Cyclists sue Seattle over streetcar track injuries

by Walter Olson on June 2, 2010

Bicycling and streetcar tracks can make for a hazardous mix because the “flange way gap” alongside the rail can entrap bicycle wheels. Now six cyclists who crashed while crossing the new Westlake Avenue streetcar project are suing the city of Seattle. They are citing the city’s failure to follow a consultant’s recommendation that it close the avenue to bicyclists. [SeattlePI.com]

{ 3 comments }

1 David Schwartz 06.05.10 at 12:10 pm

I wonder why they didn’t just fill the gap with rubber. The rubber can easily be made stiff enough to hold up a bicycle but soft enough to be easily pressed out of the way by a streetcar.

2 Nick Knight 06.08.10 at 11:42 am

Funny all over the rest of the world this is not a problem. Bicyclist there must be more intelligent.

3 gitarcarver 06.08.10 at 2:31 pm

Funny all over the rest of the world this is not a problem.

Well, it has been a problem in the Tour de France the last couple of years with crashed resulting from wheels getting caught in train tracks. I would say those guys are pretty good riders.

The problem is that you have to cross tracks at a 90 degree angle. Anything else, you risk getting your wheel caught. The smaller thickness of the wheel (as in a road / racing bike) the more likely you are to get caught in the tracks.

I’ve ridden in places where there are streetcar tracks and you have to be very careful or else you will fall. I have ridden in packs of hundreds of people and when a track crosses the road, the riders will yell “track!” to warn other riders.

Unless the people want to change the laws of physics, they have to be more aware of riding near tracks and crossing them.

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