Bicycle accidents are common throughout the Phoenix metro area. Although sometimes bicyclists are at fault in these wrecks, more often than not motorists are to blame. Making matters worse is the fact that many of these bicycle accidents result in serious injuries given the lack of protection afforded to bicyclists and the rate of speed at which these wrecks often occur. Although some may place their comfort in the work of local and state agencies, as well as governments, that are tasked with ensuring bicyclists’ safety, they often fall short of expectations.
Take, for example, the recent dispute over a proposed bicycle lane in the Roosevelt Row Arts District. The proposed lane would have connected two disjointed segments of bike lanes in that area, which proponents claim would have better ensured bicyclists’ safety. However, the city’s Street Transportation Department recently nixed the idea of an additional bike lane, claiming that its creation would force them to remove a center turn lane, which, in turn, would place pedestrians and bicyclists at greater risk of being injured in an accident. The amount of traffic that would result was also taken into consideration when nixing the bike lane proposal.
This is a sad moment for our city’s bicyclists. Being denied a bike lane means that they will be forced to operate much closer to swiftly moving traffic, and motorists are less likely to be aware of them. One serious bicycle accident resulting in debilitating injuries occurred in 2011 in the area of the proposed bicycle lane, and it wouldn’t be surprising if another one were to occur sometime in the near future.
While local governments and agencies fail to take the steps necessary to protect bicyclists, those who are injured in a bicycle accident need to take matters into their own hands to find accountability. This is where the assistance a skilled personal injury attorney may prove useful, as he or she can help fight to impose liability on a negligent driver and recover compensation for damages that have been unfairly suffered.