LOS ANGELES, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Los Angeles City Council, mindful of millions of U.S. dollars lawsuit payouts stemming from bicycle accidents last year, voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to create a plan to inspect all bike lanes and pay for any needed repairs.
The City Council, in an 11-0 vote, directed the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) to inspect the Class I and Class II bike paths and lanes in the city and then make a timeline and cost budget for bringing any deficient pavement up to appropriate safety standards.
The vote also demands LADOT submit a comprehensive plan before starting the renovation, in a bid to ensure that the pavement on the bicycle network can be maintained in a state of good repair.
The municipality made the decision after a string of costly payouts for gruesome crashes, especially last October, when the City Council voted to pay 7.5 million dollars to settle a lawsuit filed by William Yao, a seriously injured bicyclist who sued the city after a devastating crash four years ago.
The front tire of Yao's bicycle hit a patch of pavement lifted four inches (about 10 cm) by a tree root, in which he was thrown from his bike onto the pavement. Despite wearing a helmet, he was left quadriplegic because of the severe impact.
Yao's attorney David Roark said reports showed the city had received complaints about the dangerous condition of the road but had failed to repair it, according to local newspaper the Los Angeles Times.
Los Angeles last year also paid 6.5 million dollars to settle another lawsuit from a bicyclist who suffered a brain injury and broken bones after hitting a pothole on the road.
The city in 2017 paid out more than 19 million dollars in lawsuits to settle cases involving cyclists injured or killed on city streets - the highest number over the last decade, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The newspaper also reported that 19 percent of the city's bike lanes and routes (or about 228 km) are graded by the city as a D or F, the two worst levels, suggesting those lanes with unsafe cracking and structural failure need resurfacing or even reconstruction.