Cyclist Injured by Unsafe Bike Path


Bicycle Expert WitnessThis cycling case takes place in New Jersey and involves injury following a bicycle accident. The plaintiff was riding his bike along a bike path in a municipal park. The bike path was made out of asphalt, and consisted of two sets of painted lanes that allowed both runners and cyclists to use the path at the same time. During the ride, the wheel of the bike got caught in a significant fissure in the asphalt. The rider was thrown off the bike instantly and suffered significant injuries. The plaintiff seeks an expert who has worked in a municipal government, has designed bike paths before, and is familiar with the safety standards that apply to their construction and maintenance.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Please discuss your background in designing bike paths, as described in the case summary and setting safety standards.
  • 2. What could have been done to prevent the accident?
  • 3. Have you ever served as an expert witness on a case similar to the one described above? If so, please explain.
  • 5. Please tell us why you’re qualified to serve as an expert reviewer of this case.

Expert Witness Response E-010513

In 2008 I designed 500 feet by 15 feet wide of bike path that included 2 street ends and it was constructed in 2009. I have inspected and developed capital plans for 2 1/2 miles of bike path since 2008. I have designed over 1200 linear feet of bike path that was constructed, or is currently under construction, utilizing the aforementioned concept plan. The concept plan took into account the requirements to maintain the bike path in a safe manner and was designed for easy, efficient replacement of the bike path in order to reduce trip and fall conditions. Additional questions I would have regarding this case would be: why did the man fall? Were there differential heights of different sections of the bike path? What is the standard of the municipality for construction? Was the standard followed? What sort of bike was the man riding? How wide were the tires? I have been interviewed and provided information in 2 different bicycle fall cases. I am one of the premiere experts in the state in designing bicycle facilities. I am primarily employed by a large municipality as their full time Engineer and thus design all their bike facilities as well as their bike path facilities. I am part of a staff of 3 that the city has in engineering so I actually do the work. I have spoken at various conferences as an expert in bicycle facilities including the NJ Bike Walk conference annually held at Rutgers.

Expert Witness Response E-010890

I have been a practicing P.E. for 37+ years and have devoted most of my career to engineering bicycle safety for the transportation industry in a variety of capacities.  Many bicycle accidents occur in the same manner as described in this case because bike pathways are not designed properly to meet safety standards, and I have extensive experience in designing pathways to avoid these types of incidents occurring.

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