Runner Struck, Nearly Run Over by Vehicle at Lake Street Crossing

Incidents and arrests in Arlington on Monday, Aug. 13.

The following information comes from the Arlington Police Department. When arrests are mentioned, it does not indicate a conviction.

Runner Struck, Nearly Run Over by Vehicle at Lake Street Crossing

A woman running on the Minuteman bike path at about 11:07 a.m. Monday was struck by a vehicle at the Lake Street crossing, according to police.

The woman told police that she was hit as soon as she entered the bike path’s crosswalk. She said she held onto the vehicle’s front bumper, as her legs and lower body were pulled under the vehicle. The vehicle stopped after several feet, she said.


How would you make the Minuteman bike path’s Lake Street crossing safer? Let us know by posting a comment below.


The woman sustained several lacerations to her elbows and legs, and had blood on her chest, arms and legs when police arrived, police said. She was cleaned and bandaged on scene but refused further medical attention, according to police. She got a ride home from police and told police that she would drive herself to the hospital.

The woman said that she was running toward Arlington Center on the bike path when the incident occurred. She said that when she approached the Lake Street crosswalk, she saw vehicles stopped in the lane opposite from her and a vehicle slowing in the lane closest to her. She said that’s when she stepped out into the roadway and was struck immediately.

The operator of the vehicle, who police said was “very apologetic,” said that he didn’t see the vehicles in the opposite lane stopped. He said he slowed as he approached the crosswalk as a precautionary measure but didn’t see the woman until after the collision. He said he first heard “screaming” and then stopped immediately.

The operator was issued a citation for failure to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk, according to police.


Home Break-In on Washington Street

Police responded to a Washington Street residence at about 12:15 p.m. Monday for a report of a recent break-in.

The homeowner told police that her family went to bed at about 11 p.m. Sunday night and that when her husband went downstairs at about 6:30 a.m., objects had been moved around and a rear window had been opened and its screen removed. She said her daughter’s laptop and charger had been taken.

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Notable Incidents on Monday, Aug. 13

6:58 p.m., Summer Street, Malicious destruction of property over $250

4:30 p.m., Hillside Avenue, Injured animal

12:15 p.m., Washington Street, Breaking and entering at night for felony

11:07 a.m., Lake Street and bike path, Motor vehicle crash with injury, involving pedestrian

Tim August 16, 2012 at 12:27 PM
One way that would make Lake street at the path safer would be putting a huge stop sign or caution sign on both sides of the path .. I couldn't tell you how many I have seen so many great and intelligent people just dart right out onto lake street just because there is a cross walk ... I guess they must have not taught common sense 101 at home .
John Waller (Editor) August 16, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Got this via email: "put a light at the crosswalks throughout Arlington as people rarely stop... put them for the bike path on Lake Street and on Mass Avenue as people don't care to slow down at the crosswalks in East Arlington including buses especially at the East Arlington cross walk near CVS and in front of the church. The police are never around to take notice as I don't think they even care about crosswalks as nobody enforces them or takes them seriously."
Wes Beal August 16, 2012 at 04:08 PM
At that intersection, I've seen cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists all do stupid things. No single group is blameless. We need to set aside our opinions/frustrations regarding bicycling scofflaws, and just require vehicles on Lake street to come to a complete stop at that intersection with the path. Visibility is horrible, for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians alike. Do we want to continue to feel right when a motorist or cyclist or pedestrian "gets their just deserts," or do we want to solve a safety issue?
Janette August 16, 2012 at 04:18 PM
There are stop signs on the bike path for pedestrians & riders to Stop at intersections. Yes I would be happy to stop as they have the right of way, but I would like to see them also heed their signs so I can stop safely for them!
Karen Martakos August 16, 2012 at 05:27 PM
I frequently ride my bike and jog on the bike path. I also drive my car up Lake Street every day, and I know how terrible the traffic can be there during rush hour. There ARE stop signs on both sides of the bike path, but a lot of people using the path seem to think that they are exempt from the laws of physics just because state law requires vehicles to stop at crosswalks. They just dart right out into traffic. As others have said, there needs to be a crossing light there, like there is further up in Lexington where the bike path crosses a major street. However, in order to help lessen the congestion on Lake Street, this crossing light MUST be in sync with the traffic light at Brooks Rd. Bike path users should only cross when the light at Brooks Rd is red. The biggest problem with traffic on Lake Street is that motorists must stop for bike path traffic, and then they miss the green light at the traffic signal just 20 yards away. I have often sat through 2 or 3 light cycles when I am withing view of the traffic light, because of the bick path having the ultimate right of way, regardless of what the traffic light is doing. It is this frustration that often causes drivers to ignore the right of way laws for people crossing on the bike path. Both sides are wrong to some degree. Just put a light there, eliminate the traffic snarl ups, and force the people using the path to actually stop at the intersection. Problem solved.
Jared August 16, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Karen is right, I sit in that traffic everyday for half hour while the pedestrians stroll by constantly and cars don't move. They should be waiting their turn just like we are, and if they want to walk/ride out into the street without slowing down or looking then they deserve to get hit.
Karen Martakos August 16, 2012 at 08:50 PM
I completely support putting a crossing light on the Bike Path at Lake Street (see my comment below), but we do NOT need more lights making traffic on Mass. Ave. any worse. I live right next to the CVS in East Arlington. My living room overlooks that crosswalk. I constantly see people stepping out into traffic without looking. I use this cross walk several times a day, and never have any problems. Yes, there is a lot of traffic there, but I wait until there is gap in traffic, and approaching motorists are far enough away to see me and have time to stop. Isn't this what we were all taught to do when we were kids? A lot of pedestrians have abandoned all personal responsibility and accountability for their own safety. All of the burden of responsibility is now on the motorist. What happened in the past 15 years? We don't need more traffic lights. We need a review of the old kindergarten lesson on how to cross a street safely.
Tim August 16, 2012 at 10:44 PM
Janette , I could agree with you more . But one thing a person riding a bike in the cross walk is not a pedestrian . To be a pedestrian they must get off the bike and walk it across . So in my eyes riding a bike in the cross walk is just as bad as blowing threw a cross walk .. I think I am going to bring an article to town meeting to ban bike use in Arlington . To me they are obnoxious . Just like leaf blowers are to some people
Jaeger August 17, 2012 at 12:02 AM
And keggers Tim...
Paul August 17, 2012 at 11:42 AM
These bike types and runners are the most arrogant , pushy people. They never follow the traffic laws because they feel entitled in their arrogance. Who hasnt had to hold back driving when the ride three abreast and blow through stop signs and red lights. The Arlington Police should station a cruiser nearby this Lake St area and ISSUE tickets to these lawbreakers. Three citations and your bicycle is impounded! Maybe then they will follow the traffic laws
Karen Martakos August 17, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Paul - I am both a cyclist and a jogger. I agree that a lot of my fellow cyclists and joggers are self-absorbed, self-important jerks, but we're not all like that. I am also a motorist, and I feel like ALL of the burden and inconvenience is placed on motorists, while cyclists and joggers can do whatever they please. When I express this idea among the cycling or jogging community, I get a LOT of backlash from them. Many of them seem to feel that they are superior and cars are evil. It is that unyielding attitude that makes it so difficult to find a middle ground that works for everyone. It's wrong that our legislators and law enforcement all seem to support this idea that motorists are the only ones who should be held accountable for anything or have to suffer any inconvenience. Joggers, pedestrians, and cyclists really do need to take up their share of the responsibility. Unfortunately, since motorists must be licensed and registered, it is much easier to issue them a citation that it is to issue one to a cyclist or jogger. They are not required to carry any identification or register their bikes, so they can just give a phony name and ride away.
Maple Leaf August 17, 2012 at 03:18 PM
There use to be a metal post in the middle of the opening when the bike path first opened and that sort of slowed people down. There are signs that in fact tell people to stop, but I cannot tell you how many on bikes fly through the path and so do runners and pedestrians. It might be helpful for the police to spend some time there to educate pedestrians & cyclists. We use to have a safety officer, but now that position is not like it use to be as times have changed, but we still need to promote safety. As a kid I was always taught to look both ways and wait, but now its almost the opposite and people just dart out. Maybe a gate that is in the center of the openings would make cyclists stop from flying through and at the same time make people realize that they are entering a street with cars. I know Lexington does this so why cant we? Also what if a timed walk/light was installed and coordinated with the lake street light? We all have to wait and these people just have a sense of entitlement. Enforcement from the Arlington Police would help some for sure.
SteveM August 18, 2012 at 04:02 AM
The Lake St. bike path crossing is awful. 3-4 years ago, I got into a fender bender there...why? Because the car in front of me had to slam on their brakes because a cyclist didn't slow down whatsoever when they got to the crosswalk. It has baffled me to this day why nothing has been done. The cause of all the backups, angry drivers, and carelessness is because of the bike path crosswalk, followed by the intersection, made even worse when school is in session. Something needs to be done here and it is LONG overdue. Some days I pray for rain because shockingly enough, when the bike riders aren't out - Lake St. is a joy to drive.
Tim August 18, 2012 at 05:54 PM
maple leaf i was taught the same thing look both ways . But see most of these bikers are from the mid west they didnt learn how to cross a street, They learned to complain about their neighbors lawn tractor being too loud . Or their neighbors cow was deficated too close to their barn
Tony L August 20, 2012 at 11:00 PM
The beer pong tournament was so loud because the kids were only 16
JanS August 28, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Runners, bikers, and walkers mostly IGNORE the STOP signs on the path and dart out into the street, usually surprising motorists. Little kids are taight street crossing 101 which says stop and look both ways BEFORE crossing. The presence of the sign in the road DOES NOT mean that all traffic must stop if someone is 25 feet futher down the path! The new generation will never learn the common sense approach unless it is forced. Motorist should NOT have to stop at every crossing if no one is visible IN the street crossing!
Kathy Kelso August 28, 2012 at 09:48 PM
Ah I see the true Arlingtonians here. They think that they can cross with out looking, and if you are not slamming on your brakes for them they start screaming at you. The worst are the bikers but the ones that really scare me are the mothers pushing carriages and talking on cells and just walk right out into Lake St. pushing carriage with the toddler 75 ft behind them and they are waving to them errrrr . Tim you bring it up and I will second it
David Chase September 03, 2012 at 03:16 PM
I'm puzzled by the comments. There IS a crosswalk, and pedestrians have the right-of-way there -- it's not them that should look for the cars, but vice-versa. I bike, but if there's cross traffic, I dismount and walk. The stop sign is for me on my bike, not pedestrians on foot. People driving often act surprised and put upon at the idea that someone walking in a crosswalk would expect traffic to stop for them. Look at the vehicle code -- there's no exception for joggers, there's no "pedestrians shall pause", it's just "the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way, slowing down or stopping if need be so to yield". It's unambiguous -- the car yields. And if it's hard to see oncoming pedestrians, that means that the drivers need to slow down enough so that they have time to see and yield -- drivers are prohibited from driving "at a rate of speed greater than is reasonable and proper, having regard to traffic and the use of the way and the safety of the public." I searched high and low, and could find no similar speed limit for pedestrians -- joggers are not required to slow down, no matter how sensible that might be. Drivers ARE. And if the traffic's bad on Lake St., people should leave a little earlier, or find another route, or ride a bike so they can filter through traffic. Being in a hurry is no excuse for breaking the law.
SteveM September 07, 2012 at 06:08 AM
joggers aren't the issue running stop signs its cyclists. I don't see any comments that puzzle you that claim otherwise except for maybe clumping both into the same demographic. And yeah traffic is terrible on lake st, let me get right on riding a bike to canton from Arlington. You're right...being in a hurry is no excuse for breaking the law. That includes people on bicycles and obeying stop signs.
Karen Martakos September 07, 2012 at 03:54 PM
"The stop sign is for me on my bike, not pedestrians on foot." - REALLY???!!! I pass that stop sign almost every day (and I actually pay attention to it ). There is nothing on it that specifies "Bikes only". It is for ALL users of the bike path, because it is an intersection with a busy street and anyone with one ounce of common sense (which seems to be in short supply these days) should know to stop and look before crossing there. "And if the traffic's bad on Lake St., people should leave a little earlier..." - The traffic on Lake Street is perfectly fine in the winter, or during inclement weather, when there's far less traffic on the bike path. The bike path is the main cause of traffic problems there. This childish, selfish, unyielding attitude of "I should be able to do whatever I want without any inconvenience or responsibility for my own personal safety" from joggers and cyclists is ridiculous. Cars have to wait as long as 20 minutes to make the 1/3 mile trip from Rt.2 to Mass Ave on Lake St, just because it's too much of an inconvenience to joggers and cyclists to put a crossing light there. This doesn't seem like a fair distribution of the burden. "...find another route, or ride a bike so they can filter through traffic." There IS NO other route from Rt. 2 to Mass Ave in East Arlington, which is why there is such terrible traffic there. Not everyone is able to bike to work, even if they would prefer to. Ignorant cycling elitists never seem to understand this.
David Chase September 07, 2012 at 04:05 PM
@Karen Martakos - it's customary to assume that people know the vehicle code, and not append a full copy to each and every stop sign. Check the law; vehicles (including bikes) are required to stop at stop signs, not pedestrians. There is a crosswalk, and pedestrians unambiguously have the right of way in that crosswalk (so says the vehicle code). There's nothing elitist about it, just simple rule of law. And thanks for providing an example that in fact, some people here do mistakenly think that pedestrians are supposed to stop at stop signs.
Karen Martakos September 07, 2012 at 04:22 PM
OK, David - So you're putting a law on paper ahead of the laws of physics and common sense? Well, that's just great. Sure, every pedestrian should just step out into the street without stopping or looking, and all motorists are supposed to stop on a dime for them, just because the law says so. If people are really that out to lunch, then they get what they deserve. You know, on second thought, maybe I do like this idea. It's Darwinism in action. Just don't punish the motorist who hit the idiot who stepped into the street without looking first. You just keep sticking your head in the sand, David, and continue your school yard chant of "this is what the law says I can do", regardless of what actually makes sense. I'm sure that attitude will serve you well in life. I'll see you on the bike path. You'll know me because I'll be the only jogger who's actually stopping to look at intersections.
David Chase September 07, 2012 at 04:35 PM
@Karen - the laws of the road require that drivers keep their speed low enough that the laws of physics do not pose problems. If a driver cannot see in time to stop for a jogger in a crosswalk, they are driving too fast. "... reasonable and proper, having regard to traffic and the use of the way and the safety of the public." Being in a hurry is no excuse for breaking the law. And invoking laws of physics to justify pushing people around with a car is not very sociable. Do you really think might-makes-right is a good rule?
bubba September 07, 2012 at 04:43 PM
David is correct. That's why there is a yield sign for cars in the middle of the street -- it's way too small, and in a ridiculous place, but it's there. Yield signs only exist when the traffic to which they are meant to yield (pedestrians in this case) do not have an indication to stop.
Tim September 07, 2012 at 04:56 PM
A person riding a bike in a cross walk is not a pedestrian . So if some dumb ars wants to ride their bike through the cross walk without stopping deserves what they get ....
Gene Gorokhovsky September 13, 2012 at 11:43 PM
During rush hour we need an on-demand crossing traffic light, synced with the Brooks street light, with minimum intervals of a minute each way. Thisc light could operate as blinking yellow on Lake, blinking red on the bike path during non-rush hours, essentially emphasizing already existing rules of this intersection ("stop" for bikes, "beware" for cars). This would relieve traffic by making bikes and pedestrians cross in batches during rush our, and in other times will make cars, bikes and pedestrians pay more attention. Less stress equals less accidents.
Mark Kaepplein September 23, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Stupid selectmen need to heed the advice of MassDOT and lengthen the right turn lane on Lake to Mass Ave eastbound. There are only two mature trees left that would need to go. Here is lots of state/fed money to improve the intersection, yet selectmen refuse. Making sidewalks the same width on both sides would help too and make Lake wider and safer for cyclists going to/from the school and bike path.


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