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Cyclist Hit by Car Near W&OD Trail

No charges in Wednesday incident because of conflicting eyewitness accounts, police say

Update (Saturday): In an email to Vienna Patch, the cyclist maintains he stopped at the stop sign before crossing the street.

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A cyclist was struck by a car around 4:40 p.m. Wednesday where the W&OD Trail crosses Park Street in Vienna.

The cyclist was transported to the hospital with abrasions and an apparent bump on his head, but is in good condition, Vienna Police spokesperson Gary Lose said.

A driver heading northbound on Park Street SE stopped to allow the cyclist, who did not adhere to the stop sign, to cross the street, police said. The cyclist was then struck on the back wheel of the bicycle by a car traveling southbound. Cyclists and pedestrians on the trail have a stop sign before crossing Park Street; drivers do not.

Because of differing eyewitness accounts, the investigation did not yield charges.

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Ron August 13, 2012 at 12:27 PM
I agree that this is going nowhere. By the way, there are the same type of pedestrian signs just one block away at the intersection of Locust and Park Streets. With this, I am dropping out of the discussion. I intend to try to avoid that crossing at all costs.
Tim Fricker August 13, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Jeff - we'll all be interested in hearing what you learn from VDOT and other authorities. It seems from what has been written so far that the stop signs on the W&OD are a well-intentioned attempt to encourage cyclists and other trail users to stop before crossing roads, but they are not legally enforceable. It would be interesting to know if collisions have decreased at trail crossings since the stop signs went up, in which case perhaps they have done their job, despite the legal muddiness of their use. I've said it before, and I'll say it again... there is plenty of blame to go around. There are plenty of cyclists who ride unsafely, and plenty of drivers who do the same. Pointing fingers gets us nowhere. We need to try to work together to find solutions that make the roads and trails safer for all. That's a major part of what the Vienna Bicycle Advisory Committee and Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling are trying to do. If you'd like to be a part of the solution, I suggest you come to a meeting of one or both of these organizations. Meeting times and locations are on their websites: http://www.viennabac.com http://fabb-bikes.org
Tim Fricker August 13, 2012 at 06:48 PM
I had to look this one up, as I honestly didn't know, but Wien is correct, essentially, about red lights. State law says: "B. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if a driver of a motorcycle or moped or a bicycle rider approaches an intersection that is controlled by a traffic light, the driver or rider may proceed through the intersection on a steady red light only if the driver or rider (i) comes to a full and complete stop at the intersection for two complete cycles of the traffic light or for two minutes, whichever is shorter, (ii) exercises due care as provided by law, (iii) otherwise treats the traffic control device as a stop sign, (iv) determines that it is safe to proceed, and (v) yields the right of way to the driver of any vehicle approaching on such other highway from either direction." http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+46.2-833
J Anderson August 13, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Tim.....that code was added during 2010 I think.....yet we still have a 2 ft law as well as a law that does not prohibit tailgating of a cyclist.
J Anderson October 01, 2012 at 03:54 PM
UPDATE - I've engaged NVRPA and in fact they themselves are trying to figure this out. VDOT themselves told me they do NOT put such signs on trails they manage - like the Fairfax County Parkway trail.

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