The City of Angels has faced nearly $20 million in lawsuits over critical cycling crashes in recent years. The expenses for these suits are almost four times higher than they have been in a decade. Victims and their attorneys have complained that the city is ignoring dangerous hazards that are harming cyclists like them and other commuters.
According to reports, the recent surge in litigation has become a PR nightmare for the city, as it continues to promote itself as a commuter-friendly metro.
City remains hesitant to fix damaged streets
Despite the recent lawsuits, city officials have been apprehensive about fixing roads over concerns about cost. Instead, they’ve focused on patching up damaged roads so that they’re not uninhabitable.
However, the city has made some changes, as it now surveys streets to make sure they meet state standards before installing bike lanes.
Bike enthusiasts end up paying the price
Even with a helmet, low-quality roads have led to severe injury or death for some. In a story from the Los Angeles Times, one cyclist was biking along Reseda Boulevard in Porter Ranch when he struck a chunk of pavement. Sadly, the man developed quadriplegia as a result. Another cyclist received a brain injury when he hit a pothole in Sherman Oaks; another died in Eagle Rock after hitting uneven pavement and flipping over his handlebars.
Los Angeles isn’t the only city facing these issues. And while crashes have started to see a decline, there’s still much that needs to get done. State governments and municipalities should continue to improve road conditions for cyclists and face the consequences when they don’t.