NCHRP Legal Research Digest 53: Liability Aspects of Bikeways
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NCHRP Legal Research Digest 53:
Liability Aspects of Bikeways
(2010)
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Overview

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Description

TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Legal Research Digest 53: Liability Aspects of Bikeways explores the liability of public entities for bicycle accidents on bikeways as well as on streets and highways. The report also examines the federal laws that encourage the designation and use of bikeways; the elements of a claim in tort against a public entity for a bicycle accident, whether on a public street or some type of bikeway; defenses to bikeway accidents under tort claims acts and applicable to public entities; immunity for bicycle claims under some state recreational use statutes that in a majority of states are applicable to public entities; and public entities' laws and policies on the accommodation of bicycles on streets and highways and the designation of bikeways.

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Publication Info

56 pages | 8.5 x 11
Contents

Table of Contents

skim chapter
COVER 1-1
CONTENTS 2-2
SECTION 1. FEDERAL LAWS ENCOURAGING THE DESIGNATION AND USE OF BIKEWAYS 3-3
A. Introduction 4-4
B. Whether a Public Entity Has a Duty to a Bicyclist 5-5
C. Whether a Public Entity's Alleged Negligence Was the Proximate Cause of the Plaintiff's Claim 6-6
A. Interplay Between a Tort Claims Act and a Recreational Use Statute in Bikeway-Accident Claims Against Public Entities 7-7
B. Immunity From Bikeway Claims Under Some Recreational Use Statutes 8-8
A. State Tort Claims Acts 9-9
B. No General Duty to Install or Provide Highway Signs, Signals, or Pavement Markings 10-10
C. Whether a Public Entity Had Notice of a Dangerous Condition 11-11
D. The Governmental/Proprietary Test Applicable to Municipal Corporations in Some States 12-12
A. The Meaning of the Discretionary Function Exemption 13-13
B. The Meaning of the Discretionary Function Exemption in State Tort Claims Acts 14-15
C. The Discretionary Function Exemption and Bikeway Claims Against Public Entities 16-16
D. Immunity for Negligent Design Based on a Statutory Exemption for Discretionary Activity 17-19
E. Application of the Discretionary Exemption to the Maintenance of Bikeways 20-20
A. Warning Signs 21-21
B. Traffic Control Devices 22-22
C. Stop Signs and Speed Limit Signs 23-23
D. Pavement Markings 24-24
F. Guardrails and Barriers 25-25
G. Shoulders and Adjacent Areas 26-26
H. Requirement That Bicyclists Be Intended or Permitted Users 27-27
A. Overview of Recreational Use Statutes 28-30
B. Whether Public Entities Are Owners Under Recreational Use Statutes 31-32
C. Whether Bikeways Come Within the Meaning of Recreational Use Statutes 33-37
A. Localities' Laws and Policies Regarding Bikeways 38-38
B. Types of Bikeways 39-39
C. Responsibility for Designating Bikeways 40-40
D. Design and Maintenance Guidance for Bikeways 41-41
E. Localities' Reported Litigation over Bikeway Designations 42-42
CONCLUSION 43-44
APPENDIX A. SURVEY QUESTIONS 45-45
APPENDIX B. LIST OF AGENCIES RESPONDING TO SURVEY QUESTIONS 46-47
APPENDIX C. STATE RECREATIONAL USE STATUTES 48-49
APPENDIX D. CASE/ISSUE INDEX 50-54
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 55-55
BACK COVER 56-56

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