L.A. is Improving Inner-city Infrastructure After Awarding $19 million in Lawsuits Concerning Cycling Crashes

On Wednesday, February 7, Los Angeles councilmen Joe Buscaino and Mitch Englander met with other city officials to discuss “crucial street and sidewalk infrastructure improvements.” L.A. has a population of over 10 million people, and it is the eighth largest city in the world. It is also 24th in the list of Top 50 Bike-friendly Cities in the U.S., and the dilapidated condition of the streets is dangerous to users. The city has had several lawsuits in the past five years involving cyclists who crashed on the broken pavements. On Wednesday, the city council allocated $700,000 for the maintenance of miles of the bike paths.

Hundreds of potholes need to be filled along with hours of general street maintenance to bring street conditions up to standards. In 2017, more than $19 million was paid to cyclists who were either injured or killed due to broken pavement and dangerous roads; Los Angeles has directed its attention to fixing its infrastructure.

Recently, three lawsuits were settled: 1) Patrick Pascal received $200,000 as he was injured when his bicycle wheel became embedded in a crack in the cement. 2) One of the largest settlements, $6.5 million, was awarded for a horrific crash that ended in death as auto hit a cyclist on the dilapidated pavement. 3) Another fatal crash occurred three years ago involving a 13-year-old boy, Chris Rodriguez, who had been riding his bike in Boyle Heights. City council approved $2.5 million to be awarded the family in February. These bicycle crashes are too frequent, and the city has hired seven new employees to investigate the streets for renovation.

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition commented to the Los Angeles Times that “All streets are legal places for people on bikes to be riding,” so the roads should be well-maintained for cyclists and drivers alike. Another significant point is that in 2018, L.A. will be hosting the Summer Olympics.

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