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Posted at 8:48 PM ET, 02/ 8/2011

Woman struck near Union Station

By Clarence Williams

A woman was critically injured near Union Station Tuesday night when she was struck by a vehicle, D.C. police said.

The incident occurred about 6:40 p.m. at North Capitol Street and Massachusetts Avenue, said Officer Hugh Carew, a police spokesman.

Police said the woman was taken to a hospital with injuries that were described as life-threatening. The police major crash unit was investigating Tuesday night.

By Clarence Williams  | February 8, 2011; 8:48 PM ET
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety, DC, Traffic and Transportation  
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Comments

Wednesday night or Tuesday night, doofus?

Posted by: sheckycat | February 8, 2011 10:18 PM | Report abuse

They'll probably try to blame it on the woman not the driver. DC is one of the most hostile cities for pedestrians that I've ever seen - and this is the nation's capital? In most cities, pedestrians have a separate green light and motorists are not allowed to turn while they are on the cross walk. Not so in DC, cars often make turns at high speeds and come within inches of pedestrians who have the green light. A woman was recently killed on a cross walk by a speeding metro bus one block from the mall. Drivers in DC often speed though intersections and blow their horns at pedestrians on crosswalks. Way to make visitors to Washington DC feel welcome.

Posted by: DrewT | February 9, 2011 9:09 AM | Report abuse

I agree with DrewT-I cross daily after work at the corner of 13th & L. Cars in the left turning lane from L onto 13th St. constantly come within inches of pedestrians who have the walk signal. DC motorist are rude, hostile, impatient and downright nasty. I have reported this to DC Traffic Control to no avail. DC is the kind of city that only reacts once someone is hit or killed. Only then does the city start looking into Pedestrian Safety issues. Drives in this town do not adhere to the road rules required to get a license. The police do nothing and break the rules themselves. Once such road rule that is broken all the time here is the Pedestrian crosswalk white lines in the street. If cars see someone trying to cross on those white pedestrian lines they are supposed to stop and let the pedestrians cross. Instead, traffic just keeps plowing right through with no regard to letting someone cross the street. You could be 80 years old trying to cross and the traffic still will not stop. It's almost as if this town enjoys running people over for sport. Sick city.

Posted by: brendajoyce | February 9, 2011 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Pedestrian, cyclists, etc. are mere obstacles to most D.C.-area drivers.

Even if you're crossing according to the "walk" signal in a marked X-walk, you can almost hear the raging drivers grinding their teeth and cursing under their breath as you're walking in front of them. Many will start bearing down on you almost immediately to intimidate you.

Sometimes I think I need to take photos of these raging, borderline-violent motorists, in case one of them runs me or a nearby ped or cyclist down.

I fear that post-peak/plateau oil can only dampen this impatient, idiotic behavior a little and may possibly even worsen it.

Posted by: FedUpInMoCo | February 9, 2011 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Every now and then in certain parts of Montgomery County, I think the police conduct sting-like operations to catch people who do not yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks. It's a shame something like that can't be done in DC as well. I doubt it has a long term effect on driver culture, but it will make some drivers stop to think.

Posted by: CAmira5 | February 9, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

For those of you not familiar with the intersection of North Capitol St and Massachusetts Ave let me describle it. Both North Capital st and Massachusetts Ave are six lane streets controlled by traffic signals and walk lights. Until more info is released lets stop using this accident to blame the driver or woman.

Posted by: Jimof1913 | February 9, 2011 11:15 AM | Report abuse

That very inane last sentence in my last comment should read:

I hope that post-peak/plateau oil can only dampen this impatient, idiotic behavior a little and but I fear that it may possibly even worsen it.

% % %

Jimof1913, there don't seem to be enough good studies / surveys of pedestrian safety issues in this area. Media outlets like WaPo rarely compile and analyze this kind of data in any meaningful way. It's often just spotty, inconsistent, incomplete coverage with little follow-up. After all, you won't find a big emphasis on investigative journalism at the Metro desk.

And overall, Americans have an incredibly poor record when it comes to prioritizing road safety. On our roadways, commerce, convenience and adrenaline always trump safety. Just look at all the DC-area residents who think that speed tickets are a gross injustice worthy of a well-funded citizen's campaign who don't lift a finger to safeguard pedestrian safety. Dead pedestrians and cyclists are becoming mere collateral damage sacrificed for our mindless Car Culture.

Posted by: FedUpInMoCo | February 9, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I agree with FedupInMoCo. The question is: How many more people have to get mowed over on the streets of DC, MD, VA before our elected officials take action and stop putting this issue on the back burner. Too many drivers are texting and talking on the phone while driving. They are driving to fast most of the time and too busy trying to get through the yellow light before it turns red. I say we "camera up" all intersections in the metropolitan area. That way we can find out what really happens out there on those streets. Sure, it would be expensive to do it--but aren't our lives worth every penny? We have a very bad pedestrian safety problem in this area. Some of these hit and runs would instantly be recorded. Sadly, we no longer have any interest in common courtesy to pedestrians. Nothing but road rage out there. Really sad.

Posted by: brendajoyce | February 9, 2011 12:26 PM | Report abuse

One of the toughest challenges to pedestrians crossing at Mass Ave. near Union Station is the very limited amount of time allowed by the walk signal. I cross this twice a day to and from work. To get across both sides of the street (6 lanes and a median) you get 26 seconds. I'm a fast walker and that's even a mite too quick for my pace sometimes. Oddly enough, the nearby crosswalk from the Capitol Brewery to Union Station allows 72 seconds to the pedestrian, more than twice the time that most people might require to cross this short distance. Can't we spread some of that time to the other crosswalk? I know they want to keep traffic lights short for drivers on Mass. Ave., but one pedestrian death is too many.

Posted by: jd20785 | February 9, 2011 1:24 PM | Report abuse

As a driver, walker and biker in DC there is fault with everyone. The majority of walkers walk into crosswalks without bothering to check if someone is coming and/or cross when the no walk sign is up/but the green light for driver's is still up- which angers drivers when they are trying to turn. So, drivers anticipating that their opportunity to rightfully turn will be blocked by peds take every opportunity to turn when they can. And bikers, there are ample bike lanes in this town, use them unless you somehow can bike 25 to 35 mph and not slow traffic. It's a vicious circle, everyone ignores the rules because someone else has and they feel justified.

Posted by: cib1 | February 9, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Look cib1--Bottom Line is cars have 4 wheels--People have two feet. Now you tell me who should be more patient. Pedestrians have the right of way. If a pedestrian is in the middle of the road--what are you going to do? Mow them down just because you are trying to get your turn in at the light. Sure there are lots of people who jaywalk and cross against the light and cross without looking around for cars that may be careening into them. Pedestrians should not have to constantly worry about getting hit while crossing the street. Do drivers constantly worry about getting hit while they are driving along in their cars. No.

Posted by: brendajoyce | February 9, 2011 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I have walked, biked or driven through this intersection daily for the last 9 years. It is dangerous for pedestrians, dangerous for cyclists and dangerous for drivers. I have reported it numerous times to the city and to Councilman Wells' office, as have several of my co-workers. Hopefully this terrible incident will bring the city's attention to this intersection to make it safer for everyone.

Posted by: CapHillResident71 | February 9, 2011 10:43 PM | Report abuse

I have walked, biked or driven through this intersection daily for the last 9 years. It is dangerous for pedestrians, dangerous for cyclists and dangerous for drivers. I have reported it numerous times to the city and to Councilman Wells' office, as have several of my co-workers. Hopefully this terrible incident will bring the city's attention to this intersection to make it safer for everyone.

Posted by: CapHillResident71 | February 9, 2011 10:44 PM | Report abuse

At this particular intersection, everyone can follow the rules, and someone can still get very seriously injured. If you are driving and in the right turn lane on Massachusetts (heading Northwest), and hoping to turn North onto North Capitol, the traffic light provides a green arrow. Pedestrians crossing North Capitol have a don't walk signal when the green arrow is on. Without warning, the green arrow disappears and the pedestrians simultaneously get a walk signal. As a result, a car can begin making a turn when the arrow is on, and just as it reaches the corner (and the crowd of pedestrians), the arrow disappears and the pedestrians immediately step off the corner into the street (and in the path of the car). The arrow needs to go yellow or blink before it disappears.

Posted by: CapHillResident71 | February 9, 2011 10:53 PM | Report abuse

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