Monday, May 30, 2011

Be Careful...

From: crash on the W&OD

Someone wrote in with this eyewitness account and it is reminder that pedestrians have the right-of-way on the trail and it is critical that we, as cyclists, treat them with great deference.

I witnessed a crash on the W&OD this morning. A cyclist rear-ended a runner. I was riding my bike and was catching the cyclist at the time and saw what happened very clearly. The cyclist was at fault. She just rear-ended the runner, who was in the middle of the trail. I told her it was her fault, to which she replied, "he was in the middle of the trail." I said, "and so were you." Though he was in the middle of the trail, she had plenty of space to pass. In fact, she was right on the orange line in the middle when she hit him. Cyclist and runner fell. Runner had cuts/scrapes on hand and no other injuries. Cyclist was fine so far as I could tell. I stayed around only long enough to make sure there were no injuries and to tell the cyclist (not so nicely I am afraid) that it was definitely her fault and she needs to be more careful. I am afraid I could have been nicer to her and maybe she wouldn't have been so defensive. I told her that as a cyclist I'd like to support her, but I really couldn't because it was clearly her fault. I don't know whether she gave an audible warning that she was going to pass. I didn't hear any and I was close, so if she did it was faint. In any event the runner didn't move right (which he said he always does). She just plowed down the middle of the path anyway. It happened on a long straight part of the W&OD through Falls Church where we could see the runner for a long time. There was no other traffic and the runner did not deviate from running a straight line.