. If the stop sign is still there, nobody should be expected to follow it when they see a green light. It should obviously be removed.

  • Spike

    Ok. Bikes need to respond to signs. Drivers need to share the road. Police in Arlington do tend to ignor the laws protecting cyclists and that’s sad because the county is very bike friendly.

  • PhilT

    No helmet? While allowed in Arlington….

    from: http://www.dmv.virginia.gov/webdoc/safety/programs/bicycle/faq.asp

    Is it safer to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk or on the road?

    Avoid bicycling on sidewalks, especially in areas where motorists might not expect bicyclists or might have obstructed visibility. For example, a driver backing a car out of a driveway might not expect a bicyclist riding on the sidewalk.

    So Dillon’s rules…

    And yes, I bike.

    • CW

      WTF are you talking about; this was on the Custis Trail.

    • Rick

      It’s safest to ride a bicycle at the gym

      • cyclist

        There’s something deeply wrong with that though. Especially if you drive to the gym.

  • Mantikos

    This article is biased and frankly unprofessional. Unless the author witnessed the event he should preface any details with “according to the police report…”

    As for who is at fault. The picture does not show the police car’s emergency lights on (why turn them off after the accident?) Just because he was responding on an accident call, that doesn’t mean they were on. If the lights were off then the police must drive like any citizen would and that means yielding to pedestrians/bikes in a crosswalk.

    The whole “bike hit car” thing smells like a cover up. Most likely it was they both hit each other. Judging by the picture the fellow who was hit is some humble immigrant who is scared of cops and his shadow so it’ll end here. If Sally Mae College or Dr John Public was the bike rider, the police report and article would have been very different. The lawyers would be fighting over this. As it is the county won’t even fix this schmuck’s bike.

    • CW

      +1 for saying what everyone else was afraid to say.

      This was NOT a lyrca-wearing lance wannabe TTing on his Cervelo. That intersection is dangerous as hell and we’ve had stories in just the past few weeks of police getting into accidents responding to calls.

      I would say the fault is mutual by definition – if a cyclist comes to a complete stop there, he can see far enough to avoid anything coming at most any speed. However, ACPD is quite visable in their tear-assing around town at high speeds, in my experience often without lights or sirens.

    • look again

      If you look carefully at the top picture, the cruiser that doesn’t have a door open has its lights on.

      The photo happened to catch them at a part of the cycle where they aren’t reflecting towards the photographer and thus aren’t as bright, but clearly there are 4 blue lights illuminated on top of that cruiser. The other cruiser doesn’t appear to have its lights on, and neither does the SUV.

      It’s a still photo, not a video. Put away the conspiracy crap.

      • JamesE

        Upon further inspection you can almost make out another cruiser with its lights on behind the concrete barriers in the grassy knoll, back and to the left, back and to the left.

    • There was no police report, because it had just happened minutes ago. Here’s a close-up of the police cruiser’s front bumper.

      • well then

        it looks like cop hit – bike not the other way around, for the impact to be all the way over on the far side of the front bumper……also explaind why the bike is in the middle of Lee Hwy too.

        • Lou

          If the police car was sitting still in the intersection, and the bike rode into the front of it, would that mean the car hit the bike?

          See, you can not assume anything based on a photo.

  • Soarlslacker

    Everyone needs to be very alert in congested Arl Cty. It does not matter if you are walking, running, biking, or driving. No walker, runner, or biker is a fair match for a car, truck or metro bus.

  • Justin

    Things are getting worse and worse for bike and pedestrian safety here, so this is unfortunately no surprise. You just need to walk through Clarendon and see that every sidewalk is closed, giant construction signs blocking the sidewalks, total lack of bike lanes, drivers completely ignoring walk signals and driving through them…it’s terrible.

  • Alexandrian

    I almost hit a bike today on Washington Blvd/GW Parkway, while sitting in traffic (literally parked/stopped whatever you want to call it). The cyclist was crossing where there’s a sign that specifically says “Stop/dismount before crossing” (I’ve seen that sign hundreds of times being a cyclist myself). He just whizzed by without even slowing down, when traffic opened up and we were starting to accelerate.

    Yes there are drivers out there who are always in a hurry and have no respect for other drivers/cyclists, and there’s cyclists who have a feeling of entitlement and think that cars are going to pay hommage to them.

    On another note, cyclists are supposed to follow the same traffic rules as motorists on the road.

    • Poppycock

      Where does Washington Blvd. cross GW Parkway exactly?

    • charlie

      dismount is NOT a law.

      the only problem with the google map thingie is that Washington Blvd is NOT a N/S road. It is just Washington Blvd.,

      • Alexandrian

        I don’t know if it’s a law or not, but if there’s a sign telling me to dismount before crossing, I’m pretty sure there’s a good reason for it.

  • Nov M

    Don’t blame the cops. Don’t blame the cyclist. Blame the county board who set the policy that cops don’t harass (meaning ticket) skoflaw pedestrians and cyclists for not obeying the traffic laws. Why not jaywalk/ignore red lights/ignore stop signs/etc when you know that the cops can’t give you a ticket. Come on county board how many wrecks and deaths will it take before you allow the cops to enforce the traffic laws against ANY violator.

    • cyclist

      You’re saying the county board has passed an ordinance that says pedestrians and cyclists can’t be ticketed, and therefore are basically immune from the law?

      I seriously doubt that.

    • othersideoftheriver

      Girl Scout honor, I have seen Arlington police pulling over and ticketing bicyclists more than once in the past year.

      Of course, I almost hit a cyclist I was so surprised, but still.

  • YTK

    A bicyclist obeying a Stop Sign? HAHAHAHAHA!! Not the ones I’ve seen!!!

    LICENSE Plates and ROAD TEST for ALL bicyclists – make them RESPONSIBLE for their “driving” too!!

    • steam roller

      One state — and I forget which one — has made rolling stop (basically a yield) legal for cyclists. There are good reasons for this. First, cyclists can see clearly in every direction at an intersection, with no hood or roof pillars to block their view. Second, coming to a dead stop and starting again can often put the cyclist in a more unstable situation. Bikes are different than cars and the rules should be made accordingly.

      That said, cyclists should always be prepared to stop in such situtations. If you aren’t able to come to a dead stop at every intersection along the Custis trail if need b., you’re riding too fast. On the trail, cyclists should be prepared to slow down to wait for oncoming bikes/peds when passing rather than squeezing by, rubbing elbows and risking a crash. Use common sense safety on crowded streets, trails. Get your workout in roads that can acommodate fast riding.

      Oh, I’m a cyclist.

      • jjbug1


      • jjbug1

        Enjoying this logic!

    • Theakston

      Dang I thought I’d already covered all this for all of you bike haters.

    • Bluemontsince1961

      @YTK, an older gentleman went right through a red light last Saturday at Washington Blvd and N. Ohio St. I’d pulled up to wait for the stop light on Ohio to make a left onto Washington Blvd. He came right up, moved about half way into Washington Blvd (light still red), looked, and pedaled on his way. I wonder how it would have gone over with the ACPD if I decided I didn’t want to wait for the red light and had pulled the same stunt? What if someone came down Washington Blvd, didn’t see him in time and ran into him? The way he acted, it seemed like he didn’t give a flying rat.

      I am NOT saying that all cyclists do this stuff. Many cyclists I encounter while driving or walking around Arlington are courteous, obey traffic laws, stop at red lights and wait for the green, stop at stop signs before going through intersections, etc. But, I have also seen a fair number that don’t, and they put themselves and others in jeopardy. Sadly, whenever I see a cyclist at an intersection, I assume they are going to turn or pull out without even looking, so I try to drive defensively and be ready to brake and lean on the horn. However, I also do the same with other car drivers as well; there are a lot of crazy drivers around here also.

      • cyclist

        I watched a cyclist plow through the last second of the crosswalk at Lynn St. this morning (as I waited safely for the next one.) While just barely legal, it was still stupid.

        Cycling has become alot more popular. It has put alot of people out there who don’t know the rules or how to ride safely, along with some who just don’t care.

      • PikerShorts

        I also love watching the whole peloton going N on Quincy cruise through a red light across Wilson BLVD to get to the bike shop by Gold’s. They must think that if one bike gets through while the light is yellow, the 30 people behind him have a right to go through with him. Farckle!

  • just a thought

    Have any of you people ranting about cyclists going through a red light ever crossed (on foot) against a red light? you know looked both ways, nothing coming so cross? Really? Never?
    Not talking about blowing through a light here but there is a case for cyclists to be able to cross if there’s nothing coming,,,,at their own risk.

    • Novanglus

      If I’m noticing them doing it, it’s because I’m dodging them while I’m driving with a green light or walking with a walk signal. By definition, that doesn’t fit the “looked both ways, nothing coming” case. But it happens to be on a daily basis in the courthouse area.

      I love it more when a cyclist puts out his hand to tell me to stop for him, even though he’s the one running the light. That’s always guys wearing the gear of a certain team — might be time to start boycotting the sponsors.

  • Michael Roy

    This is a very poorly designed intersection. As a cyclist approaches Oak St. on the Custis Trail from the north, due to the building on the corner, he cannot see whether a car is approaching. Nor can a car see whether a cyclist is approaching. The intersection is controlled by a light, which indicates whether a pedestrian/cyclist can cross. If a ped/cyclist has a green light, the cars exiting Oak St. have a red light, and a Do Not Turn on Red sign. But cars turn right anyway, either because they do not see the sign or for whatever reason. I know because it happened to me. I was riding on the Custis trail, had the light, a car was stopped, and so I continued. Then the car started to turn right on red. I ended up on the hood of his car, so I hit him (just like this cyclist hit the cop car), though he admitted he turned right on red and that he hadn’t seen me and it was his fault. I see lots of comments about unsafe cyclists and as an everyday cyclist I do see unsafe cyclists, but from the article it’s impossible to tell who was at fault in this one. I personally know another careful cyclist who was involved in an accident at this same place. Between him and me, that was the site of our first time in an accident for each of us, and he and I are middle-aged guys who ride a lot and have lots of miles on us. What is the chance that 2 cyclists who have each ridden literally tens of thousands of miles get struck at the same intersection? It’s just a bad intersection and cyclists need to be super-cautious there.

  • roquer

    Bike was probably doing about 50 coming down that hill, ran the stop sign, most likely the cop never saw the bike till it ran into him. Must’ve felt like a steel fly hit the car. Boing…bet even Lance couldn’t do THAT as good.

  • 2Wheels2Go

    I cycle through this part of the trail twice a day, on my commute. Sadly, I do see cyclists blow through this intersection frequently, against the light. The drivers aren’t always the bad guys.

  • jjbug1

    Please speak up about how you are teaching your children to use their bikes! I have heard that children no longer want a bike at 8 or thereabouts, choosing instead some DVDs or TVs, etc. Is that not a loss for these young? Would you like them to learn to bike?

  • John Andre

    The biggest problem on the W&OD: Speeding cyclists who think they’re training for the Tour de France or Giro d’Italia and who forget that hikers share the Trail!

    But what’s worse in Arlington is this stupid law allowing cyclists to use the sidewalks. Too many of these sidewalk bikers fail to realize that we PEDESTRIANS have the right of way! At least the cyclists on the trails warn us when they’re approaching from behind. I’ve even seen one or two small mopeds on the sidewalks, where motorized vehicles are supposed to be VERBOTEN. And there was the time a couple of us hikers caught a Mini Cooper [hardly a bike of any sort!] tootling over one of the Four Mile Run bridges on the W&OD! Honestly, the only motorized vehicles allowed on the W&OD are supposed to be those belonging to the park rangers or park maintenance.

    • CustisRunner

      I run and ride on Custis trail three to five times a week. Cyclists on this trail do not follow any posted rules including yielding/stopping at intersections and especially not announcing their passes. I have lost count of how many danger-close situations cyclists have made while on my morning run without so much as a rung bell or yell. I used to wear an ipod while running but no longer feel safe as the most notice I get is often the sound of an unmaintained, noisy, chain.

      The early morning and evening commuters are the biggest offenders. I have taken to telling passing cyclists to “announce the pass,” which has earned me a wide range of responses including:
      **** off!
      **** you!
      *middle finger*
      or just silence (because I could not be heard over their blaring music).

      I am amazed that I haven’t been hit by a cyclists on the trails yet. It is an eventuality that it will happen, sadly. Either to me or some other poor schmuck that was preventing a cyclist (commuter, lance wannabe, etc) from hitting mach 4 on a downhill.

      tl;dr — user of custis trail annoyed at cyclists, venting on internet.

      • Stu Pendus

        It’s bad in the summer when more pedestrians are out. I walk across Key Bridge sometimes on the way home and a lot of the cyclists on there are pretty aggressive and impatient trying to pass walkers. I’ve been brushed by handle bars and had to just flat out get out of the way other times.

      • Bluemontsince1961

        @Custis Walker,

        You’ve cited why I usually walk on the Custis trail (or W&OD trail) during non-rush hours if I’m home during the day or early on Saturday or Sunday mornings. Many of the cyclists I’ve encountered do give warnings that they are passing – in my experience at least. But there are the minority of cyclists that I’ve seen display the behaviors you mentioned. I have seen some close calls with a combination of cyclists going way too fast combined with some walkers/joggers that have their i-Pods on so they didn’t hear the warning from the cyclist, and in those cases, it was the walkers/joggers with their music blaring that were at fault. I leave my gadgets at home when I walk so I can hear a cyclist’s passing warning – safer that way – I can hear them coming even if they don’t give any passing warning. And yes, some of them zoom down the trails like they have a wasp in their drawers.

      • Bluemontsince1961

        Ooops, sorry – I meant @CustisRunner


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