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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Pedestrian and bicyclist accidents rising in Fairfax County

A bicyclist on Columbia Pike in Annandale.
Accidents involving pedestrians and bicycles in Fairfax County are rising, according to statistics from the Police Department.

The number of cyclists involved in crashes increased from 85 in 2011 to 106 in 2012. There have been 45 so far this year. There were 201 accidents involving pedestrians in 2012, up from 185 in 2011. There were 98 so far in 2013.

A Fairfax County map of pedestrian-involved accidents from 2003-07 shows areas with the most incidents include Little River Turnpike in central Annandale, the Landmark area, Route 7 and Columbia Pike in Bailey’s Crossroads, and routes 7 and 50 in Seven Corners.

Fatal accidents within the past year involving pedestrians in the Annandale/Mason area include accidents on Columbia Pike last September, Leesburg Pike in Bailey’s Crossroads in April, and an accident involving a young boy in Lincolnia in May. There was a fatal accident involving a bicyclist on Columbia Pike in November 2012.

An 18-month study of reportable bicycle crashes shows that at least a quarter of the bicyclists were not wearing reflective clothing at the time of the crash. Five bicyclists were reported to have been drinking alcohol and about 44 percent were performing an improper action such as riding on the wrong side of the road, failing to maintain proper control, or disregarding a stop or yield sign.

The Police Department is focusing on bicycle and pedestrian safety during the month of July. To learn more about bicycle safety laws, visit the cycling section on the VDOT website.


  1. This is happening because cyclists and pedestrians are forced to use the same paths, such as the one on Columbia Pike. Roadways need to be striped to allow for cyclists to use these so that pedestrians in denser neighborhoods such as Baileys Crossroads can use the walkways. This would help minimize accidents.

    Both cyclists and pedestrians also need to be smarter about sharing the existing walkways. Education and more attention to multiple modes of transit are now becoming paramount as Fairfax continues to urbanize.

  2. note these are bike accidents and ped accidents. Not collisions between cyclists and peds (mostly). Education is needed on sidewalk cycling (in particular some of our immigrant cyclists over favor it, even in places like LRT with a bikeable service lane)And yes, some actual bike lanes in Mason district would be very helpful. But also required is more education (and enforcement) for motorists - Bikes BELONG in the road and you need to watch for them, and not be texting - and for cyclists on how to ride in the road - ride WITH traffic, use appropriate lights in the dark, and don't stay so far the right at intersections that you are going to be right hooked.