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Thread: Another accident at the GW crossing

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    Default Another accident at the GW crossing

    There was another accident at the GW parkway crossing to get from the Mt. V to Mem bridge this morning. Only cars involved, no injuries as far as I could tell. I came upon it after the fact. A cyclist who witnessed it had stopped and told me what he saw (he said three bikers who had crossed right in front after it happened just laughed and rode off).

    It was the classic case of a motorist stopping in the right lane to let someone cross, then a car in the left lane stopping, and then a car behind the guy in the left lane plowing into him.

    Cars kept slowing down (in the right lane only) for me to cross there, and I waved them through. No thanks, I'll wait for a gap.

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    I was the cyclist waiting to give the police report.

    I witnessed the whole thing from just before the slope up to the crossing. Three cyclists were beginning to cross the intersection after a BMW had come to a complete stop in the right lane. A construction van came to a stop just a second or so later in the left lane. Soon after a Mustang "submarined" underneath the rear bumper of the construction van - it looked pretty much totaled. The three cyclists stuck around for all of a couple of seconds and then rode off, which is utterly ridiculous behavior.

    If you witness an accident - stop. It is really that simple.

    The police arrived a solid thirty minutes later, twenty five minutes after the Park Service cleanup crew arrived, which was a pretty lethargic response in my book.

    I see two issues here: 1) bicyclists need to use common sense following an accident - be responsible and stick around; 2) this crossing (in addition to Lynn and Lee Hwy) were conceived of in a different era and are showing their age in accident statistics.

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    Coming on so quickly on the heels of the last accident on the Parkway, this is a good opportunity to really make the point with your Member of Congress (or to remind them if you wrote after the first incident).
    Squeaky wheels and whatnot.
    And, pfunkallstar, thanks for doing the right thing. It's a shame about the other riders, but cold weather isn't far off...

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    Quote Originally Posted by pfunkallstar View Post
    I was the cyclist waiting to give the police report.
    Hey, pfunk, nice talking to you!

    I witnessed the whole thing from just before the slope up to the crossing. Three cyclists were beginning to cross the intersection after a BMW had come to a complete stop in the right lane.
    So the cyclists began to cross before a vehicle had come to a stop at the crosswalk in the left lane? Wow, that's dangerous. After all the accidents this summer, I'll never do that.

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    The scariest thing at that crossing is a car that stops to let me cross. I wish there was a good way to communicate that to drivers.
    Last edited by Dirt; 08-17-2011 at 01:32 PM. Reason: I wanna rock and roll all night, And party every day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by baiskeli View Post
    Hey, pfunk, nice talking to you!



    So the cyclists began to cross before a vehicle had come to a stop at the crosswalk in the left lane? Wow, that's dangerous. After all the accidents this summer, I'll never do that.
    No the cyclists ahead of me waited until the BMW came to a complete stop to enter the intersection. The van was also stopped by the time they had crossed that section of the crossing. Unfortunate situation all around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by baiskeli View Post
    So the cyclists began to cross before a vehicle had come to a stop at the crosswalk in the left lane? Wow, that's dangerous. After all the accidents this summer, I'll never do that.
    Depends how fast the vehicle was going. You can tell by the vehicle's speed if they're yielding to you. If they're yielding to you, better to get going and out of the way rather than prolong an ambiguous Laurel & Hardy situation ("After you." "No after you." "No no. I insist. After you." "Oh really I'm not in a hurry. You go ahead." "You're too polite, but no, you first."

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    Quote Originally Posted by pfunkallstar View Post
    No the cyclists ahead of me waited until the BMW came to a complete stop to enter the intersection. The van was also stopped by the time they had crossed that section of the crossing. Unfortunate situation all around.
    Okay. But basically, the guy in the right lane stopped first. That seems to be how it usually happens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brendan von Buckingham View Post
    Depends how fast the vehicle was going. You can tell by the vehicle's speed if they're yielding to you. If they're yielding to you, better to get going and out of the way rather than prolong an ambiguous Laurel & Hardy situation ("After you." "No after you." "No no. I insist. After you." "Oh really I'm not in a hurry. You go ahead." "You're too polite, but no, you first."
    The problem is that there are two lanes. Usually, the right lane clearly yields by coming to a complete stop before anyone in the left lane does. Traffic in the right lane may not. The stopped cars in the right lane obstruct the ability of cars in the left lane to see you in the crosswalk, or for you to see them coming. And it's awful hard to tell if they are slowing to yield unless you're in the intersection peering around the other car.

    If you do get both clearly stopped, then you have to be sure the one on the right isn't about to give up in frustration and start again as you finally begin to cross.

    There are several double-lane crossings in that area, and most aren't a problem though. This one is a big problem, and it's because of the high speed cars are going on that stretch.

    And hey, I like Laurel & Hardy.

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    You describe pretty much what I do. As I approach, if I see both lanes slowing and creating a safe yield to me, I'll cross before they even have to come to a stop. Everyone's happy. If the near lane stops so I cannot see through it to the far lane, I'll bring my bike to a stop in front of the car in the near lane. Now it's clear I'm crossing and at least I have one lane yielded. I'll "peer around" to make sure there's no one flying through in the slaughter lane.

    My morning crossings of GW are easy: all the cars are regular commuters and know the drill. My evening crossings are all over the map with taxis screaming into town with people fresh from National airport, and non-commuter errand runners and tourists. Lots of extra caution then.

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