Sandusky shouldn't feel immune to street negligence lawsuits

Anonymous
Nov 13, 2012

My topic this week is maintaining city streets. Our city claims they are mostly protected against lawsuits because the government has immunity, but is that really true anymore?

A case history has recently surfaced in Ohio. A bicyclist has sued an Ohio city over negligence of their streets.  It seems the bicyclist hit a pothole flipping his bike and leaving him paralyzed for the rest of his life. The cyclist sued the city and won a judgement of $1.25 million placing other cities on notice that they can be sued for poorly maintained streets.

As a bicyclist, I often ride on the sidewalk in town for safety reasons because the streets are so badly maintained. You can be riding along on the street and come up against a pothole with no where to turn away from because there is a car passing you at the same time — a situation that you don’t want to get yourself into.

When biking downtown, the city’s bike pathway is another issue. There are small stones on the pathway, especially on Shoreline Drive, which can force your bike to slide on the small stones and throw you off your bike. The city’s street sweeper needs to keep the bike pathways free of any debris.

The streets are improving but more needs to be done.  Maybe a problem looks too big to address, but if you don’t start to address the problem, it starts to look like it is an impossible task to accomplish until you start to break it down into smaller sections.  All we can hope for is that a few streets each year get paved and the momentum keeps going throughout the whole city. Visitors come into our city every year and our main thoroughfares need to look like the city cares about its town.

In your travels around town, if you spot a pothole, neglected property, street lights out, or a tree that needs attention take the time to report it. Nothing will improve until you get involved in the process of cleaning up your town. The city can’t be everywhere so they depend on citizens to take the initiative to call in a complaint so the problem can be addressed.

Until next time, contact information for reporting potholes, streetlights, and tree complaints can be found on the City’s website except for Code Enforcement, which should be on the website as well.  Neglected properties can be called into Code Enforcement at 419-627-5913.
 

Comments

Now The Rest of...

Ms.Johnson you might want to check your facts,if we are talking about the same case I believe the verdict was reversed by an appellate court under the sovereign immunity clause.

Licorice Schtick

The #1 cause of foolish public policy decisions is avoidance of imagined liability problems.

Imataloss

http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/ro... - current case law. Now the Rest of...looks like the court ruled in favor of the cyclist and remanded for trial. So unless the trial has occurred...

SamAdams

"Build me a bike trail at citizen expense! Waaaaaaaaah!" "Sweep the bike trail for me at citizen expense! Waaaaaaaaaah!" "Fix the streets! Fix the sidewalks! Do it at citizen expense, and do it NOW! Waaaaaaaaaah!" "Stop raising my taxes! Stop misspending my money! Waaaaaaaaaah!"

Uhm, Sharon? Can't have it both ways.

and

Uhm, Register? Can you at least have someone who knows proper English EDIT these stupid blogs? They're annoying enough without the junior-high level English.

dont get it

What is your problem Sam ? Wish we had more people in Sandusky, that cared as much as Sharon does. Why are you reading her blogs if you think she is so stupid....hmmm...she is not the stupid one..

SamAdams

Plenty of people care about the City. Not enough, I grant you, but plenty. Most of them simply aren't as shrill or as ubiquitous with the complaints as longtime whiner Sharon is. While the old adage suggests that "the squeaky wheel gets the grease," it's also the one most likely to be thrown out with the trash not because it doesn't still have some good left in it but because it's SO FREAKIN' ANNOYING!

As for why I read the blogs, well, I don't always. Depends on whether or not I've got the time. When I DO have the time, though, I read them because even a broken clock is right twice a day. I won't say I've never learned anything from any of Sharon's columns, because I have. But what I learn from ALL of them is that she hasn't changed over the years. She's still squeak-squeak-squeaking. Meanwhile, what have YOU done for the City lately, eh?

For the record, you might want to read a little more carefully yourself. I never called Sharon stupid. I implied she was a whiner (she is); and I said she wrote her blogs using really bad grammar (she does). Everybody has the right to an opinion, but not everybody gets a regularly published column. Those who do ought to be held to a higher standard (unless, of course, the Register wants to lower its OWN standards some more...)

pavedparadise

Uh Duh SamAdams what is ubiquitous? An aminal, minoral or vegitible?

SamAdams

Look it up.

What ARE they teaching people in school these days???

wiredmama222

LOL...good point, Sam. I wish I knew WHAT they were teaching some people. Good posts.

wiredmama222

Absolutely correct. Well said.

T. A. Schwanger

The City's entire existing bike pathway needs a thorough revisit by City crews.

The area of Shoreline Park I believe Sharon refers to is out at the turn around area. This particular area needs more than stone removed. The City should widen the turn around to alleviate the cause--vehicles driving off the pavement into the grass causing ruts.

For the rest of the bike path, at Battery Park and Washington Street areas, 1/3 of the bollards separating vehicles and bikes are missing. Spring loaded bollards are available instead of the current "break away" bollards.

The bike path lanes painted along Water Street are faded or missing.

The newly construted bike path/ pedestrian path on the east side of Cedar Point Drive is not marked as such.

T. A. Schwanger

Woody Hayes

My topic this week is wondering why.

SamAdams

LOL! Nothin' but net...

Licorice Schtick

"Liability! We'll get sued!" said Chicken Little.

Good thing you can't be sued for being a constant critic.

queenjhb

they have 3 wheeled bikes that are quite safe to ride, dont get thrown from them easily. slower but safer. Streets will always have more debrie and stones than anyone would like, esp. older folks, there is only so much a street sweeper can clean up unless they do it every week. Nice idea.

queenjhb

by the way I do sweep the area on the street by my boulivard when I mow ,but relly not practical for most residents.

T. A. Schwanger

The City's entire existing bike pathway needs a thorough revisit by City crews.

The area of Shoreline Park I believe Sharon refers to is out at the turn around area. This particular area needs more than stone removed. The City should widen the turn around to alleviate the cause--vehicles driving off the pavement into the grass causing ruts.

For the rest of the bike path, at Battery Park and Washington Street areas, 1/3 of the bollards separating vehicles and bikes are missing. Spring loaded bollards are available instead of the current "break away" bollards.

The bike path lanes painted along Water Street are faded or missing.

The newly construted bike path/ pedestrian path on the east side of Cedar Point Drive is not marked as such.

T. A. Schwanger

Julie R.

Cleveland Road in Huron is really nice. Sandusky should check it out. It's a lot safer now for the bicylists with the lines drawn and everything. The Huron street department was also out bright and early after that big storm cleaning up the tree limbs and branches on the bicycle path. They also went up and down Cleveland Road with the street cleaner after picking up all the debris.

I'll say one thing for Andy White --- I think he's doing a good job in Huron.

wiredmama222

If the streets are this bad, why not write a note to the city commissioners and ask them why they don't fix the streets? They don't seem to be doing much else right now since they aren't moving on the police chief business. Better yet, ask Ms Ard. She never seems to be doing much of anything.

Frankly, I don't know why we even HAVE a city manager. But YOU could try and ask HER what she plans to do with the city streets. Give her your daily route and see if she would be willing to pave your street routes.

Frankly, I would like to see them do ALL the city streets. They seem to be falling apart.