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Thread: Crash on Custis Trail at Lyon Village

  1. #1
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    Default Crash on Custis Trail at Lyon Village

    A friend of mine came upon this incident Sunday afternoon, a couple of minutes after it happened. A couple had pushed their stroller onto the Custis Trail below the corkscrew near Lyon Village. A cyclist was descending at that time and apparently had to brake very hard to avoid colliding, sending himself over the bars and faceplanting. It sounds like it was a pretty serious impact as the cyclist was unconscious for a minute. My friend made sure 911 was already contacted with the correct location given and did what he could to evaluate the cyclist and make sure blood/fluid wasn't getting into his lungs. Luckily EMTs arrived just a few minutes later.

    Here's the Street View of this intersection. It can be tough for pedestrians on the adjacent sidewalk and cyclists heading east on the Custis to notice each other. In addition, cyclists might be focusing on the blind left curve on the trail rather than the sidewalk intersection. https://www.google.com/maps/@38.8961...7i13312!8i6656
    Last edited by Birru; 07-17-2017 at 10:08 AM.

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    Ugh. I also noticed this morning that the fisheye mirror on that curve is too small and angled in a way that EB cyclists really can't see the reflection until it's almost too late to do anything about it. Irrelevant to the scenario of this crash, I know, but still.

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    dasgeh's Avatar
    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    Yes, this is a horrible corner. The ramp from the sidewalk to the trail is also terrible. I rarely, if ever, use that ramp, and opt instead for the one in the parking lot. However, that one is blocked too often by bad parking jobs or snow, pushed up against it.

    I can't think of a good solution, but would be happy to engage Arlington Parks about it.

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    I hate to ask this, but I wonder if the cyclist was going at a sufficiently slow speed to be able to react to the presence of the pedestrians. Speaking for myself, I take steep and/or blind curves very slowly.

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    This is a bad curve for sight lines both ways and that hill to get up to the trail is a pain. I wish the county would spend money fixing this area on the Custis trail, vice the intersections on the Rosslyn hill that aren't nearly as dangerous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairlington124 View Post
    I hate to ask this, but I wonder if the cyclist was going at a sufficiently slow speed to be able to react to the presence of the pedestrians. Speaking for myself, I take steep and/or blind curves very slowly.
    Without witnessing the crash I just don't know, but I'm not a fan of that curve and my approach speed reflects that.

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    He'd have to have been going slow enough to make the EB curve. But if the stroller came up off the sidewalk from behind the overgrown chain link fence, it would have been like being doored: zero reaction time.

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    That mirror is now, and always has been, entirely useless for riders in both directions. It's just way too small. And because of the attention one needs to pay to the actual curve, one cannot really look at it when needed.

    The one idea I can see is to create a tiny switchback from the sidewalk that would both reduce the steep grade and also put the walkers in the line of sight of eastbound traffic. Sort of like this:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    To do it properly would require tearing it out entirely and rebuilding from scratch, but I think it would improve the experience and safety for everyone.

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    Or maybe something like this, creating a 90 degree angle
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	or this.JPG 
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    TwoWheelsDC's Avatar
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    I think it's obvious that a bollard would do a lot of good here.

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