A bicyclist was severely injured last week when a tire became stuck in the streetcar tracks on H Street in Northeast D.C. and she was struck by a hit-and-run driver.
Emily Ekle, a mother of two, was on her way home Jan. 15 when it happened. Due to a concussion, she remembers none of it, but she pieced it together from witnesses and the police report.
“What I understand is that my tire get caught in the trolley track, I went over the handlebars, and a van behind me hit me and then fled,” she said.
“There was a lot of blood, and they feared I had a pretty serious injury, so my husband had to hop on a plane not knowing if I was going to be there when he got here,” she said.
At the scene, a white “ghost bike” is attached to a lamp post as a memorial to Malik Habib, a 19-year-old bicyclist killed in the same spot in a nearly identical incident in 2018. His tire also got caught in the streetcar tracks, and he was struck by a tour bus that left the scene but eventually was located.
City officials acknowledged at the time studies were underway to address the problem, as has been done in some other cities with streetcars, but no changes have been made.
“It doesn’t make any sense to me that if there’s technology that exists that they haven’t done more to make that safer for bikers,” Ekle said.
The intersection is the same place where Bradley Hines was killed after being hit by a driver while crossing H Street in November.