Maintain Your Lanes

by Harris Beach PLLC
Contact

An increase in bike paths and lanes could lead to an increase in claims against municipalities. Bike riding may have many benefits for the rider and for the environment.  However, as recently reported in The Los Angeles Times , the City of Los Angeles has seen a significant increase in lawsuits and costs for bike crashes.  In 2007, according to the story, the City paid to settle one case while in 2017 paid to settle 19 cases.

This increase may, in part, be attributed to the growth in the number of riders thereby increasing the chances for an accident.  The article highlights however that the state of roads within the City of Los Angeles plays a large part in this increase.  The cost to maintain or repave roads can be a drain on budgets and as roads deteriorate the cost only increases.

Due to the costs of road improvements, the City of Los Angeles has, according to the article, made the decision to become “focused on preventing salvageable roads from sliding into disrepair.”  Those roads and bike lanes may get the attention but those roads and bike lanes are not the sole cause of these 19 lawsuits.  As noted in the article, the largest single settlement stemmed from a crash on a street and not within a bike lane and many others resulted from claims of roads which were not fully repaired.

While there could be an uptick in claims that are filed, they may not be successful.  However, this could strain the budgets and legal staff of mid-size cities that do not have the large in-house legal staff to handle such an uptick or the budget to litigate additional claims through trial if necessary.

In addition, there could be an issue raised with respect to police enforcement of traffic laws (bikes are “vehicles” that have to obey the rules of the road) and potential lawsuits stemming from bike-pedestrian accidents.

New York City has spent a lot of money recently creating bike lanes, many of which are protected from traffic.  This was accomplished by moving the parking lane into the roadway to create a bike lane along the curb.  The City is protected from liability arising from accidents that are related to roadway defects by its prior written notice statute.  Most written notice of roadway defects is for sidewalks and cross walks however, because that is where the pedestrians walk.  So it is not clear that municipalities with prior written notice statutes would experience a large increase in claims.

Becoming a bike-friendly community has its benefits, but may cost more than one would think.   There could be a lesson learned in Los Angeles that applies across New York. While municipal promotion of biking is a positive initiative supported by the public to enhance health and cut back on air pollution, municipalities need to also take the needed steps to review bike lanes and roads for hazards. Biking and enhancing public recreation options is certainly something municipalities want to do and should be doing. However, from a legal perspective in calculating such initiatives, municipalities need to factor in some investment to review, inspect, and repair bike paths and bike lanes which will help to avoid and address possible litigation down the road.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Harris Beach PLLC | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Harris Beach PLLC
Contact
more
less

Harris Beach PLLC on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.