Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Watch out: Columbia Heights is dangerous for cyclists

If you're riding your bike, be careful. That's true anywhere, but especially in our area. DDOT recently released their bike accident data and the Wash Cycle blog posted the top 10 crash-prone intersections for cyclists: 4 of them are in our area with a few others nearby.

I won't post the whole list, which you can see on the link above, but the worst intersection for accidents is the weird intersection at 16th, U and New Hampshire, while 14th & Perry comes in at 3rd place. Tied for 5th is 14th & Euclid and tied for 9th is Georgia Ave & Barry Place. Three other 14th Street intersections make the list, as well as one in Georgetown, one in Tenleytown, and Columbia & Ontario in Adams Morgan. All of them are in NW DC, but maybe that reflects the total number of bike riders in this quadrant of the city. Wash Cycle helpfully put together a map too, see below.

In short, it's pretty scary stuff. What is it that makes 14th Street so dangerous? I was thinking the hill, but 14th and Perry is pretty flat, as is 14th and Euclid. I've noticed before that drivers don't always look when they're turning (I was almost run over twice at 14th and Girard while in the crosswalk) so that may be part of it, but is it something else? Do people not respect the cycle lane? And of course, it's possible cyclists can be blamed for some of these crashes. What do you think?

Be careful out there, everybody. Wear a helmet!


View crashiest intersections - cyclists in a larger map

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Part of it is drivers trying to make lights as there is tons of traffic on 14 during rush hours and so many pedestrians that there is little time for turns etc. so drivers run lights. The other problem is cyclists frequently break traffic laws, I believe Title 16 and 40 cover bicycle laws in DC, and ride through intersections on red or weave through traffic.

Harlan said...

14th and Euclid will be much less of a problem with the 15th-street Southbound bike line is built that far North. Currently, there are no Southbound separated lanes between 11th and I think Ontario and South of Columbia Rd. So you get people (like me) trying to share traffic on 14th St after the bike lanes end, dodging buses and cars. Not a good scene.

Anonymous said...

" it's possible cyclists can be blamed for some of these crashes"

That's an understatement. I'm constantly amazed at how many cyclists have no appreciation for the rules of the road. I frequently get passed by other cyclists on both 14th and 15th when I am doing the smart thing by waiting at a red light and they barely even look for oncoming traffic.

It's time police start ticketing cyclists for moving violations for their own good.

Andrew W said...

Anon #2, yes, but same with drivers. And you could argue that drivers breaking the rules is significantly more dangerous as they are behind tons of metal.

Andrew W said...

Anon #2, yes, but same with drivers. And you could argue that drivers breaking the rules is significantly more dangerous as they are behind tons of metal.