Update: Cyclist injured in street closing now stable

Updated at 5:24 p.m.

The bicyclist who fell from the front of a bike lane that was closed at the request of District officials Friday morning has been sent to a hospital in stable condition, the cyclist’s lawyer says.

Brickwork crumbled in the Streetcar Crossing bike lane Friday morning, leaving one bicyclist on Toronto Street with critical injuries. The deputy director of street planning for the District, Brian Sikkema, later blamed the collapse on the decision to close the Streetcar Crossing bike lane at the request of Streets Department staff who said it led to confusion among businesses and customers at a restaurant.

The bike lane was re-opened after the brickwork was repaired.

The Park Police released a photo of the foot injuries of the injured man who is, the police said, “conscious and alert” and in stable condition at the hospital. The man was reportedly taken to a local hospital with critical injuries. His attorney says he is recovering. “It’s a miracle that he has lived,” said William Wright. — Agate Asaka B.G. (@AgateAsaka) December 10, 2018

Original post:

A cyclist fell from the bike lane Friday morning, leaving one bicyclist on Toronto Street with critical injuries. The bike lane was re-opened after the brickwork was repaired.

Shortly after 7 a.m., the police tweeted that officers responded to a call for a man who was “walking by himself” near the Brick Works restaurant and other buildings. The fallen cyclist fell from the bike lane, the police said. There’s no information about what led to the accident, how long the man was injured or how much he was hurt. The police posted no information about who might have caused the accident.

The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Washington said in a statement that it was receiving feedback from users of the Bike DC commuting app who reported seeing a man on his bike fall in the street. The group added that it’s no surprise to hear “such serious reports when people use the Streetcar Crossing area (a particularly confusing intersection) more and more often.”

“Recent lane closures have also been an issue for some,” the BCH said. “Problems over winter months make things worse in the beginning of the year, when construction slowed streets around D.C. The bike lanes at least get us from one place to another.”

Streetcars passing under the bike lane were re-routed until after the collapse, said Karen Moore, spokeswoman for the Streetcar Crossing project. Police issued at least two citations to businesses and drivers who drove in the bike lane, which was closed to traffic at 5:20 a.m. Friday. On a Facebook post from Friday morning, Sikkema said that the work crew had to close part of the streetcar tracks to remove debris and other items.

The bike lane was closed for work that was to be done over several weeks, and the St. Clair streetcar line between the rail crossings under Columbia Pike and the rail crossings under 7th Street between those stops were shut down from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. the next day.

“We do have some noise noise impacts as we construct. … That’s why the single-tracking is important,” Sikkema said at the time. “The staff said that it brought a significant distraction to pedestrians and to business. So we did take it to our concerns and the fact that it’s distracting for the staff. And so we re-striped that in an area around the train station, and that section of sidewalk is re-stabilized and repaved today.”

Last Thursday, the St. Clair streetcar branch between L Street NW and the Logan Circle station was closed for two months as part of Streetcar Crossing.

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