Local governments are rolling out their annual “Street Smart” campaign with a warning about a recent uptick in the number of people on foot killed by drivers.
This fall, the annual campaign by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) will highlight a 14% increase in the number of pedestrian fatalities between 2017 and 2018 regionwide, from 77 people killed in 2017 to 88 in 2018.
The regional government organization unveiled a wall featuring crash stories told by victims yesterday (Monday) at 12th Street and Florida Avenue NE in D.C. That’s where cyclist and safety activist Dave Salovesh was killed by a speeding driver earlier this year — spurring citywide protests and as well as calls for change in Arlington. The wall project is expected to tour Maryland and Virginia as well, per a MWCOG spokeswoman.
One of the victims featured in the awareness campaign is Ren Werbin (above), who was struck while crossing Wilson Blvd near the Ballston Quarter mall around 11 p.m. on February 1. The impact broke vertebrae in Werbin’s back and shattered her collar bone, shoulder, and leg.
“I went from having a neck brace, to having a full back brace, to having a full leg brace, and not being able to move my right arm,” said Werbin in an interview filmed for the project “My world completely changed.”
Werbin spent three months in the hospital recovering from her injuries. An Arlington County Police spokeswoman told ARLnow that an investigation found that the driver — described in an MWCOG press release as “a teen driver in a car full of friends” who “blasted through an intersection” — had a green light at the time and was not cited.
Another testimonial is from a Rosslyn resident who was struck in a crosswalk.
“It happened so fast,” she recounted. “I walked like a penguin for months. Finally, I walked like a normal person, but I was scared of the streets. The physical pain passes, but it was traumatic.”
The most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates while driving a car has become safer over the years, walking on roads has become more dangerous. And the majority of pedestrian who are killed are hit after dark — a concern that grows later in the year when the hours of daylight wanes in the fall.
Last November saw the highest number of pedestrians hit in the D.C. area (292) out of any other month, per data shared by MWCOG. In Arlington, the month with the highest number of pedestrian collisions (15) was October.
(Updated at 6:50 p.m.) A woman was struck by a vehicle on N. Glebe Road in Ballston during the Wednesday evening rush hour.
The crash happened around 5 p.m., at the intersection of Glebe and 11th Street N.
Witnesses told ARLnow that the woman was struck by the driver of a pickup truck, who may have run a red light, though that account and other details could not be immediately confirmed.
The woman was conscious and breathing but bleeding from the head, according to scanner traffic. A Fairfax County ambulance crew that happened to be driving by was the first on scene to start rendering aid.
“The pedestrian, an adult female, was transported to an area hospital with injuries that are considered non-life threatening,” said Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage.
Police tell ARLnow that the driver remained on scene and the investigation into the crash is continuing. So far there’s no word of any charges being filed.
Pedestrian Struck on Crash-Prone Stretch — “A pedestrian was struck on Washington Blvd in front of Washington-Liberty HS around 10 a.m. this morning. The victim was transported to a hospital with minor injuries, per scanner traffic. This stretch has seen numerous pedestrians struck by drivers over the past few years.” [Twitter]
Local Leaders from Wa. Coming to Talk Amazon — “How do you prepare for Amazon.com Inc. when the company plans to drastically grow in your city? That’s what city officials from Bellevue, Washington, hope to learn from our own Arlington, as they send an envoy to meet with county leaders Thursday. The communities… each expect to house more than 4,000 Amazon employees by 2022.” [Washington Business Journal]
Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Approaching — “On Saturday, October 26, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Arlington County Police Department, Arlington County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 18th opportunity in nine years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. This disposal service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.” [Arlington County]
Special Burial and Flyover at ANC — “A pilot who died during WWII was finally laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. Air Force Major Donn Young’s remains were recovered decades after his B-25 bomber crashed in Papua New Guinea… The burial happened, in part, because of an adventurous entrepreneur.” [WJLA]
Another Wohl, Burkman Press Conference — Conservative provocateurs Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl held yet another press conference outside Burkman’s Rosslyn area townhouse to accuse another Democratic presidential candidate of sexual impropriety. The press conference was disrupted by a bagpiper, a process server and a man in a corn suit. [Twitter]
Congressman: Congress Must ‘Do Something’ About Trump — Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) tweeted yesterday: “President Trump just said out loud that it’s OK to betray our Kurdish allies and allow the release of 11,000 ISIS fighters because ‘they’re going to be escaping to Europe.’ He’s out of completely out of control and Congress has to do something about it.” [Twitter]
Photo courtesy Catherine Ladd
Earlier this week, a woman was struck by a van in a hit-and-run while crossing Columbia Pike at the intersection with S. Frederick Street.
The same intersection has been the site of several other crashes, according to data Arlington County Police Department shared with ARLnow. Between November 2016, and September 2019, there were 20 vehicle crashes at the same intersection — three of which involved pedestrians or cyclists.
ABC 7 reported that residents say the intersection is notorious for close calls between pedestrians and motorists, but the county isn’t able to install a traffic signal until nearby construction ends.
“If you wait long enough you’ll see a near miss.”-local resident
In only 30mins @ABC7News saw 3 close calls at a crosswalk people say is dangerous. The same Columbia Pike c/walk a few days ago where a woman was hurt in a hit-n-run.
— Jay Korff (@ABC7Jay) October 3, 2019
Data captured by ACPD between November 2016 and September of this year also show that another nearby Pike intersection at S. Columbia Street and S. Dinwiddie Street has seen even more numerous crashes. The Dinwiddie and Columbus intersection, near the Arlington Mill Community Center, has resulted in 28 crashes since the beginning of 2018, 6 involving pedestrians.
The rate of recorded crashes is similar to the dangerous Rock Spring intersection of Little Falls Road and Old Dominion Drive, where public outcry and ACPD’s reported 27 crashes and 9 pedestrians injured in the last two years has led county officials to ban left turns during rush hour.
Officials have expressed concerns about safe passage for cyclists and pedestrians in the area for 15 years. The Pike and S. Dinwiddie intersection was also the subject of a special ACPD pedestrian traffic enforcement campaign in 2015.
The intersection of Frederick Street and the Pike is marked with a striped crosswalk and flashing lights to alert motorists of crossing pedestrians, the latter of which was an addition made in recent years.
ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage told ARLnow that the police department changed its system used for keeping track of incidents like these in November 2016. Since then there were 64 total crashes on the Pike between S. Dinwiddie Street and S. Greenbrier Street. All told, 10 of those crashes involved pedestrians or cyclists.
Data via ACPD
(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) All lanes of Columbia Pike were blocked Monday afternoon after a pedestrian was struck and injured in a reported hit and run crash.
Initial reports suggest a woman was struck by the driver of a van while crossing the street near the Sunoco station on the western end of the Pike in Arlington. The van fled the scene after the crash, according to scanner traffic.
The woman was said to have been conscious but lying in the roadway and bleeding from the head when police arrived. Her injuries were initially thought to be potentially life-threatening, but were later determined to be minor and non-life-threatening, according to police.
The victim was rushed via ambulance to a local trauma center.
Columbia Pike is completely blocked between S. Greenbrier Street and the Arlington Mill Community Center. The road expected to remain at least partially blocked for an extended period of time while detectives investigate the crash.
Police are now seeking a white work van last seen heading north on S. Greenbrier Street.
The crash happened shortly before 2:40 p.m., at a crosswalk with high-visibility crossing lights.
As of 3 p.m., bloodied clothing could be seen balled up on the asphalt as police cars blocked off the scene. Later, detectives could be seen walking the roadway.
As of 4:05 p.m., all lanes of the Pike had reopened to traffic, according to Arlington Alert.
She was transported to an area hospital with life threatening injuries. The driver of the striking vehicle did not remain on scene. The Department’s Critical Accident Team is on-scene investigating. (2/2)
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) September 30, 2019
UPDATE: The victims condition has been upgraded and determined to be non life threatening with minor injuries.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) September 30, 2019
Vernon Miles contributed to this report
A 55-year-old Arlington woman has died after being struck by a driver in the Williamsburg neighborhood last week.
The woman succumbed to her injuries yesterday, police said. The investigation into the pedestrian crash near Nottingham Elementary School is continuing but so far the driver of the striking vehicle has not been charged.
More from Arlington County Police:
The Arlington County Police Department’s Critical Accident Team (CAT) continues to investigate a now fatal pedestrian crash that occurred on Wednesday, September 4, at the intersection of Little Falls Road and North Ohio Street.
At approximately 8:17 p.m., police responded to the area for the report of crash with injury involving a pedestrian. Officers and medics arrived on scene and located the female victim suffering from serious injuries and immediately began to render aid.
The pedestrian, a 55 year old female of Arlington, Va., was transported to an area hospital in critical condition. She later succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced deceased on September 10.
The preliminary investigation indicates that the victim was crossing Little Falls Road in the crosswalk, when she was hit by the oncoming vehicle, which was travelling westbound on Little Falls Road. The driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene. The investigation into this crash remains ongoing and no charges have been sought at this time.
Anyone who may have witnessed this crash or has additional information regarding this investigation is asked to contact Detective B. Ames at [email protected] or 703-228-7303. Information may also be reported anonymously to Arlington County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS.
Update on 9/11/19 — The victim has succumbed to her injuries, police say.
Earlier: A woman suffered critical injuries after being struck by a vehicle in Arlington’s Williamsburg neighborhood last night, police say.
The pedestrian crash happened around 8:15 p.m. Wednesday at the intersection of Little Falls Road and N. Ohio Street, near Nottingham Elementary School.
“Police were dispatched to the report of a pedestrian-involved crash,” said Arlington County Police spokeswoman Kirby Clark. “The pedestrian, an adult female, was transported to an area hospital with critical injuries.”
Clark said the driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene. ACPD’s Critical Accident Team is investigating the crash.
The victim, whose name and age were not released, remains in critical condition in a local hospital as of noon Thursday, according to Clark. The woman was walking three dogs at the time of the crash, one of which died at a local animal hospital and another of which was injured, she said.
On a neighborhood listserv, a local resident noted that the scene was just steps from where a local mother was struck and killed by a passing truck in 2014.
“It’s been ANOTHER accident waiting to happen!” the resident wrote of the intersection, which is only a 2-way stop . “The children on my block, including my own, saw this poor woman bleeding in the road. I don’t want them or any of us to have to see this again.”
Map via Google Maps
Bronson Opening on Friday — “The owners of A-Town Bar and Grill are opening a new German beer hall this week that will replace the popular gathering place for hard-partying bros in Ballston. Bronson is scheduled to open
Thursday, August 29 Friday, August 30 in the 6,000-square-foot space at 4100 Fairfax Drive in Arlington.” [Eater]
Rising Home Prices Not Caused By HQ2 Workers — “The first Amazon employees have barely arrived in Northern Virginia, but the housing market close to the company’s new headquarters in Arlington County is behaving as if all 25,000 workers are moving in next week… The lightning speed of sales, the shortage of homes on the market and the elevated prices for available stock are all being driven by those who already call the Washington region home, real estate agents say.” [Washington Post]
HQ2ers May Work on Hardware Development — Amazon “said that its second headquarters would work on device development, specifically naming Amazon Fire TV… And it expressed interest in students who study ‘data science,’ they said. Amazon also said there will be plenty of non-tech related jobs at HQ2, such as in administration, human resources and program management.” [Washington Business Journal]
PSA: Move Over for Emergency Vehicles — “ACFD, @ffxfirerescue and @AlexandriaVAFD units battled major traffic in efforts to provide help on a serious accident with a person trapped on I395. Remember, if you can’t pull to the right, help open enough space lane for emergency vehicles to pass.” [Twitter]
Review of Signature’s ‘Assassins’ — “An odd little smile crosses the face of Bobby Smith as he relates the disordered thoughts of presidential killer Charles J. Guiteau in Signature Theatre’s perversely entertaining revival of ‘Assassins.’ In what twisted frame of mind would this man have to be to boast of his horrific homicidal achievement — and not just boast, but sing about it, too?” [Washington Post, Playbill]
Nearby: Man Dies After Bailey’s Crossroads Crash — “Detectives from our Crash Reconstruction Unit have preliminarily determined that Solomon Zelelew, of Alexandria City, was walking on a sidewalk near Columbia Pike and Carlin Springs Road. A 2015 Toyota Corolla was traveling west on Columbia Pike when the driver, in an attempt to avoid another vehicle, drove onto the sidewalk and hit Mr. Zelelew.” [Fairfax County Police Department]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
A pedestrian was reportedly injured in a crash in Clarendon this morning.
The incident was reported shortly after 11:15 a.m. on Clarendon Blvd at N. Garfield Street. The exact circumstances around the crash and the extent of the pedestrian’s injuries were not immediately known.
Arlington County police and paramedics are on scene. One lane of Clarendon Blvd is blocked approaching the crash scene.
A man is fighting for his life after being struck by a driver on Columbia Pike.
The crash happened Thursday morning at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Carlin Springs Road, just over the Arlington border in Fairfax County.
Police say the victim suffered life-threatening injuries. The driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene and is talking to detectives who are investigating the crash, per Fairfax County Police.
Two westbound lanes of Columbia Pike are blocked as a result of the investigation.
The driver of the vehicle was not injured and remained on-scene to speak with detectives. The pedestrian is an adult man and his injuries are life threatening. Update to follow. https://t.co/p2qyS0j5RH
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) August 15, 2019
Arlington County is pledging to eliminate road deaths and serious traffic-related injuries — but it’s not yet clear how officials plan to accomplish that goal.
The Arlington County Board unanimously passed the “Vision Zero” resolution during its meeting Tuesday night that aims to bring the number of traffic casualties to zero. However, officials expect the details of the plan won’t be ready for another two years.
Now the county plans to gather public input on the proposal this fall, decide specific goals before January, and share a draft plan by next fall, per a county press release.
The final version of the Vision Zero plan isn’t likely to be completed before 2021.
County Board Chair Christian Dorsey noted that the number of accident-related deaths and injuries in Arlington remained steady for the past five years despite Arlington’s quickly growing population.
“But we can, and must, do better,” said Dorsey during the Tuesday meeting. “As our population continues to grow, and more cars, buses and bicycles share our streets, it is important that we work with the community toward the goal of completely eliminating deaths and serious injuries from traffic collisions.”
The resolution puts Arlington among network of governments, including neighboring jurisdictions like D.C., Alexandria and Montgomery County, which have passed similar “Vision Zero” promises to rethink traffic deaths as preventable, instead of inevitable.
However, advocates from New York to San Francisco have criticized officials for failing to live up to the goals in recent years. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has also faced pushback for raising traffic fines and increasing the number of speed cameras, but doing little to prevent a rising tide of deadly collisions.
In Arlington, two people were killed last year in crashes, versus six in 2017, and one in 2016. This is the about on par with Alexandria (five fatalities in 2018, and four in 2017) but much lower than in D.C. where 34 people were killed in 2018 alone.
Almost 60 people were reported to have been seriously injured in crashes in Arlington last year — a number that’s remained relatively steady since 2013.
As a condition of the newly-approved resolution, Arlington will publish regular reports on traffic fatalities and injuries, as well as an annual update on overall progress.
Officials in Arlington have discussed a Vision Zero resolution for years. Former Democratic County Board candidate Alan Howze promised to enact the pledge during his 2014 unsuccessful campaign for County Board.
This year, as the county updated the bicycle portion of Arlington’s Master Transportation Plan, officials said that they would put forth a formal Vision Zero proposal this summer.
Some took to social media to criticize the slow-moving process, including Chris Slatt, who chairs the Transportation Commission.
“After all this time I expected a plan, not a one-page resolution,” Slatt said.
So it's great that @ArlingtonVA just adopted a #VisionZero resolution, but I can't help but question…what took so long? Staff have been mulling this for like FIVE YEARS. After all this time I expected a plan, not a one-page resolution.
— Chris Slatt (@alongthepike) July 16, 2019
“For now, we celebrate and strategize,” replied Gillian Burgess, who chairs the county’s Bicycle Advisory Committee.
“We are making progress,” Burgess added. “This is a good step.”
File photo (top). Graphs via Arlington County.