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Ice on pathways in Parliamentary Triangle?

By CJ - 9 August 2011 47

On Thursday 28 July at around 7.30am while cycling into the city from Wanniassa to work I had an accident when my bike slid from under me on ice. The ice had formed from water from sprinklers that flowed across the pathway and ramp passing by and leading up on to Commonwealth Bridge, between Flynn Drive and the Lake near the National Library).

I fractured my pelvis and, in the time between the accident and being taken away by ambulance, I and those assisting me witnessed perhaps 6 or so other cyclists also come to grief (though thankfully all escaped serious injury; I will be off work and off my left leg for 6-8 weeks). Several other cyclists and pedestrians went slipping and sliding when they unexpectedly encountered the affected part of the pathway.

I would appreciate hearing from anyone who, say in the last 12 months, has reported similar incidents or concerns to the National Capital Authority (NCA) – responsible for this area – regarding ice or water flowing across the pathway in this location. This is important if I am to successfully pursue a case for damages against the NCA, as I need to establish that they were aware of problems in the area but failed to take appropriate action (proper drainage, warning signs, etc.).

Please note that this is not a ‘cycling’ issue per se and I do not want to see this request get sidetracked in the inevitable debate. Pedestrians were also affected by this problem on the particular morning. If you or someone you know has passed on to the NCA information or concerns about the problem of ice or water flowing over the pathway in this area in recent times, please let me know. Thank you, in anticipation.

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Ice on pathways in Parliamentary Triangle?
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CJ 2:05 pm 13 Aug 11

Dear ‘chaep’: re your query:

So everyone just sat back and watched the carnage? Didn’t think to warn any of the six cyclists of the danger? Its you who should be sued.

No. A friend who assisted me shortly after arriving on the scene spent the best part of the next hour yelling out warnings to approaching cyclists and pedestrians and went to the aid of one person who fell badly, only to fall himself (twice) and break his spectacles in the process. Fortunately the other person was able to walk away (not ride, his bike was damaged).

Jethro 8:03 pm 11 Aug 11

dtc said :

For those ‘confused’:

– if you do something that foreseeably could result in an injury to another person and it does cause injury, then you are negligent. Possibly turning sprinklers on when the water would run down onto a bike path during a cold spell, then freeze and not be visible, could come within this category – or maybe not.

– however, if you do something that you didn’t realise could result in an injury to a person, but it does and you were told about it, and you then do exactly the same thing again and it results in an injury to another person, then you are almost certainly negligent.

Sure there are defences to this – for example, what systems were put in place to avoid the negligent act. And to what extent has a person contributed to the accident by failing to keep a lookout or by (for example) riding too fast for the potential conditions (whether or not the ice was visible, ice after a cold night is arguably a known hazard).

There is no ‘nanny state’ about this issue or issues of accepting personal responsibility. If the NCA knew they were creating a risky situation, because they had done it before and caused injury, then why should the OP be the one to bear all of the damage and loss?

What dtc said.

Okwhatever 9:05 am 11 Aug 11

Grrrr said :

..What’s with watering in winter, anyway? Particularly this winter where we’ve had a ton of rain. Perhaps if someone had a nice sloping lawn with a ski-gun (snow-maker) installed, that would be acceptable…

Plants still need water even in winter and this winter has seen very low rainfall, barely enough I would have said.

Irrigation systems can be damaged from freezing water inside the system, the sprinkler heads next to pathways are prone to damage from pedestrians and vehicles including ride on mowers and tractors. Often the only way to know if it is damaged is when the water or ice is visible in the morning, cold days especially because of the lack of evaporation. It would be great if you could sense a disturbance in the force as soon as a failur occurs but you can be sure that the private contractor responsible for this area would not intentionally leave the damaged sprinkler as a man trap for public servants. As mentioned by another poster if this was reported and ignored then that is another matter.

Classified 8:20 am 11 Aug 11

Sounds to me like someone needs to call Mal Meninga Edwards Johnson.

Angelina 10:33 pm 10 Aug 11

Holden Caulfield said :

Watson said :

It annoys me to when sprinklers managed by a government organisation – local or federal – spill water all over footpaths or the road. Because of the waste of water, not because “it might form ice and then people might slip on it”. As much as I feel for people getting injured for whatever reason, having grown up in a country where some winter nights you were unable to get home because of freezing rain forming a uniform layer of ice on everything, this topic doese my head in.

Really, you grew up outside of Australia? Why haven’t you mentioned that before?

Heh! That was awesome and made me laugh.

JC 6:37 pm 10 Aug 11

Holden Caulfield said :

Anyway, I can accept it can be argued some run-off from a sprinkler is possibly a minor public concern. But when do the preventable actions of an organisation that affect the public stop being acceptable and become culpable? I think that’s probably the root of the issue at hand.

Hang on a sec, the OP is BLAMING sprinkler run off, but it hasn’t been proved if this was actually the case. It may well have been dew, or moisture coming out of the ground and forming ice on the path.

I live on the high side of a hill and I notice that from time to time on cold nights, especially the unusual ones where there is fog too that a small patch of ice on the path out the front. On not so cold days I notice the path is slightly wet. I do wonder though because I have noticed this and taken no action if somehow me, or the government are responsible for it, or maybe we should just blame mother nature, the one thing we cannot control or sue.

screaming banshee 6:15 pm 10 Aug 11

Please do educate us as to the difference between what is colloquially(sp?) known as black ice and what the OP has reported here.

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