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2 Local Intersections on DDOT’s “Most Dangerous” for Pedestrians

by Borderstan.com March 7, 2012 at 12:00 pm 4 Comments

From Maggie Barron. You can reach her at maggie[at]borderstan.com and follow her on Twitter @maggiebarron

Despite DC’s high marks in pedestrian and bike safety, there are still some intersections where we should tread cautiously. In a new performance review, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) identified 24 of “the most dangerous intersections for pedestrian crashes over the past 3 years.” Two of those are in the Borderstan area, and another 11 are directly surrounding us — any guesses as to where they are?

12th, Massachusetts, DC, dangerous, pedestrian, intersections

The intersection at 12th and Massachusetts is one of the most dangerous in the area. (M. Rhoades)

If you picked 14th and U Streets NW, you’re on the money. The other one to be aware of is at 12th Street and Massachusetts Avenue NW. This isn’t surprising for anyone who has tried to cross there as aggressive northbound vehicles turn left onto Massachusetts.

In terms of other nearby hotspots, 14th Street NW in Columbia Heights made the list three times at Columbia Road, Irving Street and Park Road. And those walking along K Street should be extra-alert, as the intersections of K and 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th Streets NW all made the list.

TBD has a full list of the 24 intersections. And a DCist reader plotted most of the intersections (though not all) on a handy Google map.

In a hearing last Friday before the City Council, Neha Bhatt, chair of the Pedestrian Advisory Council, testified that over 10% of DC residents walk to work. According to data in the DDOT performance review, since 2005 the number of crashes involving pedestrians has ranged from 567 to 782 per year, with a much smaller number of incidents (14 to 25) resulting in fatalities. (Hat tip to TBD’s John Hendel for covering the hearing, which was apparently poorly attended by DC council members).

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Comments (4)

  1. It would interesting to see how many of these accidents were determined to be the fault of the pedestrian. Not to say that there aren’t plenty caused by bad drivers, but my guess would be most of them are the fault of the pedestrian. Many times I have almost hit pedestrians who step out from behind trucks with their iPhone to their ear trying (poorly) to jaywalk without looking. And then they act like it was the driver’s fault. In one of the intersections mentioned in the article, when drivers on NB 14th try to make a left on U with a green arrow, pedestrians (and bicyclists)routinely ignore the red man and dare the cars, who have the right of way, to hit them.

    And yet if you read the article, the only mention of fault lies with the, “aggressive northbound vehicles turn left onto Massachusetts.” Sure, there is some truth to this, but the article ignores bad behaviour by pedestrians.

  2. I live in the hood. We walk most everywhere. Unfortunately, I have to drive to work — no other way to get there. Every day I live in constant fear of hitting a biker or pedestrian — the ones who do stupid stuff. Trust me: There are a lot of us out there who are very careful and look out for bikers and walkers.

    But you pedestrians and bikers have to play by the rules, too. Note to pedestrians: You ar an idiot if you cross the street while texting.

  3. Part of the issue for drivers is that it’s not clear which lanes turn left, and which go straight ahead. The paint indicating this has completely worn away, and there are no signs, either. How this hasn’t been fixed yet is beyond my comprehension.

  4. As a pedestrian commuter who does not text while crossing and is careful to stay on the curb while waiting at lights… I still get brushed by cars nearly every day! So, please don’t place blame on any one party here.

    I know it can be hard to drive in this city and pedestrians/bikers can be reckless with their toes/distracted walking, but drivers have to be alert, careful, and courteous as well!

    Bottom line: Share the road people. Just share it.

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