View Full Version : Scary crosswalk at Shirlington/4mr trail

11-29-2011, 08:17 AM
Last night coming home I noticed that the construction had finally finished on the west side sidewalk of the short road stretch linking the end of the W&OD to the 4 mile run trail along S shirlington rd. I tried it out - went from the end of the W&OD down the sidewalk past the weenie beanie then used the crosswalk to pick up the 4mr eastbound.

Wow was that scary-- While I was waiting to cross, cars stopped in both southbound lanes and the near northbound lane. So I crossed slowly, looking around the stopped northbound guy. Sure enough, as I was passing in front of him, a 4x4 came accelerating up in the right lane - really standing on the gas - trying to catch the green light up at S Four Mile Run drive. Luckily he saw and braked hard and I scooted out of the way. But holy cow!!!

Moral of the story - ignore the nice attractive new west side sidewalk and continue to cross with the light at S Four Mile Run. Visibility just isn't good enough at that crosswalk given there are two lanes in each direction.

Is there some professional traffic engineer term for the crash hazard created when a pedestrian in a crosswalk and a car coming up in the second lane can't see each other because of the vehicle stopped in the first lane?


11-29-2011, 08:49 AM
That crossing does require special attention and patience. If crossing directly from the FMR trail, I usually wait until drivers are stopped for the light and then make sure I have eye contact with them before proceeding, giving my bell a ring if needed to make them look up from their phones. That's in addition to punching the button for the flashing lights and often walking my bike across and stopping at the island in the middle of the road if needed. I also just started using spoke lits to make my bike more visible from the side. Do be careful there.