Cyclists call for traffic control at deadly Bethesda trail crossing

Angry bike riders on the immensely popular Capitol Crescent Trail are calling for a traffic light or stop signs to help them get safely across Little Falls Parkway in Bethesda.

BETHESDA, MD. (WUSA9) - Emotional cyclists begged police for a traffic light or four-way stop where the Capital Crescent trail crosses the busy Little Falls Parkway, which was the scene of tragedy 25-hours before.

“I’m freaking out now because my kids cross here every day,” said cyclist Hilary Blank. 

Blank complained that vehicles frequently disregard signs and a crosswalk at the location while cyclists and pedestrians are trying to get across.  

Other riders suggested a pedestrian crossing light should be installed.

The Capital Crescent Trail is among the region’s most heavily used recreational paths.

Eighty-one –year-old retired University of Maryland School of Public Health professor, Ned Gaylin was struck by a car while using a crosswalk at the intersection Monday. Gaylin was using a three-wheeled, recumbent cycle.

PREVIOUS STORYDistinguished UMD professor killed in bicycle crash

The driver has been identified as Nils Carl Axel Rudelius, 78, of Bethesda. He has not been charged, but the incident remains under investigation.

Officers with the Maryland-National Capital Park Police stood watch at the intersection to talk to cyclists about crossing safety. The officers witnessed a parade of riders who disregarded stop signs directing trail users to stop before entering the crosswalk. 

“I don’t know if you noticed, but you ran right though a stop sign,” an officer told one cyclist.  

The biker said she didn’t see the sign.

At 5:15 p.m. a WUSA9 reporter witnessed a pedestrian using the crosswalk who was knocked down by a small sedan.  Victim Lisa Pierce said she appeared to be bruised but not seriously injured.

“I don’t know what happened,” Pierce said. “She stopped and then just proceeded to go.” 

 Lane left the scene with a friend and said she would seek a precautionary medical check. A private ambulance crew that witnessed the incident offered to assist, but Pierce declined.

 

 

 

 

 


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