A Bicycle Accident Brings Changes to Berkeley

On February 2nd, 2016 Megan Schwarzman was wearing fluorescent green safety gear and a helmet. She had lights on her bike, as she rode south on Fulton Street near Bancroft Way in Berkeley. She was struck from behind, trapped beneath a car, and dragged for a short distance. Firefighters had to raise the car to free Schwarzman so they could rush her to the hospital. Her injuries were so severe that almost immediately, police called in the fatal accident investigation team. She had 20 fractured ribs, a smashed pelvis, two partially collapsed lungs, complex facial fractures and a bleeding liver. She arrived at the hospital unresponsive from blood loss. Amazingly Schwarzman, a doctor and research scientist at UC Berkeley, survived.

In 2000, the city of Berkeley designated the block where Schwarzman was hit and the next block of Fulton Street as bike lanes in the city’s bicycle master plan. The master plan contains projects designed to make cycling conditions safer. Six weeks after the accident project approval for Fulton was granted. Now, 16 years later and just months after Schwarzman almost died, the new bike lane on Fulton street is open. The new southbound bike lane runs for two blocks on Fulton from Bancroft Way to Channing Way. It previously ended at Bancroft, dumping cyclists and motorists together in the intersection. Now it closes a gap in the city’s bike lane network between existing bike lanes on Fulton Street/Oxford Street north of Bancroft Way and the Bicycle Boulevard on Channing Way.

Bicycle Accident that almost took a life may save many lives, as a route that many students and faculty take to get to campus is now safer. If you are in a cycling accident, please contact us. We specialize in protecting the rights of injured cyclists.

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