14th Street most dangerous for cyclists, pedestrians

Max Smith, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – There are more collisions involving cyclists and pedestrians along 14th Street Northwest than anywhere else in the District, according to a new report.

The District Department of Transportation report analyzed crash reports from the beginning of 2010 to March 2012. And the review found that a “very high percentage” of the crashes in that corridor and across the city are caused by drivers, cyclists or pedestrians behaving badly.

The review found the intersection with the most collisions involving cyclists and pedestrians was 14th and U streets NW. In addition to all the cars going through that intersection, bike lanes on 14th Street cross through the intersection. And it is a bus transfer point.

There were nine crashes involving a cyclist over the period of the study, and seven more involving pedestrians. There were six more crashes a block away at 14th and V Streets, the report said.

U Street is in the middle of a year-long improvement project to widen sidewalks, repave the street, and upgrade traffic signals. Phase one of the ongoing construction at 14th and U is scheduled to wrap up this spring.

The intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Howard Road Southeast had eight pedestrian crashes, more than any other intersection in the city.

The study, based on D.C. Police crash reports, finds many of the incidents were caused by drivers, cyclists or pedestrians simply not paying attention, or breaking the law.

Among the explanations cited in the report:

  • “Pedestrian intoxicated crossed the street against the traffic signal.”
  • “Pedestrian was walking in the middle of the street.”
  • “Pedestrian walked in front of the bus into oncoming traffic.”
  • “Driver inattention: Driver struck bike.”
  • “Driver failed to yield the right of way and hit bicyclist.”
  • “Bicycle struck vehicle that was making an illegal U-turn.”
  • “Bicycle struck vehicle when improperly passing a taxi.”

    To help cut down on the collisions, DDOT suggests adding new signs and traffic signals at specific intersections and handing out more brochures with safety tips.

    DCist posted the full study.

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