Improper Steel Plate May Have Caused Fatal Crash


The steel construction plate above may have contributed to Derek Lake’s fatal bike crash yesterday.

Transportation Alternatives has issued a press release (PDF file) that says 23-year-old filmmaker Derek Lake’s fatal bike crash may have been caused by a metal street plate that is "in violation of the City DOT’s ‘Highway Rules’ governing the specifications for construction plating in the street."

The Highway Rules specify that steel construction plates must be "sufficiently ramped to provide smooth riding and safe condition." Likewise,  the steel plates must have "skid resistence surface equal to or greater than the adjacent existing street or roadway surface."

TransAlt notes that in addition to not having skid-proof surfacing or ramping, the two-inch high steel plate that may have contributed to Lane’s crash was partly covered with loose gravel and construction debris.

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An Open Letter to NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly

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This letter originally appeared this month in Transportation Alternatives’ magazine, Reclaim. Author Steve Hindy is a member of the T.A. Board of Directors. He and his wife, Ellen Foote, became advocates of safer streets after their son Sam was killed in a bicycle crash on the Manhattan Bridge in 2007. Rasha Shamoon was struck riding […]