Submission: Cyclist Struck at Mt. Pleasant and Irving, NW

Date: 7/18/11
Approx Time: 2PM
Description:
I was biking down Mt Pleasant Street approaching the intersection with Irving Street NW. A car was parked on the opposite side of the street, and the driver pulled out of his spot and did a fast U-turn in the middle of the road. He did not see me, and struck me on my bike right before the intersection. I was wearing a backpack filled with several soft items, and that luckily was a buffer between my head and the ground. I managed to avoid any injuries, was just shaken up, and my back bike tire is slightly bent. Luckily the driver was very apologetic and took full responsibility, but repeatedly explained that he had looked both ways for cars only, and did not look out for cyclists. Hopefully he will be more vigilant next time, as it could have turned out much worse. Police and bystanders were extremely helpful, and the driver was ticketed for the illegal U-turn.
Submitted by: Mount Pleasant resident

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Submission: Cyclist Struck in Mount Rainier Traffic Circle (with video)

Date: 7/11/11
Approx Time: 9AM
Description:
I got sideswiped this morning by a guy driving one of those white box delivery trucks as I was exiting Mount Rainier’s traffic circle. The driver attempted to pass me when there was not enough space and the side of his truck brushed up again my arm. I swerved out of the way (more like was pushed out of the way) and nearly fell over onto the curb. Somehow I stayed upright and promptly crossed the street to where the police station is.

Conveniently the police were out monitoring traffic so I told the officer what happened. He jumped into his car and raced after the guy. The guy came back to the police station and we talked about what happened. He said he saw me riding in the street but he didn’t see me as he was passing. That’s a little hard to understand since I’m on a day-glo orange bike wearing a orange safety vest with a super blinky light in back. The officer thought he was telling the truth though so after discussing it with me I decided to have him give the guy a ticket for ‘failing to yield’ which is a $120 hit.

I wasn’t hurt at all but was just shaken up. I did have my video camera rolling so I will post video tonight on my blog. Stay safe!

“I wrote about it here:
http://blog.evanwilder.com/?p=177 and it has a video.

Submitted by: Evan

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Submission: Cyclist Struck at 403 New Jersey Ave NW

Date: 6/22/11
Approx Time: 10AM
Description:
Last week I had some free time in the morning so I decided to pick up some reverse rider rewards for CaBi. After a couple of successful trips between 7th and F and 7th and T I decided it was time for breakfast so I freed up one last dock downtown and headed over to Union Station for my well deserved favorite of Swiss Oatmeal from Corner Bakery.
I turned left from D St NW on to New Jersey Ave NW and in front of The Liaison Hotel a limousine driver opened his door just as I was coming up to him. I had just enough reaction time to be able to swerve and avoid catapulting myself over the handlebars and instead my right leg took all of the force of the impact but luckily I was able to stay on the bike.
After turning around and yelling at the driver for awhile he apologized and I demanded his information in case I needed to file anything against his company. It turns out he is an independent driver (BSA Limousine & Sedan Services, Bamba S. Ahmed) but he provided me with his business card. By this time my leg had swollen and bruised pretty badly and now a week and a half later it is still swollen, tender and has a nasty bruise. I considered calling the police but I figured it would be more trouble than it was worth especially since I wasn’t hurt too badly.
I was able to hobble over to Union Station where Amtrak Police were clueless as to any first aid for my leg so I got my coveted Swiss Oatmeal and the staff at Corner Bakery were super nice and professional by getting me some ice to put on my leg while I ate and took the Circulator back home. Later in the day I went to Urgent Care just to be sure everything was OK and to see if anything needed to be drained from the now immensely swollen area but they said it was fine and just to let nature run its course.
Submitted by: Bryan

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Submission: Cyclist Struck at 16th and R St, NW

Date: 6/29/11
Approx Time: 6PM
Description:
Is anyone at fault if I’m riding in the bike lane, approaching upon a cab stopped half-way into the bike lane, then as I attempt to pass around the cab, the cab passenger all of a sudden opens the door and hits me as I’m biking at 20 mph sending me and the bike reeling? Should the cab not have stopped there? Should the passenger look before opening the door? This scenario actually happened to me yesterday as I was riding on R St NW (between 15th and 16th St.). I sustained a wrist injury and damage to my bicycle. I asked a cop later that day; he seemed to indicate the taxi cab driver could have been at fault for dropping off a passenger in the middle of a bike lane. Do you have any thoughts on this matter?

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Submission: Pedestrian Struck at 13th and Irving, NW

Date: 6/28/11
Approx Time: 10AM
Description:
I was crossing from the NE corner of 13th and Irving to the NW corner of that intersection on a walk signal. I had about 15 or 20 seconds left to cross. A driver in a white SUV making a left turn from Irving to head north on 13th decided that checking for pedestrians before executing his left turn was unnecessary. Whether this is his standard operating procedure while driving is unknown to me; however, on this day, that decision resulted in him striking me with the front of his SUV in the crosswalk. I was thrown to the ground but the potent mix of adrenaline, fear, and anger made me spring right back up and run to the sidewalk. The car pulled over and after several minutes of “oh lord jesus, lord jesus oh lord,” the passenger explained that they were in a hurry to drop their kid off at camp, which, even if coming from the lord jesus himself, is not an acceptable excuse to take precautions to ensure that mortal flesh is not in the path of your large SUV. Even through the adrenaline rush I noted the pain in my left side, which later made itself very powerfully known to me. I obtained their insurance and contact information, as well as the contact information of a pedestrian behind me who saw the whole incident.

Now to moralize: I think the most disturbing aspect of my story, and other entries on this site, is that drivers who commit these acts of negligence evidently and actually believe that simply because it is legal to make a right on red, or a left on green, they are technically not at fault. It is a public health issue when people who do not fundamentally understand the reasoning behind the concept of the pedestrian right of way, and who violate it, are given a license to drive. In NO conceivable situation is a human, whether on foot or on bike, an equal match for several tons of rapidly moving metal. Any lack of effort on the part of municipal bodies to staunchly protect the pedestrian right of way, and effectively reprimand those who violate it, contributes to the erosion of a culture of safety.

Submitted by: Columbia Heights Pedestrian

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Submission: Cyclist Struck on Massachusetts Avenue between 4th and 5th, NW

Date: 6/15/11
Approx Time: 6PM
Description:
I left work about six o’clock 6/15 and was traveling NW on Mass between 4th and 5th. Traffic was heavy and so I was passing cars on the right. Near the apartment building that houses Buddha Bar, an SUV, stuck in traffic, opened the passenger door to let someone out. The car didn’t have hazards or a turn signal on and hadn’t moved out of the flow of traffic. I hit my brakes and kind of half went over my handle bars and crashed shoulder first into the door. I braked hard enough that the bike and car door never actually collided. The passenger was very apologetic and asked me repeatedly if I was alright. Taking a minute to gain my composure and check out my tender but otherwise intact collar bone I told him I was fine and sent him on his way. I was both shaken and furious but have noticed that driver/bike altercations haven’t ended well for cyclists recently. Besides, he seemed genuinely sorry and neither I nor my bike were damaged. I rode home, iced my shoulder, and called it a night.

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Submission: Cyclist Struck at 14th and P, NW

Date: 5/31/11
Approx Time: 6PM
Description: Cyclist was crossing the intersection from a sidewalk going south against the light. A car going westbound entered the intersection right as the cyclist began to cross the intersection. I don’t think either vehicle saw the other until they hit. Luckily for the cyclist the driver was going slowly; the cyclist only rolled of the hood of the car, suffering minor scrapes and scratches, although he was transported to the hospital on a back board just in case.

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