City of Denver settles for $50,000 with bicycle rider who crashed on a bikeway

Angela Winget apparently crashed after her wheel became stuck in a crevice.

A bike lane along Brighton Avenue. Dec. 20, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

A bike lane along Brighton Avenue. Dec. 20, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photos

A woman who crashed her bike in Five Points received $50,000 from the city this week.

Angel Winget was riding on the bike-and-pedestrian path on Broadway near 28th Street (close to where Broadway becomes Brighton Boulevard) on the morning of June 27, 2018, according to a claim obtained through an open records request. She was switching lanes to pass a pedestrian on the left when her tire got caught in a deep crevice.

“As a result, Ms. Winget lost all control over her bicycle, including braking, and crashed into the guardrail poles,” the claim states.

Winget and her attorneys originally requested $350,000 from the city, but the incident was ultimately settled out of court. Winget nor her attorneys responded to interview requests.

Complaints about maintenance within the public right of way are pretty common, according to Ryan Luby with the Denver City Attorney’s Office. The city can be found liable if there’s proof that someone had reported the problem previously, Luby said. In some cases, Denver attorneys find that fighting the claim in court would be more expensive than settling outside of it.

Right-of-way maintenance is key for establishing who’s at fault legally, according to Denver attorney Brian Weiss, who specializes in bike law.

“The city of Denver, and any municipality, has liability if they don’t maintain a bike lane properly,” Weiss said. “They don’t have liability for poor design.”

Correction: This story has been changed to reflect that Ryan Luby’s comments referred generally to all cases regarding road infrastructure, not this specific case or just bike lanes. 

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