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Bicyclists Suing Cities for Not Providing Safe Paths and Roadways

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Zimmer, Duncan & Cole
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These days, more people are riding bikes for both pleasure and transportation throughout the country. Thus, city governments are facing greater responsibility for providing safe travel for cyclists. The increase in riders across the nation necessitates that governments provide their citizens with roadways that have been designed for safety and that will be used and cared for properly.   

People across the nation are taking city governments to task in courts for failing to provide safety for bicyclists. Here are some examples of court cases involving bicycle accidents:

  • Hannah Evans was "doored" by a driver leaving his parked car. She sued the city of Toronto for failing to ensure that the roadway was safely designed for all users, including cyclists. A Toronto Small Claims court recognized cycling's increase in popularity in Toronto, which is promoted by the city for its health and environmental benefits. The judge found that the city did not provide adequate travel safety for bicyclists. He then adopted case law, which requires municipalities to respond to changing uses of public roadways. He ruled that as traffic and road use changes, so should the road design and infrastructure.


  • In November of 2000, Donald Hallsten was awarded $4.35 million from the city of Chicago after getting hurt and paralyzed while biking across a bridge that was under construction in 1996. The city had allowed a construction firm to erect a canopy, creating a blind spot. Hallsten approached the corner on his bike and was hit by a cab. The city had posted "bicycle route" signs along the road, suggesting that bicyclists were intended users of the road. The court concluded that the road was too narrow.


If bikes are sharing roads with motor vehicles, it is paramount that adequate measures are taken to ensure bicycle safety. It is also important for cyclists to ensure that they have the proper equipment to ride safely.


If you have been the victim of a bicycle accident in South Dakota, call a Sioux Falls personal injury lawyer about a claim today. Contact Zimmer, Duncan & Cole at (888) 733-2992, or fill out the form on this page.

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