Pedestrian Killed by DC's Sins of Omission

Some lady got hit by a bus Tuesday. She died. That sucks. I didn't write about it because I write about Metro enough and, let's face it, people get hit by buses. Shit happens. Unless the driver's drug test comes up positive or some evidence of gross negligence was discovered, there was no reason to dwell on a tragic, but understandable, accident.

I should have bet money on negligence.

The Washington Examiner is reporting that a traffic sign alerting drivers and pedestrians that automobiles can't turn at that intersection unless it's a bus has been missing for months. The poor pedestrian probably thought she had a free path across the street when BAM! From the article, it appears that people knew about the missing sign and didn't do anything about it. Enjoy the blood on your hands, assholes.

Mayor Fenty was on the scene to, well, I don't know why he was there. To investigate? To talk to reporters? To hear the neighborhood's concerns? But he was there. And he was dressed as The Shadow.

Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of the DC Council!?


Fenty thinks that the intersection would have been confusing to navigate even with the correct signage.

“Even if you have all the signing, it’s confusing,” Fenty said. “Our job as the executive branch of government is to make sure these intersections are less confusing.”

The knock on Fenty during the elections was that he was all style and no substance. That empty quote does little to convince me otherwise. He's just telling people what they want to hear. What is he even proposing? Less signs? If you want to make DC's intersections less confusing, I would start by building a time machine. Butterfly Effect the shit out of Pierre L'Enfant. It's your only hope, Fenty.

Thankfully, there are plans in place to make sure people get hit by less buses.

Metro distributed blinking pins, posted safety messages at bus stops and held a school poster competition.

A school poster competition? Jesus Christ. Let's make sure our intersections are properly marked before having our city's 8-year-old draw stupid safety posters. I hated that shit when I was in second grade. If the school poster competition manages to save even one life, I'll eat my hat.


  1. DC installing road signs??? MUWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

  2. Apparently Fenty promised that a new sign would be installed the next day and allegedly it has been. Give The Shadow some credit.

  3. But even if you have all the signs, it's confusing, right? Maybe he hates pedestrians.

  4. and at least my street is getting new bricks...pedestrians are being slaughtered left and right and the city is spending X time and $X to rebrick my lovely little historic street that all of 4 people walk down....When will The Shadow come see this improvement?!

  5. “Our job as the executive branch of government is to make sure these intersections are less confusing.”

    That guy is so worthless. I hope you people are happy that you voted for him.

  6. Re: Fenty's quote..the word is signage... not signing as in ASL. duh!

  7. I love how you link to the Examiner like you think it's actually a real newspaper. Were the USA Today pie charts too deep for you?

  8. I think I must be missing something. The sign that wasn't there was supposed to say that no one but buses can turn left, correct?

    What should those who travel roads assume if there is no sign like that? Wouldn't it be to assume that traffic CAN, in fact, turn left there? In the absence of the sign it should probably be assumed that people will drive as they would anywhere else, shouldn't it?

    I don't know the intersection at all, so I really don't know. When I walk, if there is a crosswalk w/ a lighted sign I pay attention to that, as well as traffic. If there's no sign, I just follow the rules of the road as I know them. Seems to me it shouldn't be that surprising a vehicle turned left there (it's not one way the other way, is it?).

    I'd really be curious as to why people think the sign is an issue. I assume that was only there to keep the flow of traffic from being stopped too often by people trying to turn left...what's it got to do with pedestrians?

  9. tim-

    because if she was a resident or frequent visitor of the area (reasonable to assume if she was walking around), she may have often drove through the area and knew you couldn't make a left turn there. sure you could argue if she was a resident she would know buses can turn left, but buses drive by my house every day and I have no idea what their routes are.

    yet another reason that trams/trolleys/streetcars are infinitely better than buses-there's never any confusion where they're going


  10. I am wholly against good signage, as it got me out being liable for an accident I was responsible for, which ended up in the guy who I hit getting deported. On Thanksgiving. In his brand new car. After he had just proposed to his girlfriend.

  11. Fenty looks like one of those guys from Dark City that are evil.

    Butterly Effect. My Jack & Coke Zero almost came through my nose I laughed so hard yawl.

  12. Pedestrians are fucking retarded. I see people jaywalking across six-lane Connecticut Ave in rush hour traffic all the time. I'm not saying she deserved to be hit by a bus, but not all pedistrian accidents/fatalities are the driver's fault. (PS I don't have a car, I walk or take Metro everywhere.)

  13. Wait. So now we don't have to look both ways before crossing the street, like we were taught? Who hasn't tried to cross the street, IN a crosswalk, WITH the right-of-way, only to have a vehicle of some sort provide you with an instant flashing of your life? This news piece hit a nerve with me last night - look both fucking ways. Let's teach our kids that they don't need to do that - it's someone else's fault for not posting a sign if they get hit.

  14. Like DC streets need more signs?!?! The ones they have now aren't the most logical and half the time they are so far removed from the traffic lanes (ie behind a tree limb or posted three lanes over on the lamp post) that it's a miracle that this doesn't happen more often.

  15. I've been through that intersection tons of times. And it's not her fault. The problem is that for some reason, Metro insists on that bus making a left onto park from 16th. Other drivers have to use the offshoot street to the right to get turned around to cross 16th from the other side. Clearly, buses can't make that maneuver, it's too cramped. So, the bus has two choices when it gets the green light. It can either (1) sit there and wait for a good gap in the oncoming traffic to turn left, essentially blocking the northbound traffic for who knows how long... or, (2) wait for a not-so-big gap, slam on the gas and turn. And if a pedestrian happens to be crossing the street...that's just too bad.

    What's so dumb about this, is that the run onto Park is meant to get the bus turned around to reverse its route. Why don't they just have it go up M. Pleasant instead?? So people have to walk an extra block. Big deal. At they'll live to ride the bus again.

  16. I hope someone can explain this to me b/c I know that intersection quite well and this has been bothering me.

    Tim, there is a "no left turn" sign. My understanding is that the sign that was missing was the sign that said there was an exception for buses. So the theory goes the pedestrian was not looking b/c she assumed no vehicles would be turning left.

    My problem is that regardless of the sign situation - presumably this person was crossing Park Rd. and he/she had the right of way. I make this assumption b/c if the bus was turning left from 16th St., the light must have been green - so the pedestrian was crossing on a red light, which we're all taught is the proper thing to do.

    How in god's creation is this not the bus driver's fault? Everyone knows when turning left, you have to yield to pedestrians. I don't care what some supposed sign says. Even if that sign existed - what does that mean? The pedestrian would have had to look to see if any buses were turning left and yield to the bus? On what planet?

    I mean I guess there's always the possibility that the bus was already turning left and this person just jumped out in front of it. But really? What is the probability of that?

    Maybe it's just the canadian in me that thinks vehicles should yield to pedestrians. I don't know. But I do know that as a pedestrian, I will now always yield to those killer metro buses.


  17. Leave Fenty alone on this. He is trying to get involved and show he cares. Would you have him just sit in his office and not give a damn?

    I never liked him for his position on the stadium, but I am starting to come around on him now. I never liked Rusty for his position on the stadium, and ol' Russ is not bringing me around at all....

  18. "If the school poster competition manages to save even one life, I'll eat my hat."

    No Rusty, you'll eat Fenty's hat.

  19. Signs or no signs, DC's traffic control is fucked.

    This is the only city I have ever been to where two-way streets become one-ways at certain hours...and where, depending on time of day on Connecticut Ave, you may be in the lane of head on traffic -- even though 15 minutes prior you weren't.

    I love watching the out of town plates go swerving out of the way for those.

  20. "Leave Fenty alone on this. He is trying to get involved and show he cares."

    Hmm. Looks to me like he's trying to get PR by "showing he cares". Why would he need to be on the scene there? He should've been on the phone with DDOT and then WMATA as soon as the shit went down, and kept on everyone until he got a response. Instead, he ran toward the cameras. I understood this shit during the elections, but seriously? Campaigning isn't his job anymore. Now he needs to go be the mayor.

  21. I just read that the woman who was killed was 24 year-old named Carla. It's very sad to hear of a young woman being killed.

    Metro's probably eating up this erroneous sign discussion, because it deflects criticism from them. Their bus driver, through his negligence, ran into a pedestrian. No matter where he was trying to go or who was in the wrong, you don't run into pedestrians in a crosswalk.

  22. Rusty, this is your best post yet. Marry me.