PDA

View Full Version : Arlington Cyclist Involved in Collision, Dies



Mark Blacknell
05-08-2011, 10:43 PM
A cyclist and car collided on the Four Mile Run Drive access road near Walter Reed Drive, this afternoon. It occurred here:

http://blacknell.net/dynamic/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Cyclist-Collision-500x340.jpg


The ACPD news release:


<blockquote>ARLINGTON, Va. Ė The Arlington County Police Department is investigating a fatal traffic accident that occurred this afternoon in the 4000 block of Four Mile Run Drive. At approximately 2:56 p.m. on Saturday [Sunday, actually - ed.], May 8, 2011, police responded for a bicyclist that collided with a vehicle.

Investigation revealed that an adult man was riding his bicycle south on South Walter Reed Drive and turned right onto the access road of Four Mile Run Drive. It appears that when he turned onto Four Mile Run Drive, he crossed into oncoming traffic and struck an occupied vehicle. The driver of the vehicle stayed at the scene of the accident. The bicyclist was transported to a local hospital and pronounced dead. He will be identified once the next of kin has been notified.

The Arlington County Police asking that any witnesses of the accident contact the Department at 703 558-2222, or Detective Don Fortunato at 703 228-4197.</blockquote>



This explanation makes sense in light of the markings on the road (I visited the scene after I heard the first ARLnow report, in the hope that I could better understand, first hand, what happened). However, it's not clear to me, as cyclist who has made this same turn, why the cyclist would have taken that path. The report has the cyclist coming down the hill you see in the left corner of the photo (and it's quite a long and steep hill), and given the position of the collision, apparently deciding to turn after the slip turn lane you see on the left, and coming completely across into the far lane.

(As I thought more about it, and posted in a comment to my own site, itís quite possible that that the cyclist did make the slip lane, went into the car coming the other direction, and was carried back toward the intersection as the car came to a halt (Iím assuming that the comments posted at ARLnow about a smashed windshield are true). Otherwise, itís just a really awkward line, no matter which turn was attempted.)

http://blacknell.net/dynamic/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/MG_8444-500x332.jpg


The orange markings are all related to the accident. The square that is roughly next to the bus stop sign is where the car stopped. The orange you see on the left side are - I assume - markings for where various pieces of the bike/clothing/etc. were found. Here's another view (I'm not terribly keen on publishing any close-up photos)

http://blacknell.net/dynamic/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/MG_8424-500x332.jpg



I'm hoping we get more information soon.

In any event, it's terribly sad. Ride safely.

PrintError
05-09-2011, 08:06 AM
Wow, what a shame. Sounds like a case of too much speed and no control. I know that intersection well, and you can carry a mountain of speed down that hill.

:(

JimF22003
05-09-2011, 08:47 AM
Very sorry to hear this. I actually had a scare at that same point a week or so ago, only it was while making a right-turn onto the W&OD. I was coming down the hill way too fast, and the light was green. I was riding on the tops instead of the drops, so I didn't have the best control of the brakes. As I hit the W&OD I was going too fast, and nearly went off onto Four Mile Run.

I could see how somebody could make a similar miscalculation while turning onto the access road.

baiskeli
05-09-2011, 08:59 AM
Very sorry to hear this. I actually had a scare at that same point a week or so ago, only it was while making a right-turn onto the W&OD. I was coming down the hill way too fast, and the light was green. I was riding on the tops instead of the drops, so I didn't have the best control of the brakes. As I hit the W&OD I was going too fast, and nearly went off onto Four Mile Run.

I could see how somebody could make a similar miscalculation while turning onto the access road.

Yes, I suspect speed was a factor. It's very easy to get going way too fast down that hill and lose control in a turn.

consularrider
05-09-2011, 10:54 AM
I was heading west on Four Mile Run Dr about 4:30 yesterday afternoon and saw the police out there and a large area blocked off with yellow tape. The car was still there and did appear to have a smashed windshield in front of the driver. There was an officer taking photos of it at the time.

eminva
05-09-2011, 11:08 AM
Very sad; very sorry to hear it. My condolences to the family.

Liz

RESTONTODC
05-09-2011, 01:38 PM
It's a very sad news. I rode this route on last Thursday and always want to climb this hill for fun.

Rick

Dirt
05-09-2011, 08:12 PM
Riding over that incident paint was creepy today. Godspeed.

acc
05-10-2011, 08:49 AM
Still waiting to see an identification, have not seen this information. Hoping I just don't know where to look. Otherwise, this tragedy is compounded. I admit there have been long stretches in my life when I wandered around without ID when I was running or biking. But not recently.

I've thought a lot about this accident and some small gesture I can make to recognize other cyclists beyond a friendly wave and nod when I'm on Spartacus (my bike). Unlike my vehicular cyclist friends, I still drive a car-- frequently even. Oh, the horror. But today as I was coming down to work I decided I'd start waving to the cyclists I see. It is my way of showing my support of other cyclists working out or commuting or simply going to the grocery store. So at the corner of Jermantown and somewhere in Fairfax this morning I gave the bike dude waiting at the light a big thumbs up. His mouth fell open in astonishment, hesitated, then waved back. It was a good moment.

The reality is we are a small community and losing even one diminishes us all.

Ride safe,
ann

OneEighth
05-10-2011, 09:05 AM
On the few occasions where I'm driving rather than riding, I also make a point of waving or giving the thumbs up and I get my kid to do so, too.
It's nice to get a friendly wave of support when riding and it's also a good reminder to cyclists that there are plenty of drivers who get it.
Balance is good.

Mark Blacknell
05-10-2011, 10:09 AM
Still waiting to see an identification, have not seen this information. Hoping I just don't know where to look.

I think the ACPD knows who it was, but just haven't announced it yet.

StopMeansStop
05-10-2011, 10:32 AM
What is a slip lane?

acc
05-10-2011, 11:12 AM
A slip lane is a road traffic lane provided at an intersection to allow vehicles to turn at the intersection without actually entering it and interfering with through traffic.

If you look at the overhead map you will see the far right lane allows traffic to turn without having to stop and wait for the light. I don't understand enough about angles or how to descend this particular hill and pick a line that will allow me to turn into the slip lane while maintaining a high rate of speed, but it seems there is some controversy over whether the cyclist entered the slip lane or not. I have wondered whether he was trying to beat the light and made a split second decision to turn.

Rainbows and unicorns, safe riding
ann

RESTONTODC
05-10-2011, 12:21 PM
I've thought a lot about this accident and some small gesture I can make to recognize other cyclists beyond a friendly wave and nod when I'm on Spartacus (my bike). Unlike my vehicular cyclist friends, I still drive a car-- frequently even. Oh, the horror. But today as I was coming down to work I decided I'd start waving to the cyclists I see. It is my way of showing my support of other cyclists working out or commuting or simply going to the grocery store. So at the corner of Jermantown and somewhere in Fairfax this morning I gave the bike dude waiting at the light a big thumbs up. His mouth fell open in astonishment, hesitated, then waved back. It was a good moment.

The reality is we are a small community and losing even one diminishes us all.



I have the same feeling too. Since I commute on my bike, it brought me close to the peoples and communities. It slows me down to enjoy life and appreciate how beautiful the Washington DC area is.

I enjoy the morning fresh air, flower smell, fresh baking smell, or perfume smell in Georgetown. I enjoy pizza baking smell on Curtis trail in the afternoon commute and BBQ smell on WOD during the summer. I also enjoy a great view of White house, many priceless views from Mount Vernon trail and many more

I often wave or smile at other cyclists and walkers on the trail. I always slow down and say ďGood morningĒ to senior walkers on the trail. Bike commute is my best time of the day.

Alright, I can go on forever but I need to stop dreaming and get back to work.

I canít wait to ride home.

Rick

acc
05-10-2011, 05:00 PM
I usually notice the big snakes around Private Drive in Reston, the way the sweat burns when it drops into my eyes, how I wish for something better than water in my water bottles, and then remember Jacksons, with ice cold adult beverages, is oh so close to the trail where it goes past Reston Town Center. I love to ride because it keeps my mind engaged (no more staring at a mind numbing black line on the bottom of a cold pool) and because I can choose to ride with people or by myself and still have an equally good time. It never gets dull. Besides bike clothes are cute. :cool:

ann

Mark Blacknell
05-11-2011, 08:33 AM
The cyclist was Fitzgerald Pollard, 44, of Arlington. Per ACPD:


[He] was riding his bicycle south on South Walter Reed Drive, turned right onto the access road of Four Mile Run Drive and crossed into oncoming traffic. Mr. Pollard then struck an occupied vehicle. He was transported to a local hospital and pronounced dead.

No additional information has been released by ACPD

acc
05-11-2011, 09:28 AM
Again, what a horrible tragedy. I cannot express the depth of my sympathy to his family, words fail me.
ann

PotomacCyclist
05-15-2011, 03:47 PM
Sorry to hear about the accident and death.

I don't think it's safe for cyclists to make that right turn at speed, no matter what line they take. That hill is too steep and cyclists pick up too much speed to make that turn safely. Even if you stay in the correct lane, there can be pedestrians crossing Four Mile Run. I think it's best for cyclists to slow down to a very slow speed before trying to make that turn. It wouldn't be smart for a car to make that turn at 25 mph. It's even less smart for a cyclist to do that.

As for the slip lane, I believe that it will be removed as part of the upgrades and design changes at that intersection. WashCycle had a recent post about it.

skreaminquadz
05-16-2011, 08:19 AM
I get back to the office this morning after being out a week and read this and then read a global email from my employer. He worked for the same employer as I do. A very sad week for cycling indeed.