Bikes + Lake Union Streetcar Tracks = Lawsuit

Comments

1
A fool and his teeth are soon parted.
2
What these lawsuit-filing riders need most is to be assraped.
In the ass.
3
People should be more careful.
4
Told you we should have built the streetcar line on 9th.
5
Every time I take a random turn on my bike I wonder, has our super-extensive light rail network make this one of those special bike-deathtrap streets? It's got me so rattled I only any more ride the two blocks from home to work and back. On the sidewalk, too - gangway, granny.
6
I want a Big Wheel.
7

What PUSSIES. Any good cyclist knows how to ride over tracks. Come on!

Do they want Seattle to wipe their ass for them too?
8
There is a really nice sidewalk that runs along the tracks. Cyclists should try riding there. Problem solved.
9
Didn't Golob wipe out crossing the tracks?
10
The suit is over the fact the city knew it was an issue and decided to go ahead without it. Alaska Ave on the waterfront has tracks crossing all over the place, from BNSF and it also has a rubber channel in the gap to keep issues like this from happening.
11
Where did that picture (or the sign itself, if the picture was taken on the premises and not doctored) come from?
12
I hate to say it, but @7 is right, though I might have put it differently. It's not that hard to ride over the tracks. And if you find that it is, then you should avoid them.

(Plus, if cyclists start suing because they can't maneuver around tracks, then soon they'll sue for every little pothole, crumbling curb, and other obstruction.)

Cycling is not the same as driving a car; you need to look out for yourself, assume responsibility, bike defensively and be very, very careful.
13
@7 Calling me a pussy (which I have, thanks for asking) does not make my knee, shoulder, and arm heal faster or feel better. But it does make you look like an asshole.
14
RR tracks are hella slippery, believe the hype, I ate it hard a couple weeks ago on some tracks near occidental park....didn't even see it coming. ouchie.
15
Why don't the bicyclists watch where they are going? This is just another petty annoyance lawsuit. I ride there all the time and have never had a problem.
16
"The suit is over the fact the city knew it was an issue and decided to go ahead without it. "

The only time I ever wiped out on a bike (knocking myself out in the process) I slipped on a street curb and lost it. The city I lived in at the time knew that the curb was an issue and decided to go ahead with it.
17
I know, let's relocate the hills and stop putting rail crossings at the bottom of a hill that most drivers speed down on, forcing bikes to achieve unreasonable speeds unless they want to die ...
18
@11 The sign is one of many in Portland, a city where cyclists can generally coexist with streetcars without turning into whiny little lawsuit monkeys. I say this as an embarrassed Seattlite currently living in Portland. But admittedly, there should be some of these hilarious signs installed in SLU as well.
19
stupidity should not be rewarded with monetary damages, it should be punished with lesson-teaching injuries.
20
17 For the win
21
WHOOPS i meant 16.

damn daytime drinking.
22
@13 He's an asshole all right, but at least he never wiped out riding over train tracks. Durp.
23
"She said she broke her jaw and two teeth in a trackway tumble."

*ahem*. How does one ride a bike without arms?
24
The real answer here is comprehensive health care coverage. If taking a dive just hurt you, but you weren't pushed into bankruptcy by the medical bills, people could easily laugh it off and chalk it up as a hard-knocks lesson.

Unfortunately, we're all one broken arm away from bankruptcy, so when we get hurt, someone's got to be held financially liable. If we had a safety net, these frivolous lawsuits would actually be just that, frivolous.
25
..Is the cyclist on that sign about to get eaten by an alligator?
26
Everybody knows (or should know) that tracks are dangerous. I wiped out years ago on some abandoned tracks and fell right onto my left shoulder, whose collarbone had been broken one month prior. Needless to say, bad day at work. The moral of the story, though, is that now I use extreme, ridiculous caution when there is any chance of a railroad tracks wipeout. This means that I often slow to walking speed or less to cross if it is raining or my angle of approach is too acute. Sometimes I walk the bike over if they're especially bad, because falling off a bike fucking hurts and that's enough for me to not mind looking like a wimp for three seconds.

If the cyclists knew that these tracks were present, they had no excuse other than their own negligence -- watching out for street hazards on your bike is your job, not the city's. If you feel threatened bombing down Denny, if the speed, traffic, and streetcar tracks at the bottom make you nervous, then don't ride down Denny!

Fuck. Take some goddamn responsibility for yourself, people.
27
If there any cyclists suing for injuries incurred after the warning signs were put up and 9th was turned into a bike route, screw them.

But I'm pretty sure these injuries all occurred before the city turned 9th Ave into a two-way bike route, even before the city installed warning signs. The fact that the city performed both of these steps after these riders were injured probably means these riders are going to get some money; the city has effectively admitted they screwed up. I don't know why these cases weren't settled already.

Of course, I don't know why the city hasn't fixed that stupid railroad crossing near the north end of the Ballard Bridge yet, or finished the bike trail under the south end of the Ballard Bridge, either.
28
Cyclists must ride "as near to the right side of the right through lane as is safe", which--in the case of a 2-lane street with rail tracks in the right lane--is the left lane! This will piss off motorists, as it should, since the this insane streetcar configuration is everyone's problem, not just the cyclist's problem.
29
@24 is right - don't blame the cyclists, blame the system that forces them to sue in order to keep their rent paid.
30
@22 It's common. I felt embarrassed about it but almost everyone I knew said "everyone does it once." It's just sad that you have to learn your lesson by wiping out right in front of the SLUT.
31
waaaah.

seriously, bikers, grow the fuck up or learn to ride. we lived in freiburg for a while, and if you think biking between the rails is dangerous and hard, you're all a bunch of fucking pussies.

getting stuck in the rails sucks. try doing it while drunk. try doing it while carrying a second person on your bike. try riding between the rails on fucking cobblestone, while texting, smoking a cigarette and holding an umbrella. seriously, the bikers in this city are fucking weak.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/25091274@N0…

if avoiding a 2" fucking metal track in a 10' lane is too hard, maybe you should stick with what you know, like being a douchenozzle and breathing.

and so it goes...
32
@12- you said: "Cycling is not the same as driving a car; you need to look out for yourself, assume responsibility, bike defensively and be very, very careful."
how is that different than driving a car?
other than that i sorta agree with you. personal responsibility is your friend.
i did have a friend break both wrists on those things though. i would never gloat over any injury. i love biking and hold my breath when crossing those wheel-eating fuckers. they are not your typical train track.
33
Bike, rain, railroad tracks
Bad combination. Falls hurt.
Waiting for sunshine.
34
Bike, rain, railroad tracks
Bad combination. Falls hurt.
Waiting for sunshine.
35
9th Ave Nouthbound only runs from Denny to Broad, 6 blocks. The bike route suggests you stop earlier (5 blocks) and either ride the sidewalk at Mercer *to Westlake* or stop even earlier (3 blocks) and turn to go up Harrison once again crossing Westlake.

For a while when you crossed Denny NB at 9th you had to follow this green dashed route: http://imgur.com/8p35i.jpg Awesome.

Westlake NB runs all the way from Stewart St. to Fremont. It used to be one way NB and 4 lanes wide N of Denny to Valley.

Westlake takes people north.
9th takes people south.
The fork in the road at Jillian's/Outback forces this to happen. Slapping in some half assed counterflow lane construction ain't going to fix it.

Ethan Melone should probably be let go.
36
What happened to personal responsibility? Biker: meet tracks. Biker says "how do I cross these tracks?" Biker watches as real biker crosses them correctly. Biker learns.

There are ways to cross tracks, and ways not to. Do we need to paint cross lines to show how to cross the tracks if on bike (as they did in Ballard)?

Really?
37
these tools are fighting against transit options by filing this lawsuit.

Oh, and 3 cheers for the gator. If we put a moat with gators along Fairview, there would be zero bike accidents along that stretch.
38
Remember when Eli Sanders accused bicyclists of sabotaging the SLUT tracks?
39
Not all road surfaces are suitable for bikes, and some road surfaces require you to slow down or to avoid turning altogether (deep gravel). Those risks are incumbent on someone who is riding a two-wheeled vehicle that stays upright through gyroscopic stabilization; when things go wrong, you fall down. If you're too stupid to understand that, too clumsy to avoid it, or too delicate to survive it, you shouldn't ride a bike and it's not up to anyone else to mitigate that fact for you.

Fortunately, God in his infinite and subtle wisdom has provided most cyclists with a perfectly viable alternative to biking. They're called feet. Praise God and buy some sneakers.
40
@38: heh... apparently Eli didn't read the text of the posting back then -- the bearings were MUCH larger than would have been found in a bicycle.
41
Gee. Toronto has survived with them all over the city for decades upon decades. Seattleites need training wheels and Keds.
42
@41: Many of us have a fall when we first start riding in Toronto. I did, many of my friends did. But, we all got over it and figured out how to ride safely. It wouldn't have occurred to me to sue anyone else for my cycling incompetence.
43
The biggest cause of bike crashes in Toronto is streetcar tracks. And yet you don't see hundreds of people suing the city each year. They learn how to avoid or how to properly cross tracks.
44
Toronto is famous for being the
spastic fucking moron capital of N America.
45
"The real answer here is comprehensive health care coverage."

Or a low cost, high deductible plan combined with a HSA account.
46
Are you guys referring to Toronto, Canada? Did you not read my earlier post? You have a public health care system. Here the people that break their arms end up 20k in debt. Wonder why no one sues up in Toronto....
47
When do we get our flying Big Wheels?

This jetpack is getting a bit heavy ...
48
@46: Give me a break. I'm a U.S. expat who's lived in Toronto before (well, and Seattle). I've ridden a lot in Toronto. You learn basic things like:

1) Use thicker tires if on a road bike. Not knobby mountain bike beasts, but thicker cruiser tires. This also softens bumps on the ride.
2) Remember to "attack" crossing parallel tracks when needing to get over them (i.e., lane change, left turn manoeuvre) by abruptly steering into the tracks. This makes the front wheel at an oblique angle to the tracks. So long as it's dry, you're golden.
3) Wet is treacherous. However possible, go perpendicular over tracks, don't torque the crank, or just coast over them. And never, ever activate your brakes (or backpedal a fixed gear) the moment you're over the metal. It's just like a manhole cover when wet: it's like wet ice. Never turn on wet tracks.
4) I've ridden in snowstorms in Toronto. With thin tires. It can be done. You go very slowly, very gingerly, and patiently.

In short, @46, it means using your head at all times. Also, wearing a helmet can't really hurt.

@42: My two worst falls in Toronto were at the hands of a bad taxi driver (*cough* Maple Leaf *cough*) and a drunkard spilling out of a bar whilse I was gingerly turning on black ice. I had to tighten my turn to avoid him, and that caused loss of control. Also, Americans like to sue.

@43: Actually, I would love to peruse that statistical tally. My understanding was that most accidents in Toronto are caused by the right-turn clip of cars failing to signal to cyclists going straight and then getting cut-off and thrown over the hood.
49
@48: My *worst* accident was a driver of a parked van opening his door. The van had been parked for a while, as he was doing paperwork, so I wasn't aware that there was a driver in there until he opened the door right in front of me. I went over the door, the bike stayed behind.

That put me in cautious mode for about a year, and I still ring my bell anytime I pass any cars with tinted windows, even if they look like they've been parked for a while.

I'm mostly just commenting again because I just noticed that this is the only SLOG post in the top 10 that is neither by nor about Dan or Charles. I think they're both great, but the others deserve most positive feedback.
50
And by "most", what I meant was "more". The others deserve more positive feedback.
51
@32 - you're right: It's the same as driving a car :)

The point is that some cyclists think cars (and the city, and seemingly everyone but themselves) need to look out for them when they should really look out for themselves, and not blame someone else when they f up. I'm a cyclist, and I'd never sue the freaking city for an obstruction! Then again, I learned to cycle in an east-coast city where decrepit trolley tracks and potholes are the norm.
52
@51 The city is responsible for the roads and if the road is fucked up and they did not put up proper signage to warn me of the danger and I got in an accident and got physically hurt and damaged my car it's not the city's fault? How would that be my fuck up? The city has a responsibility to make sure the roads and walkways it takes care of are safe for all who use them - cars, pedestrians, and cyclists.
53
Really, we need to see what these new tracks look like. Got a picture of them?

Old tracks are one thing, but new tracks should be more safe than old ones. If there was an issue with the new tracks, the city should have worked for a solution. If there is a 2 inch gap between the rails and the asphalt, that is too much. Then there is the whole visibility issue. Also crossing tracks is one thing, riding in the same direction they are going, or close to parallel to them, is another.

Down here in Georgia we have issues with sewer grates. If they are perpendicular to the direction of travel, no big deal. If a city worker puts them in so the slots are parallel, they can seriously hurt a cyclist, and that has happened. If it takes suing the crap out of the city to make sure the grates are put in correctly, I am all for that lawsuit.

If the city knew there was an issue, they should be sued.