Police return to deadly Md. intersection for education campaign

Tricia of Potomac and Margaret of Bethesda use the Capital Crescent Trail about three times a week. They're asking Montgomery County Police Captain Tom Didone why flashing lights aren't being added to the intersection to improve safety. (WTOP/Kristi King)
Tricia, of Potomac, and Margaret, of Bethesda, use the Capital Crescent Trail about three times a week. They’re asking Montgomery County police Capt. Tom Didone why flashing lights aren’t being added to the intersection to improve safety. (WTOP/Kristi King)

Where the Capital Crescent Trail crosses Little Falls Parkway in Bethesda, former University of Maryland professor Ned Gaylin, 81, of Chevy Chase was killed by a car  while riding his recumbent bicycle. (WTOP/Kristi King)
Where the Capital Crescent Trail crosses Little Falls Parkway in Bethesda, former University of Maryland professor Ned Gaylin, 81, of Chevy Chase, was killed by a car Monday while riding his recumbent bicycle. (WTOP/Kristi King)

The Capital Crescent Trail is lawfully considered a roadway. Speeding tickets issued by Maryland-National Capital Park Police go on a cyclist's driver's license. (WTOP/Kristi King)
The Capital Crescent Trail is lawfully considered a roadway. Speeding tickets issued by Maryland-National Capital Park Police go on a cyclist’s driver’s license. (WTOP/Kristi King)

"We already reengineered this (intersection) once," said Maryland-National Capital Park Police Acting Captain Rick Pelicano. "But, we're always looking to improve it." Along with adding dogleg curves to slow cyclists there also are stop and speed limit signs where the trail crosses Little Falls Parkway. (WTOP/Kristi King)
“We already re-engineered this [intersection] once,” said Rick Pelicano, Maryland-National Capital Park Police acting captain. “But, we’re always looking to improve it.” Along with adding dogleg curves to slow cyclists there also are stop and speed limit signs where the trail crosses Little Falls Parkway. (WTOP/Kristi King)

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Tricia of Potomac and Margaret of Bethesda use the Capital Crescent Trail about three times a week. They're asking Montgomery County Police Captain Tom Didone why flashing lights aren't being added to the intersection to improve safety. (WTOP/Kristi King)
Where the Capital Crescent Trail crosses Little Falls Parkway in Bethesda, former University of Maryland professor Ned Gaylin, 81, of Chevy Chase was killed by a car  while riding his recumbent bicycle. (WTOP/Kristi King)
The Capital Crescent Trail is lawfully considered a roadway. Speeding tickets issued by Maryland-National Capital Park Police go on a cyclist's driver's license. (WTOP/Kristi King)
"We already reengineered this (intersection) once," said Maryland-National Capital Park Police Acting Captain Rick Pelicano. "But, we're always looking to improve it." Along with adding dogleg curves to slow cyclists there also are stop and speed limit signs where the trail crosses Little Falls Parkway. (WTOP/Kristi King)
December 31, 1969 | Police explain why walkers and cyclists don't always have the 'right of way' in a crosswalk. (Kristi King)

WASHINGTON — Pedestrians and cyclists don’t always have the right of way in crosswalks — that was the message from police Thursday along a popular trail in Bethesda, where a former University of Maryland professor was killed earlier in the week.

Ned Gaylin, 81, of Chevy Chase, was hit by a car Oct. 17 while riding his recumbent bike through the intersection of Capital Crescent Trail and Little Falls Parkway.

“The biggest thing that we hear is, ‘What can you do engineering-wise?’ But, we can’t control the human factor,” said Rick Pelicano, Maryland-National Capital Park Police acting captain. “Everyone has a personal responsibility for their safety in using crosswalks.”

Officers working an education campaign to increase public awareness on pedestrian and bicyclist safety explained that most people want to blame drivers and road engineering for regrettable crashes.

“The part nobody talks about is the pedestrians’ responsibility,” said Montgomery County police Capt. Tom Didone. “Every time a car and a pedestrian occupy the same space, the pedestrian loses every time — even if they’re right.”

On Thursday, officers handed out the information below, detailing Maryland transportation laws related to pedestrian and bicyclists.

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