dodge2A man in his sixties crashed on the Dodge Boulevard bridge several weeks ago breaking his neck and several vertebrae.

The crash prompted Pima County put up barriers along the bridge and the narrow green pavement markings along the sides.

It appears the cyclist got his wheel trapped in a drainage gap along the bridge.

The county is working on a way to eliminate a  gap between the road on the sidewalk, which is wide enough for a tire to fall into. The gap’s position next to the sidewalk would make it impossible to pedal without striking the sidewalk.

The county is looking into alternatives likes grates to allow for water to drain, but prevent tires from falling into the gap.

Matt Zoll, the County’s bicycle and pedestrian program manager said he hopes the county’s engineers will have a fix in place by the middle of August.


13 thoughts on “Serious crash prompts work on Dodge Boulevard bridge”
  1. Why would anyone ride that close to the curb? I’m guessing it’s because the green runs all the way to the edge of the road.
    My fix is to paint the drainage black and put a white stripe next to it. There will still be plenty of green to ride in, and nobody will cross the white stripe. Boom! Done!

  2. Hurri47 roadway design  should have a safety factor engineered into it.  Features that trap the wheel of a bicycle even at the extreme edge of the roadway fail to meet this standard.  These wheel trapping gaps in pavement exist all over the city and not just at the narrow edges.  What have gotten a lot better are storm grates.  It has been a good long while since I’ve seen one like the one that swallowed my wheel up to it’s axle launching me over the bars and onto my face.

  3. I ride on that bridge often. I have always worried about that grap. When I ride with my family, I always warn them about it. It is very dangerous. I’m suprised there isn’t more bike accidents.

  4. Hurri47 Paint is just paint, Dan. It doesn’t keep anyone off anything. If it can happen, it will.
    A more expensive fix would be a railing above the gap on the sidewalk edge that would prohibit bikes from getting over the gap.

  5. BentOne
           What is  really needed is a wider bridge for cars bikes and pedestrians.  The recent  bridge work has been a waste of time.  When will the county stop throwing good money after bad!!!

  6. That’s the beauty of my paint scheme. If 99% of riders are smart enough to not ride into the gap now, and a little paint will save 99% of the rest, at virtually no cost, then eventually the county can declare victory and spend real money doing something useful. Spending real money on something that prevents next to no accidents is the real waste.

  7. As an example of “something useful” we could look at Orvis’ storm grates. Those are unavoidable hazards we all have to ride across every day. There is no excuse for their being anything less than optimal in design.

  8. Today something was finally being installed in the east side of the bridge. Looked like a large black rubber weather strip going into that gap. They had flag men alternating traffic and I didn’t stop to check it out all that well. We’ll see soon enough, I suppose.

  9. yikes. i just read about this now.
    the cylist (or a cyclist) has filed a “notice of claim” against Pima Co. for $6M.

    Anyways; this green thing and the entire “bike facility” on this bridge is and should be entirely unacceptable to all road users; including motorist who are likely violating the 3-foot law when passing cyclists who are hugging the curb.
    A (real) bike lane next to a curb must be a MINIMUM of 5′ wide. It would appear this green strip is something like 2 feet wide — can somebody tell me what it measures ? and what does the remaining lane measure?

    Does this sort of “facility” exist in other places in Pima co?

  10. EdBeighe Judging from a Google street view picture of the bridge and green stripe with a bicycle on it, it can’t be more than 3-3½ feet wide. Travel lane probably 10½ -11 feet.
    I am of the opinion that not enough “bicycle eyes” look at the facilities as they are being planned and at near conclusion to take notice of things. Not everyone sees the same thing. How could anyone get their wheel in that trough? How could anyone launch themselves on a speed hump and dislocate their shoulder? Stuff happens. It takes a collective eye to see it all sometimes. Too often here in the county and city,  simple things are overlooked and disregarded.  Basic rule number one should be never leave a gap big enough to grab a bicycle wheel. That one is blown out of the water here.
    This was a life-changing injury and the main reason for having insurance. They should make good on their business.

  11. @zz EdBeighe  Well that’s why we have engineering standards and best practices. Someone is flaunting or disregarding these.
    Shunting cyclists to the far edge is known to be dangerous (irrespective of drainage gullies).
    Somebody (political?) wanted to “have their cake and eat it too” by building a bridge that was perhaps 28 feet wide from curb-to-curb AND somebody (quite possibly somebody else) decided to have separate bicycling facilities. These numbers simply don’t add up — or rather they shouldn’t…. and you see who got short-changed.

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