Commuting Accident - Front Wheel Down Stormwater Grate

4xsama
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Commuting Accident - Front Wheel Down Stormwater Grate

Postby 4xsama » Thu Nov 01, 2018 4:17 pm

Hi All,

Funny story. It involves an incident I had in late July this year. I was riding home after work and , well................

[i][i]Hi Inner West Council,

I'd like to draw your attention to a recent incident I had cycling home last Friday evening. I was riding up to the traffic lights (heading south) on Bland St and at he intersection with Parramatta Rd when my front wheel fell into the gaps on a storm water grate. (the grate is on the south side of Bland St on the west side of Parramatta Rd). The bike stopped suddenly causing me to fall forward into the bikes stem breaking a rib (I have had x-rays and doctors confirmation). The incident also damaged my bikes front wheel causing sufficient damage to require a replacement of the wheels rim and all spokes. The wheel repair cost was $316.00. I haven't tallied up the costs of the doctors consultation, x-rays and medication but would be happy to if required. On top of all of this I have had to catch a train to work this last week (minor expense) and most likely for the next two weeks until my rib heals. I was really enjoying my bike ride as a bit of exercise before and after work and a great way to commute.

I wasn't sure if I should email council on the matter but I met a guy in the bike shop today when I collected my repaired front wheel who told me a story of his brother in law who had a similar incident somewhere in the hills. The poor chap came off a lot worse, was expected to be quadriplegic but ended up (very fortunately when considering how bad it could have been) with a loss of feeling down one side.

Given the possible outcome could have been a lot worse if I wasn't slowing down, and the fact Bland St is a signed bike route, I decided to write this email to alert you of this incident and request the grate is changed over to a bike friendly type which wont present a danger to cyclists, particularly given Bland St is a designated bike route.I would also appreciate a response to this email to advise it has been read and the appropriate action is being considered.

I have attached 4 photos for reference: 2 of the grate/location (pictures 1 & 2), and 2 of the signage to each end of the section of Bland St designating Bland St as a bike route (pictures 3 & 4).

Sincerely,


Council response as follows;

Good afternoon Andrew,

Council acknowledges receipt of your e-mail dated 28th July 2018 in relation to a recent bike incident dated. Please note we have logged this notification under our reference number PL-198-2018.

On behalf of Council we wish you a full and speedy recovery and regrets the injuries you suffered and the expense of medical treatment.

I note your concerns regarding the grill designed storm water cover. I am unsure what can be done to change the cover design as consideration must be given to allow sufficient storm water run-off during heavy rain periods and potential flooding issues if the design of the cover is changed, however I have forwarded your email to our Civil Works Department to manage and investigate your request.

All claims submitted to Council are thoroughly and individually investigated before any determination is made in regards to Council’s responsibility.

To assist us with our investigations can you please supply any witness statements who saw the incident that you have obtained to support your claim and provide evidence that Council was negligent in this matter.

You may not be aware that under the provisions of the Civil Liability legislation effective within NSW, accidents which occur on footpaths and roadways are considered to be the responsibility of the person involved rather than of the owner or occupier of the land where the incident occurred. Footpaths and roadways from time to time have potholes, uneven or unsealed surfaces and other obstacles. Legislation provides that users of public land need to be aware of the conditions and take due care for their own safety.

Kind regards,


After all this a guy from the council called about a fortnight later and said the council would be changing the grate. A win for the little guy perhaps? It's been 2 and a half months since and still the same grate. I really wasn't interested in making a claim. I put down to a 'learning experience' but I still shudder at the thought of how bad it could have been.

There are a number of councils which use bike friendly grates an Melbourne is covered full of them. I thought of responding with a picture but a) didn't thing there was any point and b) didn't want to come across as a smart arse.

Andrew

shouldnobetter
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Re: Commuting Accident - Front Wheel Down Stormwater Grate

Postby shouldnobetter » Fri Nov 02, 2018 8:18 pm

My job moved from Macquarie Park to Parramatta last year and I was quite surprised to see some of those old grates around. Until then, most of the grates I'd seen lately were made of a thinner steel with diagonal pieces to stop them trapping tyres.

I know of one of these in the bus lane on Church St and one on Charles St. Fortunately the first time I realised how they could trap a wheel I was going very slowly, virtually stopped already. When I found the other one I was going faster so lifted the front wheel over it, only to have the bump puncture the rear tyre.

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find_bruce
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Re: Commuting Accident - Front Wheel Down Stormwater Grate

Postby find_bruce » Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:16 pm

Yep you are not the first to be caught by the old grates & sadly you wont be the last. I am glad to hear you are not badly injured. There are numerous examples of cyclist friendly grates in the Inner West Clowncil area so it shouldn't be too hard for them to figure it out.

Then again the particular clowncil & its predecessors were spectacularly inept when it comes to bikes. Just to pick one example spend millions of our money on a separated bike path, with an extremely poor design where the path runs between the footpath & the kids playground, only to put up fake speed signs claiming 10km/h was an appropriate speed for bikes on a bike path. They even spent a large sum installing a radar so they could flash shouty messages at cyclists - sadly it fell over, although some suggest it was pushed.

The clowncil are so clueless that they didn't realise the path needed to slope towards the bay in order to drain. I could go on & on & on, but you get the idea

Tamiya
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Re: Commuting Accident - Front Wheel Down Stormwater Grate

Postby Tamiya » Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:43 pm

Mind posting up the pics you took? Just curious what to look out for.

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find_bruce
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Re: Commuting Accident - Front Wheel Down Stormwater Grate

Postby find_bruce » Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:00 pm

Google street view shows a clear example on the opposite side of the road

better designs are like this
Image

or
Image

or this
Image

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PA
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Re: Commuting Accident - Front Wheel Down Stormwater Grate

Postby PA » Sat Nov 03, 2018 2:11 pm

Poor drainage systems grate me.
Mouse magnet

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find_bruce
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Re: Commuting Accident - Front Wheel Down Stormwater Grate

Postby find_bruce » Sat Nov 03, 2018 4:49 pm

PA wrote:Poor drainage systems grate me.

Thanks Dad, same as Chump wants to ban shredded cheese

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trailgumby
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Re: Commuting Accident - Front Wheel Down Stormwater Grate

Postby trailgumby » Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:19 pm

The Clowncil can't claim exemption under the Civil Liabilities Act if they have already been made aware of the risk of these grates and have been provided a reasonable time frame to make good.

Almost all councils have by now been made aware of the risk they pose.

Tamiya
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Re: Commuting Accident - Front Wheel Down Stormwater Grate

Postby Tamiya » Sat Nov 03, 2018 6:51 pm

find_bruce wrote:better designs are like this
Image

or
Image

or this
Image


meh, my tyre still finds those styles super slippery when wet :oops: & at least once slid into the "letterbox" slot

I also get spilled by tramlines :(

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Mububban
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Re: Commuting Accident - Front Wheel Down Stormwater Grate

Postby Mububban » Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:49 am

4xsama wrote:After all this a guy from the council called about a fortnight later and said the council would be changing the grate. A win for the little guy perhaps? It's been 2 and a half months since and still the same grate. I really wasn't interested in making a claim. I put down to a 'learning experience' but I still shudder at the thought of how bad it could have been.

Andrew


If you're several hundred dollars out of pocket, due to council's shoddy infrastructure, I personally would be putting in a claim for reimbursement. But then I'm the sole low income earner for my family so I have to care. I'm very glad my recent car vs bike medical costs have all been covered by ICWA. It's just cost me weeks of poor sleep, lots of intense pain, many hours away from my family attending medical appointments, and 2 months with no exercise.
When you are driving your car, you are not stuck IN traffic - you ARE the traffic!!!

Scott_C
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Re: Commuting Accident - Front Wheel Down Stormwater Grate

Postby Scott_C » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:23 pm

trailgumby wrote:The Clowncil can't claim exemption under the Civil Liabilities Act if they have already been made aware of the risk of these grates and have been provided a reasonable time frame to make good.

Almost all councils have by now been made aware of the risk they pose.

Further to this, the Austroads Design Guides call out the need for drainage features to not 'catch' cycle wheels (and have since at least 2013 and most likely earlier than this) in numerous locations, notably in the section entitled "Life and Property" in the drainage design guide. It is arguably negligent for a civil engineer responsible for road or path drainage design in Australia to have not read the Austroads guides in the last 5 years.

fat and old
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Re: Commuting Accident - Front Wheel Down Stormwater Grate

Postby fat and old » Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:59 pm

My pet subject, and I missed It!!

I make my living out of changing these grates over, and yeah, no council is unaware of the situation. Not one. You have an excellent chance of recouping your costs if you go after them. The weave grates are the preferred option, flow is identical or better than any traditional design. The narrow gaps do restrict flow, and are really for pedestrian use...they're commonly called heelguard.

To help the council out, pass this on.

http://www.grating.com.au/products/grat ... mp-grates/

http://gratedrainage.com.au/pages/civil_products.html

https://www.durham.com.au/products/stor ... e-class-d/

The weave grates began life in the 80's, so I think they should be aware of them by now.

They're for GSE pits. Same thing for JP's as well.

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