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Breakfast links: Dangerous for pedestrians and Transformers


Rockville Pike. Photo by thecourtyard on Flickr.
Struck in Montgomery County: It's been a bad few days for pedestrians in Montgomery County. A driver hit a child in a stroller in Aspen Hill on Friday, then a possibly-drunk driver killed two 26-year-olds on Rockville Pike around White Flint yesterday, and today a Gaithersburg police cruiser and its driver hit a 14-year-old boy while another driver hit a 7-year-old and an adult in Silver Spring, but all three only suffered minor injuries. (TBD)

Transformers unscripted: Several streets along the Mall were closed for the filming of Transformers 3. Unfortunately, a sports car Transformer named Bumblebee collided with a real police car while filming a car chase. (DCist, Eric Fidler)

Virginia to keep WMATA seats for now: The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission voted down the attempt by Governor McDonnell to take over two Metro seats currently occupied by Northern Virginia leaders. NVTC did promise to work with state officials to discuss how to improve Metro and give the state a role. (Post)

The Monday Metropocalypse that wasn't: Yesterday, the Orange and Blue Lines were still closed through downtown while many non-government workers still had to commute. But despite fears, Metro handled yesterday's service without much of a hitch. (TBD)

Exercising her right to pee: Yesterday Malcolm Kenton posted about the lack of public restrooms. Another issue is that many locations make it too hard to use bathrooms. One blogger recounts her encounter with a "bathroom bouncer" who demanded she present a receipt, even though her boyfriend was in the process of ordering. (Chele's Blog)

DC a bargain for singles, PG for families: DC is the most affordable place for singles to live in the metropolitan area, according to a recent report from Wider Opportunities for Women (PDF, see page 11). One of the reasons was that transportation costs in suburban areas took up a higher percentage of income. Prince George's County beat out DC in costs for families.

Chevy Chase retail less limited: The Montgomery Planning Board will allow Chevy Chase Center at Friendship Heights to increase its retail space limit, allowing larger shops and restaurants. (TBD, Eric Fidler)

Step it up: A Univ. of Tennessee study found that Americans take only 5,117 steps a day compared to Australians (9,695), Swiss (9,650), and Japanese (7,168). The study faults car-dependence as a leading factor. (Yahoo! News, Eric Fidler)

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Joshua Davis is currently a student at Northern Virginia Community College and lives in Reston. He writes about development and transportation news in the Dulles Technology Corridor and Tysons Corner areas. 

Comments

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I'm surprised to learn that Australians walk that much... the country has a similar design to most American cities with sprawling auto-dependent suburbs. Maybe the study included walkabout as part of their calculation?

by Adam L on Oct 12, 2010 8:42 am • linkreport

BREAKING: FILM THAT FETISHIZES HIGH-SPEED VEHICLE COLLISIONS RESULTS IN NON-FETISHIZED HIGH-SPEED VEHICLE COLLISION.

by monkeyrotica on Oct 12, 2010 8:48 am • linkreport

Another Montgomery County pedestrian fatality, from last Thursday night:

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/local/blogs/capital-land/pedestrian-dies-after-being-hit-by-car-in-rockville-104600084.html

by renegade09 on Oct 12, 2010 10:17 am • linkreport

I find the walking study a bit off.

Walking is a great way to stay fit. Exercise has lots of benefits. Weight loss? Not so much. In the end, it is your diet.

I can only get an abstract, but it seems they did a good job measuring people with pedometers. However, there isn't much evidence linking the amount of walking with driving , so they are just assigning biases without any real data or reasons.

The Australian data is very good evidence of that. Also a car-dependant lifestyle. Sitting in front of a computer or TV all day seems far more dangerous

by charlie on Oct 12, 2010 10:31 am • linkreport

Yeah, I think those numbers are a bit off considering how much better the whole Japanese transit system as a whole is compared to Americas. Less steps for the Japanese, I think.

by Zac on Oct 12, 2010 10:40 am • linkreport

Re Transformers: A driverless vehicle hit another driverless vehicle? I know that the car is a character in the film and doesn't have a driver, but in real life (which this crash was), it has a driver.

by Tim on Oct 12, 2010 10:43 am • linkreport

Rockville Pike really is a nightmare for pedestrians and drivers. A lot of really bad conditions come together on that road. Because its a major thoroughfare for drivers, it has a pretty high speed limit- 40-45mpg in most places. It's not very well-lit, even in the built up areas around White Flint, Twinbrook and downtown Rockville, which is probably partly the result of the road being so wide. The traffic lights have pretty long cycle lengths, which make both drivers and pedestrians antsy. Drivers end up speeding to get through the next light, and pedestrians end up jaywalking. As a pedestrian in the area, I'm always nervous to cross 355. And as a driver in the area, I'm always worried when I drive at night, because I frequently see people darting across the road in the middle of blocks (which are quite wide). Since the road isn't terribly well-lit, I often don't see them until I'm very close to them, particularly if they're wearing dark clothes.

by Andy on Oct 12, 2010 10:53 am • linkreport

@charlie:

Walking is a great way to stay fit. Exercise has lots of benefits. Weight loss? Not so much. In the end, it is your diet.

I hear this a lot, but think it depends on your definition of "exercise". Cycling at a brisk pace burns about 800 calories an hour. Do that 3-4 days a week for a couple of hours, and you'll lose weight.

Walking 20 minutes a day, not so much.

by oboe on Oct 12, 2010 10:57 am • linkreport

@Oboe; actually, for once we are agreeing. Walking 20-30 minutes a day not a great way to lose weight, but it is a good way to stay healthy.

by charlie on Oct 12, 2010 11:02 am • linkreport

@Zac -there are several studies concluding that people with access to transit walk more than those without access. The walking comes from getting to/from the bus/train stop as well as in and around it.

The difference comes between walking 3 blocks to the train from home and another 5 blocks to work at the destination 2x everyday compared to going out to your driveway and drving to a parking garage and back.

by Tina on Oct 12, 2010 11:06 am • linkreport

@Andy

I totally agree. Rockville Pike is unsafe and a prime area for commuting 'collateral damage'. On the red line, we're all still suffering manual operation because of one accident causing passenger fatalities, while on Rockville Pike, people are being killed all the time and it hardly gets reported.

by renegade09 on Oct 12, 2010 11:22 am • linkreport

I just moved to Bethesda, and walking in the crosswalks on Wisconsin Avenue that aren't at lights is like playing chicken. It's a highway for those tiny bursts of open road in between signals.

Anyone know of any pedestrian advocacy organizations in Bethesda..or does everyone but me drive over here?

by ed on Oct 12, 2010 7:30 pm • linkreport

renegade09, it's completely crazy that one death on transit results in speeds being lowered, congressional inquiries, and less service for everyone, while dozens of road deaths are shrugged off.

by JJJ on Oct 12, 2010 8:26 pm • linkreport

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