A driver in Alexandria decided to use a bike trail as a detour around rush-hour traffic Tuesday.
Cyclist Trey Harris, 44, shot video of the incident during his evening commute. Footage shows a Volkswagen sedan parked awkwardly on Four Mile Run Park Trail, facing Jefferson Davis Highway near Potomac Yard. About 30 seconds later, the car swings around and proceeds down the bike trail as cyclists and pedestrians hurriedly get out of the way.
A posted sign clearly states: “Motorized Vehicles Prohibited.”
Nonetheless, the driver travels nearly a thousand feet down the trail before exiting onto Commonwealth Avenue, footage shows. The incident, which happened around 5 p.m., was first reported by Washingtonian.
Harris, who has been biking to his job in D.C. for 2 1/2 years, couldn’t believe it.
“I’ve seen somebody come on the trail and turn around on Commonwealth, but never somebody driving all the way down,” he said.
Alexandria Police are investigating the incident.
“It’s a huge safety issue,” said police spokeswoman Crystal Nosal. “I mean, there’s bicyclists or pedestrians [on the trail].”
Nosal said that nearly a dozen people alerted police of the incident via social media. But no one called authorities immediately when it happened, she said.
She urged cyclists to report any similar behavior. As for the video, she admitted that the footage was a bit bizarre: “It very much could be the person is making a mistake, but they don’t get off it,” she said, referring to the trail.
Police were still trying to piece together what happened.
“It very much could have been accidental,” Nosal added. “The person could have thought they were driving on a roadway or whatever. But we need to talk to them to find out.”
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