Haley Woods, a Seattle resident, recently posted a video to YouTube showing how difficult it is for pedestrians and bicyclists to cross the Ballard bridge. The video already has more than 10,000 views just a week after it was posted.
The Ballard bridge, which is also known as the 15th Avenue bridge,was built in 1917 and is 2,854 feet long and carries traffic over Seattle’s Salmon Bay between Ballard and Interbay and on to downtown Seattle.
Woods told about one of her own harrowing experiences when bicycling across the bridge. She was blown against a bridge post and fell into the lane of traffic. In July 2007,in a similar accident, Terry McMacken was struck by a car, lost his left arm and succumbed to his injuries about a year later.
The problem the bridge poses for pedestrians and bicyclists is that the sidewalk is very narrow — just 39″ wide at his narrowest — with a 10.5″ cement barrier between the sidewalk and traffic.
Because of the narrowness of the sidewalk, it is difficult to pass someone on the bridge and, with the slightest mishap, a cyclist could fall into oncoming traffic and be hit by vehicles traveling upwards of 35miles per harrow. The sidewalk is so narrow that it is virtually impossible for a bicyclist to pass someone pushing a baby stroller without the cyclist stepping onto the barrier or into traffic.
The Seattle Department of Transportation has published a study on widening the sidewalk but they cite the huge expense. In the meantime, alternative routes to taking this bridge can add a hours walking time.
Road Hazards and their Roles in Bicycle Accidents
Bicyclists are more susceptible to accidents caused by hazards in the road including sewer grates, potholes, and railroad tracks. When a bicycle accident is caused by a road hazard, the entity such as the city or county that maintains the roadway may be liable for injuries.
The Farber Law Group has 30 years experience handling personal injury claims and lawsuits on behalf of injured bicyclists. In successfully pursuing a negligent claim stemming from accidents involving governmental entites, the following must be present:
- The entity breached a duty of care owed to the bicyclist
- The breach of care caused the injuries suffered by the bicyclist.
Claims against governmental entities can be particular difficulty so it is wise to hire a personal injury attorney so that the claim can be filed in a timely manner and to insure the cyclists rights are not compromised.
Call Washington bicycle lawyer Herbert Farber at The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087. We can provide a free and confidential case evaluation to discuss the merits of your case.