Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Pedestrian Struck and Killed in DTSS - Traffic a Mess

Avoid downtown Silver Spring this evening if at all possible. A pedestrian was struck and killed trying to cross Colesville Road near East West Highway and the road is closed off to traffic.

I hate to say it, but it was only a matter of time before this happened. A combination of careless drivers and pedestrians makes for a dangerous situation in that area. See my earlier post which mentions risking your life to get to the Rite Aid.

I don't know what happened in this case, but I often see pedestrians brazenly jaywalking in front of oncoming traffic on Colesville. That, and drivers who are liable to be distracted by cellphones, etc. gives you potential for disaster. We can only hope the passenger of the car will be OK.

How about a pedestrian bridge over Colesville that parallels the Metro Bridge? You could technically cross the street using the Metro Bridge, but it would cost you $1.35 or so.

UPDATE:"A boy was at the wheel of the car and he is said to have remained on the scene and has not been charged with anything."


urbannomad said...

In that location I'd rather see an underground crossing like they have in Europe. I think pedestrian overpasses look kind of tacky, especially if one's in an urban area like DTSS. But after seeing Irreversible, I think I'd be a bit wary to use an underpass.

Sligo said...

I admit, I had to look that reference up. I might have to put that one in the Netflix queue.

Just reading the synopsis, I can certainly understand your wariness.

brentgilroy said...

I've been walking the streets of SS -- back & forth to the Metro and all over -- for 20+ years. You're right. It's a mix of aggressive/careless drivers and clueless pedestrians who walk "against" traffic lights, jaywalk, etc. The authorities I've complained to over the years have mainly excused the drivers ("remember, they're frustrated after that long drive down 29!" one highway guy told me). A beat cop told me flatly that "99 percent of the problems are caused by pedestrians" in explaining why they don't often monitor intersections to catch the driver who charge through on red lights, etc. But maybe this death, and the burgeoning pedestrian population downtown, will finally spur some serious thoughts about solutions.

Terry in Silver Spring said...

I'd like to see:
- enforcement of the left turn arrows
- people crossing at the crosswalks with the walk signal (not the middle of the block or against the light).

I walk that area every day and have been hit by a car (16th St and E-W Hwy). Getting hit is terrible and I wouldn't wish even a minor "tap" on anyone.

Some of my scariest experiences walking have been with vehicles racing to make a left just as or after they've lost the arrow. I had a Metrobus (!) just miss me as it made a "late" left off E-W Hwy on to Colesville.

Pedestrians, though, have to bear some of the responsibility for the problems. I live in Summit Hills and some mornings, I swear, I'm the only one who walks all the way down to the crosswalk before crossing 16th Street. My neighbors have some sort of idea that if they jay walk across 16th between Spring and E-W Hwy that it's SAFER than going down to the crosswalk. Good Lord. Cars come flying over the hill at high speed. How are they supposed to see a pedestrian?

Cars, follow the frickin rules of the road and obey the lights.

Pedestrians, stay on the sidewalks and in the crosswalks. Cross with the light.

With the new construction and housing boom, this can only get worse.

Urbannomad suggested underground crossings. The problem is that they become refuge sites for homeless, start to stink of urine and get messy, and people avoid them. Think about the underground passage at the old Silver Spring train station (I think it's closed now) and the underbridge walkway under the tracks there at Georgia Avenue. Peeeeeee yooooooo.

Twoste said...

Man, that accident messed up traffic big time, huh?!?! There was some pretty creative detouring going on.

Omari said...

People cross midblock because then they don't have to contend with turning vehicles. When drivers turn, often they're looking only for oncoming traffic and are not looking for people on foot.

While we're offering two-bit opinions :) I'd cut the curb radius at the Colesville/E-W intersection. See

newSSer said...

traffic was terrible yesterday. My roommate and I left at 5:00 to drop me off at BWI and by 5:30, we were still sitting in the Giant parking lot, trying to get out because they blocked off E/W at Colesville and Blair Mill. I only moved here 3 months ago, so I'm still figuring out the side streets, but we ended up taking Eastern, then back up Georgia to East-west and taking that across to New Hampshire. You folks that have been around longer, do you have any good shortcuts around downtown?

WashingtonGardener said...

I think it is deplorable how many people are jumping to conclusions about who is at fault and blaming the victim. All we know for sure from these meager facts is that:
1. someone is dead
2. a teen motorist admitted speeding and running a yellow light

The rest will need to be sorted out by the police and I hope the media follows through with full reporting, instead of dropping it for the latest blood-bath and never getting us the full story.

Sligo said...

Unfortunately it didn't take very long to get our latest bloodbath. I am pretty confident that it was the driver in this more recent incident.