Housing Complex

Planning Director Hit by a Car, Survives to Bike This Very Day

Tregoning's beloved Brommie. (Twitter)

Office of Planning director Harriet Tregoning is one of the most stalwart bike commuters in District government, making the trip from her Columbia Heights rowhouse to 1100 4th Street SW most days on a foldable Brompton bike, wearing a helmet and sensible shoes. So far, she's gone without major incident, except for catching her wheels in some of the metal ruts that run down 9th Street.

But accidents happen to the safest of cyclists, and one struck around 9:00 a.m. this morning as she was heading south around Mt. Vernon Square, in the form of a Maryland driver who sideswiped her while running a red light on Massachusetts Avenue.

"She was shaken up and very apologetic," Tregoning says. She flagged down a police officer, but decided not to press charges. "I basically told her, never run a red light in the District again!"

Tregoning ended up unscathed, but her bike came out of the altercation much the worse for wear. Fortunately, she was right near BicycleSpace at 5th and I Street NW, which happens to be the only place in D.C. that handles Bromptons. They gave her a loaner bike—a prudent choice for a bike shop in D.C.—and she rode right on into the office.

Even more of a case for making the Office of Planning's vision for Mt. Vernon Square a reality!

  • DC Guy

    I hope the loaner isn't seen as some sort of special disposition for Ms. Tregoning.

  • Brian

    Glad to hear she was uninjured.

  • Rob

    What did this city do before BicycleSPACE!?

  • http://www.bicyclespacewdc.com Erik Kugler

    Brompton aficionados are a fantastic and interesting subculture of bicycling. Being that we keep a demo Brompton on hand we were happy to facilitate.

    We have a petition going which aims to bring this kind of dangerous driving under control: http://bit.ly/nNI90L

  • noodlez

    I BLAME FENTY, WELLS AND KLEIN FOR THE UPTICK IN CAR V. BICYCLE DUSTUPS.

    THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN A SAFETY AND AWARENESS CAMPAIGN COORDINATED BY DC, MD, WMATA AND VA BEFORE SPRAYING THE FIRST BIKE LANE. THE POWERS TO BE THAT PROMOTE THAT WALKABLE, LIVABLE BULLSHIT STILL HAVENT PUT FORTH AN EFFORT ON A GRAND SCALE TO BRING COMMUTERS OF ALL TYPES ANY SORT OF SENSIBLE REMINDERS, NEW SAFETY SUGGESTIONS OR LAWS AS IT PERTAINS TO DRIVERS, WALKERS AND CYCLERS.

  • neil

    She should have pressed charges or at least demanded compensation for her bike.

  • Lydia DePillis

    @Neil

    Oh, I should have mentioned that Tregoning also demanded the driver pay to have her bike fixed.

  • er

    noodlez,

    bike lanes preceded Fenty.

  • er

    and williams.

  • Mrs. D

    Um, I've never been specifically taught how to drive around cyclists and pedestrians other than a cursory mention in driver's ed in a very car-centric area (people give you really funny looks if you walk there...they'd freak at anyone over 12 on a bike!), or walk around cars outside of my parents and teachers teaching me to look both ways and use the crosswalk, and I don't find it that difficult. I'm probably more likely to accidentally cut off a car while driving than a cyclist or pedestrian, and I've never been hit by a car (had a few close calls that were prevented by paying attention...I shouldn't have HAD to jump out of the way of those cars, but I was ABLE to), and while I'm unfamiliar with sharing sidewalks with bikes (every place I've lived where lots of people bike before banned all bikes from the sidewalk everywhere), I've had only a few altercations that could be prevented by a little common sense that shouldn't require an expensive PR campaign (um, if it's a quiet, slow-speed street with narrow sidewalks, even without bike lanes, you should probably ride in the road, for example).

    I've seen my share of dick moves on the parts of all commuters, but it seems like they KNOW they're doing it wrong and just don't care, rather than simply being uneducated (you don't scream past a bike blaring your car horn when they're fully in the bike lane if you are ignorant of the rules, you do it because you're a prick...you don't look at an oncoming car and jaywalk anyway because you don't know it's illegal and unsafe, you do it because you think you're too important to follow the rules). Arrogance is the problem, not lack of education. I'll grant some tourists an unfamiliarity with walking, biking, and driving a mixed-mode city, but a little exposure should get people used to it right quick. Locals have no excuse but self-important idiocy.

  • http://distcurm.blogspot.com/ IMGoph

    Hell of an advertisement for BicycleSPACE. :)

  • noodlez

    @er-I'VE LIVED IN THIS CITY ALL MY LIFE AND HAVE RODE A BIKE THROUGHOUT THE CITY IN ALL BUT THE FIRST 10 YRS OF THAT TIME.

    I DONT RECALL SEEING BIKE LANES PLASTERED ALL OVER THIS CITY UNTIL FENTY TOOK OFFICE AND ACCORDING TO YOU THE BARRY ADMINISTRATION STARTED STRIPING THE STREETS. I TRULY FIND THAT HARD TO BELEIVE.

  • ForTheShorties

    If the driver ran a red light, it should not have mattered if Tregoning wanted to press charges or not - they should have received a ticket for such an infraction.

  • ksu499

    Once again proving the most dangerous drivers in VA or DC have Maryland tags.

  • er

    Noodlez,
    nonetheless, they existed pre williams, though no, you are right they were not PLASTERED ALL OVER THIS CITY.

  • Anon

    Noodlez,

    I remember seeing on 13th Street NW, signs that declared 13th Street an official bike path in the city, and those signs were(?) up for years. This is at the same time that they ran 13th as a rush hour expressway.

    So, its just the painting of the lines that accellerated. Bike paths have always existed in concept.

  • er

    i often knock md drivers as bad, but the last handful of year have given us some horrible drivers with dc tags. a column on car accidents and the license plates involved might be fun.

    and settle some bets.

...