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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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47 Responses to
Ice on pathways in Parliamentary Triangle?
troll-sniffer 7:54 pm 09 Aug 11

JC said :

As for the reason for the ice, are you sure it was from sprinklers, or could it maybe just be moisture that forms overnight running off the grass onto the pathway.

Even if it was from the sprinklers, so what? In Canberra you can wet a path at 9am one day, the water can still be there at the end of the day and with the magic of physics, freeze overnight. I suspect proving anyone’s negligence on this is about as likely as expecting to be protected from getting wet if it’s raining on the way home.

JessP 7:35 pm 09 Aug 11

I knew it – The NCA is responsible for all ice in Canberra. Damn you NCA!

JC 7:00 pm 09 Aug 11

So are you saying that if other reports of ice were reported that you will sue the NCA for negligence? If so, forget about your accident for a second and tell me what the NCA could have possibly done to prevent the build up of ice, considering here in Canberra it gets bloody cold and ice forms. Do you want heated pathways or someone running around clearing the ice?

As for the reason for the ice, are you sure it was from sprinklers, or could it maybe just be moisture that forms overnight running off the grass onto the pathway.

KB1971 4:29 pm 09 Aug 11

troll-sniffer said :

Typical. You fail to realise that water freezes on cold Canberra winter mornings and, after watching too many airings of A Current Affair ot Today Tonight, seek to blame someone else. The tone of replies also points to a pretty miserable failing in our society where most support you in your quest for atonement.

I wait with bated breath your next attempt to walk under a too-low overpass, cross Northbourne Avenue without looking, or encountering a curve in the bike path covered in gravel or autumn leaves. You would obviously feel it was someone else’s fault if you were injured. Where the hell has the concept of personal responsibility gone?

I was actually thinking this as well. While I feel for the OP with regards to their injuries I really think a sense of responsibility needs to be taken with regards to the incident. Cycling is inherantly dangerous.

Was the water definatly from the sprinklers or from something else? The case for burden of proof would have to be pretty strong.

Will this mean that next time I am at Mt Stromlo & endo over the bars I can sue the government for it?

troll-sniffer 3:49 pm 09 Aug 11

Typical. You fail to realise that water freezes on cold Canberra winter mornings and, after watching too many airings of A Current Affair ot Today Tonight, seek to blame someone else. The tone of replies also points to a pretty miserable failing in our society where most support you in your quest for atonement.

I wait with bated breath your next attempt to walk under a too-low overpass, cross Northbourne Avenue without looking, or encountering a curve in the bike path covered in gravel or autumn leaves. You would obviously feel it was someone else’s fault if you were injured. Where the hell has the concept of personal responsibility gone?

Grail 3:18 pm 09 Aug 11

What about a FOI request asking for correspondence relating to ice in that area?

nescius 1:30 pm 09 Aug 11

That sounds nasty CJ, good luck with the recovery and I hope you’re back on your feet soon.

I know the section of path you are talking about, and I noticed the ice on the same morning on my way to training at about 5:45am. I actually dismounted and walked it because it was fairly obviously iced over and it was really slippery indeed. I thought there would be ice there because I noticed that section was quite wet the night before, I guess because of the sprinklers (although I don’t remember if they were on at the time).

I don’t want to sound nasty or anything but I’m curious as to how you didn’t notice the ice, when I passed it there was no mistaking what it was, perhaps it had changed by 7:30? Was this your first winter in Canberra? I guess it’s too late to warn you now but when it gets that cold it is not uncommon for ice to form on paths and roads, sometimes you can see it and sometimes you can’t, you have to be extra cautious.

krasny 1:05 pm 09 Aug 11

I can’t help re: the NCA, but best of luck with your recovery. Broken bones are nasty, pelvises especially so. You’re absolutely in the right – if the NCA knew this was an issue and didn’t take adequate steps to prevent the problem or at least warn people, they are liable. End of discussion. Don’t mind the people saying you shouldn’t sue; what you shouldn’t do is get stuck paying for medical bills that are the result of someone else’s negligence (which definitely covers failing to consider the stupidity of dampening Canberra pathways in winter).

carnardly 1:00 pm 09 Aug 11

There’s often ice along under CW bridge in winter – whether the sprinklers are going or not. Whether its just a combination of shade, cold temp, and the water temperature effect right next to the lake, but sorry you got nailed. I have known its dodgy there on the freezing mornings and just slow down and take it carefully.

laughtong 12:47 pm 09 Aug 11

If you are employed in the Public Service and a member of the Union, you should have journey cover through the Union. Otherwise journey cover was removed from Compo in the APS a number of years ago.

If this applies, worth checking out.

Hope your recovery is smooth – I am off with a fractured ankle – but can’t blame anyone or thing for my accident apart from myself. Very frustrating to loose your independance though.

pierce 12:45 pm 09 Aug 11

If you’re a pedal power member or (I think) CPSU you may be covered for cycling injuries on a work commute.

(Can’t help with the NCA though)

Solidarity 12:35 pm 09 Aug 11

Not sure, but seems like if you record it you might get your costs paid for by Funniest Home Videos.

ebony57 12:33 pm 09 Aug 11

Coverage depends on who you work for – if you are a Commonwealth/ACT Gov employee (ie under the SRC Act), no you are not covered for injuries incurred on the way to/from work. Best to seek assistance from a specialist compensation lawyer to confirm your coverage re workers comp, and what type of action you can take.

Spectra 12:27 pm 09 Aug 11

No help to you, I realise, bit I almost had a similar experience about 6 years back when riding around Capital Circle on my motorbike in the bus lane from Commonwealth Ave to Adelaide Ave. Hit a patch of black ice caused by sprinkler run-off and the whole bike slipped a good distance to the side before thankfully grabbing traction again and carrying me on my way a tad shaken but otherwise fine. Didn’t really occur to me at the time to chase it up (probably not least because I escaped any actual problems) – just put it down to a learning experience. If it had ended up worse (as in your case) I might well have thought differently.

screaming banshee 12:20 pm 09 Aug 11

Travelling to work you are covered by your employers workers comp. If you are hoping to sue NCA for [mr evil] one million dollars [/mr evil] go fish

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