The Golden Gate Bridge is one of San Francisco’s most famous landmarks and, like Alcatraz, an extremely popular tourist destination. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most hazardous places for pedestrians and bikers because of the mix of avid cyclists, leisure bikers and pedestrians on the bridge’s pathways.
According to an article in the Contra Costa Times, ambulances responded to bicycle accidents on the Golden Gate Bridge an average of once a month between 2000 and 2009. Serious injuries often result from bicycle accidents, especially in places like the bridge, where tourists frequently stop to take photos amid experienced bicyclists zooming across the span to connect with Bay Area bike paths.
From June through September 2011, seismic retrofit work will close to cyclists one side of the bridge’s pathways. The Contra Costa Times reports that this may result in about 2,000 pedestrians and bicyclists using a single sidewalk each hour on a typical weekend afternoon. This shift in traffic greatly increases the risk of accidents between bicyclists and between bicyclists and pedestrians.
When a bicycle accident happens, an injured person may be able to recover damages to compensate for his or her injuries and medical expenses. If someone caused the accident through negligence, such as biking too fast for crowded conditions, abruptly stopping in the middle of traffic to take a picture, or failing to follow signs and traffic rules, the injured person may be able to make a claim against the at-fault person in a personal-injury lawsuit.
While safety should be the most important consideration for bikers and walkers crossing the bridge while 220 feet above the water, the picturesque view and a desire to get to one’s destination quickly can be distracting. If you have been injured in a bicycle or pedestrian accident, contact a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options.