It’s called "the intersection of doom" by many cyclists in this area of Rosslyn.
Last week, we told you about an Arlington County bicyclist who was hospitalized after a car hit her. She was also ticketed even though she said she had the right of way.
Well, it appears that this intersection is getting a makeover.
One thing cyclists and drivers – who have been at odds going through this spot -- can agree on is that the lights and crossings need to be improved and made clearer about who can go where and when.
Now, the Arlington County Board has green-lighted some big changes here, but how soon they’re coming is causing new concerns.
We met Lindsey Kelley last week. She got out of the hospital after getting hit by a car, and then hit with a ticket.
"I got hit at the intersection of Lee [Highway] and Lynn [Street] coming from the Key Bridge,” she said.
U.S. Park Police cited Kelley for not having the right-of-way even though she insists that she did. Her fine was $70.
"I was actually in the crosswalk with the signal to cross the street,” said Kelley.
"I see bikers not paying any attention to cars whatsoever,” said Tony Lacasta.
He drives all day for an exterminator. As for cyclists? Lacasta thinks they're pests on the road.
"Most of the time, instead of looking for cars, I'm looking for bikers,” he said.
At issue is this part of Rosslyn where the Key Bridge and other streets meet up. Cyclists like Kelley call it "the intersection of doom" and she said it needs real safety improvement and real soon.
"I think there needs to be a tunnel or a separate light cycle,” she said.
Lacasta, who is not so fond of cyclists, agrees with Kelley on this point and the game of chicken between cars and bikes needs to stop.
"As long as the bikers know if they’re in the street, they got pay attention to cars,” said Lacasta.
Now, the Arlington County Board is stepping in. Board member Walter Tejada said they are trying to put the brakes on one of the most accident-prone areas in Arlington.
"We want to make our county as bicycle-friendly as possible,” Tejada said.
A new plan approved by the board will transform the area with better traffic signals, wider trails and safer curbs. Tejada said it should make it safer for both cars and bikes.
"We definitely need to focus more and we have plan to do just that,” he said. “Lynn and Lee Highway is one of those examples where we have a comprehensive plan to make that intersection safer.”
What's the catch? The work isn’t supposed to start until the spring of 2015, and it will last for a year. Kelley said she welcomes the action, but just wants to see it sooner.
What is clear is that this is unlikely to be the last battleground in the ongoing struggle between cyclists and drivers.
County officials said while they hope their plan eventually eases these concerns, there is a limit to what they can do here. Not all of the land here is under their control, but is controlled by the federal government.
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