City Desk

Avant-Garde Driving at Memorial Bridge Circle

This morning I saw some driving that was remarkable, even by the standards of Memorial Bridge Circle, where as I've written before, I see near accidents daily.
Here's what happened:

I (represented by bicycle icon) am pausing and drinking some water. Driver of beige Corolla with Maryland plates (represented by the satellite icon) finds herself facing an inconvenience: She hadn't meant to follow the lane she was in over Memorial Bridge! Rather than put herself out further, she...just stops at the bridge entrance. Traffic backs up behind her, all the way onto the circle. Car horns are honking. Drivers are freaking out.

Not the driver of the beige Corolla with Maryland plates. She calmly waits for a break in traffic going the other way, does a U-turn, crosses another solid line, and scoots off in the direction indicated with a wobbly red line and an arrow.

While I'm marveling at this advance in driving science (usually you have to go to, like, Madrid to see this sort of thing), a rescue vehicle from a department I can't identify does the exact same thing.

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  • Q™

    And this is news because?!? BTW, Andrew what direction were you riding in? Were you riding or the sidewalk, against traffic.

    I'm in no way defending Corollagirl, but the reason she missed her turn is the reason that others do the same...THEY ARE NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO THE LANE DESIGNATIONS. On top of that, those exiting from GW Parkway are barrelling down on you as you attempt to merge and you have a recipe for disaster. This has been a problem for some time now, but any effort to add overhead signs would blight the sanctity of Arlington National Cemetary.

  • reader

    i can see what direction the first commenter is going w/ that question for beaujon, so in his defense: as a daily cyclist who frequently takes this circle, i can tell you that depending on the time of day, it's unfriendly to cyclists, period. you're better off on the sidewalk. and it's perfectly legal.

    "they are not paying attention to the lane designations"-- no shit, commenter! that seems to be the problem, right?

    finally, first commenter seems to think beaujon's position on his bicycle is more worthy of discussion than the driver's unsafe and irresponsible behavior. further evidence that cyclists are increasingly put under the microscope for their road behavior and poor, unsafe car driving is accepted as business as usual.

  • Q™

    @reader, I'm not being hostile cyclists, although just today, one came flying down a one way street (in the wrong direction) and almost hit me (a pedestrian). I'm also not generalizing cyclist behavior either. If anything, the bias might've been against motorists, because there are more of them on the road. My comment was looking beyond the obvious motor vehicle infractions (illegal U-turn, impeding traffic while turning, etc.).

    I was simply asking Andrew's proximity to such event (potential accident) and wondering if he too was in violation. That's all. Nothing more.

    Something else I should've pointed out, since you mentioned hostility, Was the gender identification of the driver necessary? While police would use this to apprehend a suspect, in invites stereotypes and OTHER things, the state in which a car is registered (tags), age or ethnicity of the driver, etc. None of which are good predictors of driver behavior.

    Unfortunately, we all do it unconsciously, i.e., VA Drivers speed, MD Drivers don't use turn signals, or Asian women don't pay attention, etc.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    As I said in the article and indicated with a helpful bicycle icon, I was on the grass, drinking water, standing still. I was not a part of traffic, just an observer.

  • arlingtontwb

    I commuted over Memorial Bridge via the Parkway for about 15 years and saw that move on average once every two months. Its not nearly as rare as one would hope.