A bicyclist was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries on Tuesday (March 6) after being struck by an open car door.
The incident occurred near the relatively busy Virginia Square intersection of N. Fairfax Drive and N. Pollard Street at about 6:40 p.m. The bicyclist was riding in the bike lane when they were “doored,” according to an Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman.
Police were dispatched to the scene, and the driver was cited with opening a door into traffic. The fairly uncommon citation has only been issued one other time in the past twelve months by ACPD.
A Virginia law passed in 2016 requiring “drivers to wait for a reasonable opportunity to open vehicle doors on the side adjacent to moving traffic.” The citation is punishable by a fine of no more than $50.
It’s possible that dooring may eventually be a thing of the past thanks to new technology. Recently developed car tech aims to improve bicyclist safety through an anti-dooring mechanism that would identify incoming bicyclists and lock the doors.
Photos via Google Maps
A local business owner is urging road users on Columbia Pike to be more cautious, after what he said is a recent spike in accidents involving cyclists.
John Harpold, who manages the Papillon Cycles bike store at 2805 Columbia Pike emailed ARLnow.com just before Christmas after one such crash.
The crash took place at the intersection of Columbia Pike and Washington Blvd on December 21 at around 9 a.m. Photos that Harpold took at the scene show a bicycle that had been bent by the impact and an SUV with a damaged windshield.
Harpold said more must be done to make the Columbia Pike corridor safer for all road users.
“These cyclist-involved accidents are bad, and increasing,” Harpold said. “These are my customers and while I waited 10 minutes to get my car free of the resulting jam, 20 cyclists negotiated the mess from this accident and there were ample opportunities for more carnage. This really is a big safety community issue for our part of Arlington, and all road and sidewalk users.”
Columbia Pike was recently the scene of a separate enforcement effort around road safety by the Arlington County Police Department, as officers cited 20 for failing to yield to pedestrians.
Photos by John Harpold
A local woman is appealing for witnesses to come forward after a driver struck her daughter while she rode her bicycle last week.
In a post on Facebook, reader Cynthia Hoftiezer said her teenage daughter was cycling near the intersection of Lee Highway and N. George Mason Drive between 8:45 and 9 a.m. on Thursday, August 3.
Hoftiezer said a car turning right on a red light from Lee Highway onto N. George Mason Drive then struck her daughter and drove away without stopping. Via Facebook:
Please share: If anyone saw the car turn right on red from Lee Hwy to George Mason Dr. on Thursday morning 8/3 between 8:45 and 9 am, and strike my teenager on a bicycle, please call Arlington County police non-emergency number at 703-558-2222 referencing case no. 2017-08050186. While my daughter is ok, the driver did not stop.
Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage confirmed the details of the crash, and said that the victim “reported that the striking vehicle initially slowed following the crash but did not stop and continued south on George Mason Drive.”
Savage said the suspect vehicle is a white, four-door sedan.
Image via Google Maps.
A driver struck and seriously injured a bicyclist this afternoon near Courthouse.
The crash happened shortly before 4 p.m. at the intersection of Fairfax Drive and N. Queen Street, in the Radnor/Fort Myer Heights neighborhood.
A woman in a Nissan sedan struck the adult male cyclist near the entrance to Route 50. The car’s windshield shattered from the force of the impact on the passenger side of the vehicle. Damage was also visible on the side and hood of the car.
The cyclist was transported via ambulance to the trauma center at George Washington University Hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. Officers remained on scene to investigate the crash, said Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage.
The driver remained on scene. No word yet on whether any charges will be filed.
A bicyclist was struck by a car at the intersection of N. Rhodes Street and Key Boulevard in the Colonial Village area this morning.
The accident occurred around 9:45 a.m. Witnesses said the victim — who they identified as a male — was riding down Key, though it was unclear if he was turning or continuing straight onto the bike route toward Rosslyn Heights.
The car involved was coming up N. Rhodes from Lee Highway. Though the driver seemed to slow down as he approached the intersection — which has stop signs in all directions — witnesses said he did not appear to come to a complete stop. He allegedly struck the bicyclist as he was proceeding straight through the intersection.
According to scanner traffic, the victim rolled over the hood of the car and onto its windshield, cracking it on the passenger side.
A witness said he could see cuts on the victim’s legs and could hear him yelling in pain from a few hundred feet away.
Initial reports said the victim’s injuries were not considered life-threatening. He was transported to the trauma center at George Washington University Hospital.
A cyclist was hurt this morning in Rosslyn when the backseat passenger of an Uber car opened a door in his path.
The incident happened around 8:30 a.m. on N. Lynn Street, just south of Wilson Blvd. Initial reports indicate that the white BMW was stopped next to the bike lane when the Uber rider opened the rear passenger-side door just as the cyclist was about to roll by on a Capital Bikeshare bike. The cyclist slammed into the door.
Police and paramedics were called and the cyclist was treated on scene. He refused treatment to a local hospital.
The BMW’s door was damaged and would not fully close. No damage was visible to the Bikeshare bike. The cyclist was visibly shaken but did not have any outward sign of injury. No other injuries were reported.
The cyclist declined to comment to ARLnow.com, except to confirm that the car was moved closer to the curb after the accident.
Police took statements from the driver, the passenger and the cyclist. No word yet on whether any charges will be filed.
The incident happened as Arlington County Police officers were conducting a pedestrian safety detail just a couple of blocks down Lynn Street.
A bicyclist was struck and injured by a car near Memorial Circle last night.
The accident happened between 7:00 and 7:30 p.m. on a northbound ramp from the GW Parkway to Memorial Circle and Memorial Bridge.
Initial reports suggest a taxicab rear-ended a car that had stopped to let a group of bicyclists cross the road at a crosswalk. The car then struck at least one of the cyclists.
U.S. Park Police spokeswoman Lelani Woods would only confirm that a cyclist was struck and was taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
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Cyclist Struck on Lynn Street — A bicyclist was struck by a vehicle on Lynn Street in Rosslyn, between Wilson Blvd and 19th Street N., just before 9:00 this morning. The cyclist was transported to Virginia Hospital Center with an apparent dislocated collarbone.
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The 26-year-old woman was crossing Route 50 (Arlington Blvd) at N. Irving Street just after 6:00 p.m. when a driver in a westbound Honda Accord blew through the red light, according to Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
The woman was struck and thrown a distance, landing on the westbound lanes, Sternbeck said. She was transported to the trauma center at George Washington University Hospital with “significant and critical injuries.”
The driver, identified only as a 46-year-old Arlington man, remained on scene. He’s facing several charges, Sternbeck said.
Rush hour traffic was “significantly impacted” during the accident investigation. All but one lane in each direction was closed for about two hours, according to Arlington Alerts.
File photo via Google Maps
An Arlington County Sheriff’s Office vehicle struck a bicyclist this morning on the ramp from Washington Blvd to westbound Route 50.
The cyclist, named Victoria, said she was waiting to cross the ramp at the crosswalk — at which there’s a stop sign for traffic turning right onto Washington Blvd — when she and the deputy’s vehicle went at the same time. The front wheel of her bike was bent in the minor collision, but she was not transported and there was no discernible damage to the squad car.
Victoria, who works as a lifeguard at several pools in the area, said she has cycled along Washington Blvd every day for the last two-and-a-half months. Tuesday morning, she and a friend were cycling together before the accident.
“It’s always dangerous in this spot,” she told ARLnow.com. “It’s scary every time I do it.”
The intersection is routinely one of the most accident-prone in the county; in 2010, it had 113 calls for accidents in the county, almost double the second-most dangerous intersection.
A bicyclist was struck by a car today at a W&OD trail crossing in Arlington’s East Falls Church neighborhood.
The incident happened just past noon near the intersection of N. Little Falls Road and N. Four Mile Run Drive, on the border with Falls Church. Initial reports suggest a cyclist was struck by a car and suffered a head injury.
The cyclist was reportedly conscious and alert following the accident and was transported via ambulance to a local hospital. The driver remained on scene.
Damage to the bike and to the car’s windshield was visible following the collision. No word yet on whether any charges will be filed. Police on the scene declined comment.
(Updated at 4:20 p.m.) Rosslyn’s “Intersection of Doom” lived up to its name for a local cyclist Monday night. She says she was hit by a car in the crosswalk and then ticketed while in her hospital room.
Lindsey Kelley was cycling home from work at 8:00 p.m. and said she entered the crosswalk at Lee Highway and N. Lynn Street on a “go” signal, when she was struck by a four-door sedan coming off I-66 and turning right toward the Key Bridge.
By her account, the collision was the driver’s fault.
At the Virginia Hospital Center, however, Kelley was visited by the responding U.S. Park Police officer and issued a ticket for “disregarding traffic signs or road markings,” which may cost her $70, not including U.S. District Court fees. According to the police report, obtained by ARLnow.com, the officer said Kelley was not in the crosswalk. Kelley said the picture she took at the scene (above) was taken without her moving the bike from where it came to rest after the crash.
Kelley was diagnosed with a sprained wrist, some sprained fingers and a mild concussion. She said the officer didn’t take her statement at the scene, and instead relied on the word of the driver and a witness who she said “berated” her as soon as she was struck.
“It was a guy in a Black SUV with Maryland plates,” Kelley told ARLnow.com. “He stopped and got out and basically was very rude and said ‘you don’t deserve to be riding your bike here.’ He gave [the police] a different story than what happened. I never spoke to the officer again until he issued me a citation at the hospital. He took my ID, but he never asked me what happened or where I was coming from.”
Kelley also said that since the lane she was crossing was a turning lane, the officer “told me I should have seen it coming.” He had already written the ticket by the time he entered her hospital room.
Kelley lives near the Park Georgetown apartments and said she had just biked across the Key Bridge and was getting on the Custis Trail, coming home from her job at a nonprofit in the District. She said she just started the job, and has only biked there a few times since she started cycling recreationally more than a year ago.
“I guess it sucks because I got hit next to the new bike counter, but despite my boyfriend’s protests, I will probably still bike in the future,” she said. “I really like it, it’s fun, it’s way faster than the Metro.”
The intersection of Lee Highway and N. Lynn Street has been the scene of numerous car-on-bike accidents, in large part because it puts which puts vehicle traffic from I-66 and heavy pedestrian traffic from the Mt. Vernon and Custis trails in conflict during the same green light cycle.
Advocates have been calling for changes to the intersection — perhaps even a pedestrian bridge or tunnel — for years. So far there are no definitive plans for significant safety improvement at the intersection.
Photo courtesy Lindsey Kelley
Updated at 4:08 p.m. — All lanes of Washington Blvd are now open to traffic.
The southbound lanes of Washington Blvd are temporarily closed near the Arlington Blvd overpass due to an accident involving a bicyclist.
Initial reports suggest the cyclist was struck by a vehicle and suffered a broken left leg. The southbound lanes are closed due to the emergency response.
Drivers should avoid the area if possible.
That’s what Arlington personal injury lawyer Bruce Deming thinks, and he’s written a book to try to educate the cycling public. Surviving the Crash: Your Legal Rights in a Bicycle Accident is Deming’s attempt to clear up much of the confusion that occurs in most cyclists’ minds after they are involved in an accident.
“There are so many urban myths out there about what your rights are, what do you do in the minutes/hours/days after an accident, who pays your bills, do you need a lawyer?” Deming said. “There are a lot of basic questions that people need answers to, so that’s why I wrote the book.”
Deming, a Lyon Park resident who runs a personal injury law practice in Courthouse, said cyclists in particular should be aware of the “contributory negligence” statute in Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Maryland, three of just five states and cities in the country that have the rule.
“If a cyclist is injured as the result of a motorist’s negligence, and the motorist was 99 percent at fault, but the cyclist was 1 percent negligent, and that negligence contributed to the accident, that cyclist is barred from recovering anything for his or her injuries, no matter how catastrophic,” Deming said. “You really have to be squeaky clean.”
Deming said that throughout the book, he tried to emphasize a theme that if cyclists disobey any traffic laws or ride irresponsibly, they will reinforce negative stereotypes that motorist, insurance adjusters and police officers can have toward them.
“Cyclists are second-class citizens,” said Deming, who has been a competitive cyclist for 30 years and teaches spinning at Gold’s Gym. “They are presumed to be at fault sometimes when they might not be, and that comes in bias and prejudices in the minds of drivers out there. Every time a cyclist behaves recklessly on the road, those biases and prejudices are reinforced.”
Deming’s book is being printed and is expected to hit shelves in the next few weeks, he said. When it does, it will be available in print on Amazon for $11.95 and in e-book form for $7.95. Deming is hosting a book release party on Tuesday, Oct. 22 at Lyon Hall (3100 Washington Blvd) from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Those interested in attending, where they will receive free copies of the book, must register to do so.
Update at 12:45 p.m. — The accident scene has been cleared and all lanes of traffic are open.
A cyclist has reportedly been struck by a vehicle on Route 50.
The incident happened around 11:45 a.m., near the intersection of Route 50 and Fillmore Street. Initial reports suggest the cyclist has a possible broken leg.
As of 12:00 p.m., police and fire department activity was blocking two lanes of westbound Route 50.