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View Full Version : Accident this morning at Lynn & Key? (8/8)



Tim Kelley
08-08-2011, 07:39 AM
Here's the story with preliminary details: http://www.arlnow.com/2011/08/08/accident-involving-bicyclist-near-key-bridge/

Anyone have any further information?

OneEighth
08-08-2011, 08:38 AM
Seems like the easiest and most cost effective fix for this intersection is to prohibit right on red and extend the early walk signal. Adding a redlight camera would help reduce the adjustment period.

acc
08-08-2011, 01:53 PM
Yes, I completely agree.

Oh Tim, is there someone to contact about this?

ann

Tim Kelley
08-08-2011, 02:29 PM
Every time something like this comes up about the Custis Trail, I make sure to pass it along to the Arlington County Planners and Engineers. While they are very much aware of issues with this intersection, there are a couple factors they have to deal with here. Taken from an email:

"The volume through the intersection of N. Lynn St. and Lee Highway WB is extremely high, especially in the morning and evening weekday peak hours. With about 4,500 vehicles traveling through the intersection during the peak hour, there is no capacity in the signal cycle to allow for an exclusive pedestrian and cyclist phase.

There is an item in the bicycle element of the Arlington County Master Transportation Plan calling for the County to examine a tunnel alternative at this location, but that would be in the long term. You can view the Master Transportation Plan here - http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/EnvironmentalServices/dot/planning/mplan/mtp/MTP_Draft.aspx"

I believe there was talk at the last BAC Meeting (http://www.bikearlington.com/pages/get-involved/#bac) about having a group go out and look at the intersection to make official resident recommendations. Perhaps Mr. Blacknell can share a little more about that?

You could also contact Arlington County through the same general channels that you would use to share any other suggestions/complaints.

Greenbelt
08-08-2011, 02:45 PM
"The volume through the intersection of N. Lynn St. and Lee Highway WB is extremely high, especially in the morning and evening weekday peak hours. With about 4,500 vehicles traveling through the intersection during the peak hour, there is no capacity in the signal cycle to allow for an exclusive pedestrian and cyclist phase."

Comments like this irk me a little. It's as though car traffic convenience is the dominant criterion, and convenience for non-car traffic is incidental. And pedestrian/bike safety is a non-priority. I've heard similar responses when I advocated for improvements to an intersection in Greenbelt. "Well, that intersection isn't 'failed,' so we don't need to fix it" was the response. As in, traffic isn't inconvenienced by unusual delays more than an hour or so each day. I responded, well to me the intersection is a "failure" if there have been lots of crashes and injuries and it's a hazard for bike and pedistrians, not if car traffic is delayed once in a while. They've defined the measurement of "failure" totally based on car traffic convenience, without factoring in safety and non-car traffic convenience at all. To me, safety should be just as high a priority as congestion, and convenience for drive-through traffic shouldn't be a higher priority than convenience to local people who just want to cross the dang road to get to the other part of their neighborhood! OK, rant over..

KLizotte
08-08-2011, 04:57 PM
[QUOTE=
"The volume through the intersection of N. Lynn St. and Lee Highway WB is extremely high, especially in the morning and evening weekday peak hours. With about 4,500 vehicles traveling through the intersection during the peak hour, there is no capacity in the signal cycle to allow for an exclusive pedestrian and cyclist phase.=QUOTE]

So, if I understand them correctly, they are advocating that cars keep moving while peds/cyclists are legally crossing the street. That just goes to show where we stand in the pecking order of things....drivers' time is more important than our safety. Funny how these same drivers demand speed bumps in their neighborhoods when they suddenly have kids.

In the Netherlands, there are plenty of major intersections that feature an all-stop signal for car thus allowing peds/cyclists to cross at the same time from all directions, including diagonally across the intersection.

Maybe it's time we organize a sit-in at the intersection and really stop traffic....

eminva
08-08-2011, 07:22 PM
Okay, so maybe there aren't 4500 bicycles per hour, but bicycles + pedestrians have to be getting up into four figures per hour, if not well into it, no? Given our greater vulnerability as well as sizable numbers, wouldn't transportation planning be wise to take us into consideration?

If nothing else, put a red light camera on the right turning vehicles during the early walk signal -- and possibly the inbound motorists that block the box on N. Lynn Street. Does Arlington have camera enforcement?

Liz

DCLiz
08-09-2011, 06:57 AM
I bet it inconveniences the drivers a lot when a cyclist or pedestrian is hit. What with the accident investigation and all. Maybe the transportation planners should factor that in to the equation?

baiskeli
08-09-2011, 08:32 AM
"The volume through the intersection of N. Lynn St. and Lee Highway WB is extremely high, especially in the morning and evening weekday peak hours. With about 4,500 vehicles traveling through the intersection during the peak hour, there is no capacity in the signal cycle to allow for an exclusive pedestrian and cyclist phase.

Maybe they could if it wasn't part of every cycle, but rather every third or so. That would mean a much longer wait time - and cyclists would have to respect that.

americancyclo
08-09-2011, 09:24 AM
an exclusive cyclist/pedestrian phase doesn't dissolve the right of way for peds and cyclists when they have a walk signal though, right? the longer wait times would be only for those that weren't comfortable crossing with the traffic signals. At least that's how I interpret it.

FFX_Hinterlands
08-09-2011, 09:40 AM
The official response makes me cringe as well. Way out here in Eastern Loudoun County we have 4000 people who work across an arterial road from a major shopping center (grocery store, shops, restaurants). VDOT removed a signalized crosswalk from one side of the street, forcing peds to cross additional times to get to the shopping center. Their answer was similar... they didn't want cars to be kept waiting so the removed the signal. The message is clear... cars come first. I don't like it.

I should also mention that this shopping center is about 1/3 mile from the W&OD. The road that intersects the W&OD is 4-6 lanes with a median, 45mph. No sidewalks, Shared-use paths or bike lanes. Thanks, Loudoun County and VDOT. As it turns out new bicycle commuters intimidated by 45mph speed limits, 4 lanes and no shared-use path. We do our best to educate riders on taking the lane and holding their ground.

baiskeli
08-10-2011, 01:47 PM
an exclusive cyclist/pedestrian phase doesn't dissolve the right of way for peds and cyclists when they have a walk signal though, right? the longer wait times would be only for those that weren't comfortable crossing with the traffic signals. At least that's how I interpret it.

Yeah, as I went through that intersection today, it dawned on me (finally) that the problem is traffic turning right on a green, not the opposite traffic waiting at the red, which complicates the signal mightily.

americancyclo
08-10-2011, 02:00 PM
I'm either heading from the Custis to the Key, or from the MVT to the Custis, and I rarely have a problem with traffic here. Is it much worse for those heading north on Lynn towards the Key?

JeffC
08-10-2011, 02:36 PM
That intersection scares me, it's worse than a frogger video game. I cross it every morning headed from VA to DC. The problem is not the bikers/peds waiting for the light that are waiting right at Lynn Street. The problem in my mind is the bikers a street farther west at Fort Meyer Street. Once the light at Fort Meyer changes, bikers race down the path to Lynn Street and are always presented with a flashing red "do not cross" sign with about 10 to 15 seconds on it. Meanwhile cars exiting from the GW parkway are steaming mad trying to turn right onto Lynn Street but have to wait until the last second when bikers flying down from Fort Meyer Street finally stop crossing.

When I invariably get stuck at Fort Meyer Street, I just go slow to Lynn Street, flash a stop hand signal with my left hand, and wait at the light at Lynn Street until the next signal is fresh and bikers/peds have a few seconds to cross without the worry of cars turning right. I always have bikers passing me though, I've even been chewed out by an older lady chiding me for going too slow, go figure. I'm usually the only one waiting at Lynn Street and once I go, cars have about 15 seconds to turn until the next group of bikers that had been waiting at Fort Meyer arrive.

I get where I am going about a minute later but I have a wife and kids and am extremely cautious. I think being a considerate rider here would entail not crossing on a green when the red hand signal is flashing do not cross if cars are waiting to turn, same thing I would do if I was walking across the intersection.

Tim Kelley
08-10-2011, 02:51 PM
ANOTHER report of a cyclist struck at this intersection this afternoon: (8/10)

http://www.arlnow.com/2011/08/10/cyclist-struck-in-rosslyn/

Please stay alert and safe here everyone.

theakston
08-10-2011, 03:20 PM
That intersection scares me, it's worse than a frogger video game. ..... Meanwhile cars exiting from the GW parkway are steaming mad trying to turn right onto Lynn Street but have to wait until the last second when bikers flying down from Fort Meyer Street finally stop crossing.
Not trying ot be a pedant but isn't it traffic coming off of i-66 not the GW Parkway - or have I got this location wrong?

JeffC
08-10-2011, 03:44 PM
Not trying ot be a pedant but isn't it traffic coming off of i-66 not the GW Parkway - or have I got this location wrong?

You could be right, it's either one or the other, perhaps even both as both go through that area. I drive my car in that area very infrequently so cannot say for sure.

Please be careful out there, this is easily the most dangerous spot on my commute, I've seen some crazy things there, saw one guy collide with a movable traffic sign trying to avoid a ped and once had to cross it when all the traffic lights were broken because of a storm, now that was scary.

vvill
08-10-2011, 07:33 PM
I think the tunnel is the best option really, but who knows how long it'll be take. Cars >> bikes - this is America after all. Can't really blame Arlington co engineers/planners for that.

A temp. solution might be to make it easier to access the north/west side of Key Bridge from under K St. That way a lot of trail users could get into G'town without needing to cross Key Bridge or Lynn St at all. Although obv it wouldn't help those going further south in VA.

DaveK
08-11-2011, 09:04 AM
Not trying ot be a pedant but isn't it traffic coming off of i-66 not the GW Parkway - or have I got this location wrong?

Yep, it's an off-ramp from 66. It's all traffic that's come off 110 to 66 to go into DC.

consularrider
08-11-2011, 09:21 AM
The comments section from yesterday's ARLnow.com report included something from the cyclist struck on Monday:

"i am the cyclist who was hit on Monday morning. the facts are simple. the walkway sign was white, meaning that cyclists and pedestrians had the right of way, legally. after i was hit and thrown from the hood of the work van, i made it back to the van. The driver finally got out, and said to me, “i had a green light.” I think that summarizes everything. A driver had a green light, and even though making a turn, and driving through a crosswalk, he felt he had the right to go regardless of what was in his way. By the way, he received the ticket for failure to yield. If cars and trucks do not yield to people in the crosswalk, there is no hope for safe passage. I hope the person hit today is lucky and doing well. having spent four hours or more at GW shock trauma, with excellent care, and bruised and bloodied all over (and for those who care about the bicycle – a bent handlebar – showing the force of the fall — i feel lucky that it wasn’t worse. a trip to the trauma unit shouldnt be the entrance fee for crossing the street."

And from my experience, the cyclists heading east have much less of a problem because the cars turning right towards Key Bridge can at least see them if they are paying any attention. Unfortunately for cyclists heading west, they are usually invisible until they actually get into the intersection. There is an issue with cars turning right on red there. In the morning I turn left from the trail into the crosswalk across the intersection and cars rarely look to their right. In the evening I am enterning the trail after having riding north on Lynn St and cars are straddling the cross walk making it more difficult to make the turn. In addition both cyclists and pedestrians waiting to cross Lynn St frequently block the entire trail, again making it nearly impossible to enter the trail, especially when there is a car cheating up across the crosswalk.

Tim Kelley
08-11-2011, 12:53 PM
And another follow up here:

http://www.arlnow.com/2011/08/11/cyclist-recounts-accident-at-lynn-street-and-lee-hwy/

txgoonie
08-11-2011, 04:21 PM
I think we need a crossing guard. Or two.

RESTONTODC
08-11-2011, 08:44 PM
Or a crossing gate likes the railroad crossing with flashing red lights and bells when there is someone in the crosswalk.

americancyclo
08-16-2011, 09:39 AM
A guy on a tandem bolted past me today on the island between N Fort Myer and Lynn, only to be nearly run over by a K-9 police SUV turning right on to Lynn heading toward DC. No lights or siren, but little regard for us cyclists either.