Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on October 26th, 2010 at 11:26 am
WSDOT to pay $8 million over Montlake Bridge bike accident
The state Transportation Department has agreed to pay $8 million to a bicyclist who was paralyzed after his tire got caught in a gap between two steel grates on the Montlake Bridge.
… Gendler sued over the design of the bridge, citing a gap between two steel panels on the bridge deck. At a half-inch, it was wider than his bike tire. The lawsuit uncovered another accident eight years earlier involving a bicyclist that resulted in less serious injuries.
… The gap was similar in size to the flange gap in light rail or streetcar tracks, Milton said.
Officials also assumed it wouldn’t be a problem since most bicyclists use the sidewalk or the right lane when crossing the bridge, Milton said.
Cyclists are legally entitled to travel in the bridge lanes unless a sign prohibits them, Kessler said.
WSDOT has since filled the gap with an epoxy to prevent more accidents, Milton said…”
Portland has a lot of gaps in the road — and lots of streetcar and light rail tracks — that are more than 1/2-inch wide.