Taking out cyclists one by one this summer! Beware. No, I'm not talking about with tickets. Was finishing the ride portion of an early am brick around 8 am and came upon the aftermath of a hit and run. Girl cyclist was pretty shooken up and bloodied up on her knee after struck by park police officer who subsequently left the scene. She was with other officers at that point and ambulance came shortly after. I spoke to some witnesses. Scary. No airlift this time as far as I know but can't believe again this summer...
I saw a police officer riding on Four Mile Run Trail this weekend... in his police car! It should have been pretty clear that the trail was not designed to handle cars, especially as he came up to a narrow point and forced an oncoming cyclist to get off her bike and walk around the police car. I happened to be riding behind the car, hoping he would figure it out and get off the trail. But at least he didn't run into anyone while he was on the bike/run path.
Hit and run by a police car? Wow. That's definitely worth reporting to the local media, because otherwise he probably won't see any repercussions for his action.
I don't notice Park Police in local blog compilations of bike accidents. Two caused by PP officers in such a short span (given the small ## of vehicles they have) is troubling, and there's no evidence that they care. I would suggest that this should be a club/board level issue, given the number of us who use the parks on a weekly, if not daily, basis.
[edit - WABA would probably be receptive to this - they have cyclist safety pretty high on their agenda, as a general matter, and probably know who the right people are to contact.)
Ihan- I'd agree. Perhaps if nothing else, a formal letter on behalf of the club to DPR/cc: fenty, maybe even press/editorial in paper just to raise awareness.
Just some notes about what I saw:
1. Technically, its hearsay that it was a hit and run and a park police. But I sort of doubt the guy standing there that told me (who then gave report to other police car) made that up. I gave a pretty shocked response and he said, "yeah, it was a park police car and he just left. no report or anything. she was left there." Again though, I didn't actually see that part. There were a few other witnesses I think. They were giving reports as well. Is this stuff public record? Could we see about getting the police reports? I'm totally ignorant when it comes to this stuff.
2. This was at about 8am and it must have just happened. there were two other officers there at that point but it looked pretty fresh, she was sitting in the road bleeding and looking pretty stunned. The ambulance/fire trucks arrived maybe 5-10 minutes later.
3. Where: It was right by the bathrooms next to the golf course- the ones out on the road. Theres a little intersection there next to the golf course. My guess would be that she might have been riding down the main strip and the officer pulled out in front without looking, but I'm majorly guessing here. Either way I think that there's a station/maintenance area down there and there are always park police going in and out so just be careful and pay attention there.
Number of cyclists struck by Park Police and sent to the hospital this summer: 2
Number of Park Police struck by cyclists this summer: 0
I guessed this means that they will be out in force this week to ticket cyclists so as to spread the message that cyclists should do a better of job of obeying the rules of the road.
I emailed the Washington Post this morning. They just emailed me back saying they are checking it out and also going back to the other cyclist from last month. They asked for tips about who the struck cyclists are. email me and I'll coordinate with wapo. alejandro.escobar [at] yahoo.com
Below is something that you can give the Washington Post. 911 calls, ambulance reports, and police reports are all accessible through the freedom of information act. It's not hard to track down with the below info.
The morning of Tuesday July 6th
The morning of Saturday August 14th around 8:00 AM
I was volunteering at the last training tri right at the start/finish line and a bunch of us saw cops leaving the parking lot next to the pool just blowing by the stop sign.
unbelievable. I wish I had a camera.
I emailed the Washcycle blog the other day and they put it out there- nothing interesting yet, related to this incident, but I thought this response was interesting:
I have a coworker who was forced into the kerb by a park police officer on Maine Ave entering the Jefferson Memorial area, he claims intentionally. He filed a report with NPS, and is waiting for that process to resolve before going public.
Posted by: darren | August 16, 2010 at 01:30 PM
You can find that post at: http://www.thewashcycle.com/2010/08/were-park-police-involved-in-hit-and-run.html#comments