A bicyclist is suing the City of Seattle and Sound Transit for serious injuries after her bike’s wheel got stuck in the street car trolley tracks near 14th Ave. East and Yesler Avenue.
It happened one year to the day that another cyclist, Desiree McCloud, was killed in a similar accident, just a few feet away.
“A bus pulled in to the bike lane, and I was left with three choices, very quick choices. Hit the bus, go to the right and go up on the sidewalk … or go around the bus to the left,” Suzanne Greenberg told The Ron and Don Show. “So I [tried to go around the bus] and instantly my bike went right into the trolley track.”
She said she threw her left arm out to catch herself and suffered what is medically known as a FOOSH – a fall on an outstretched hand.
Because it was the anniversary of McCloud’s death, a Q13 News reporter was standing nearby, doing a story on the crash, and saw Greenberg go down.
“I started screaming, and at the same moment, the trolley is coming around the corner toward me,” Greenberg said. “I’m lying in front of the bus, very vulnerable, and this nice man runs out, grabs my bicycle, and stops the trolley with his hands.”
Greenberg said she started swearing, saying this has happened to her in this spot before.
When the reporter told her McCloud was killed in the same spot, she realized what a serious problem this area is for bicyclists.
On Wednesday, she filed a $300,000 claim against the City of Seattle and an identical claim against Sound Transit for injuries to her rotator cuff. Greenberg is a sign-language interpreter, and this injury is making it hard to go back to work.
Greenberg’s attorney, Philip Arnold, is also representing the family of Desiree McCloud.
He says, the city has known about the danger of the tracks since they were put in, but decided to ignore it.
“Car drivers wouldn’t put up with a hazard in the middle of the street that would flip the car,” Arnold said. “Our national policy is that there should be equal priority given to people who ride bicycles, pedestrians, and cars. That means equal safety – and that is clearly lacking here, where the city and Sound Transit spent millions, putting a death trap in the middle of the streets.”
Last month, 25-year-old Cody McCloud joined the Ron and Don Show to talk about his sister, Desiree.
He said she was riding from Capitol Hill to Alki Beach on the day she crashed on the trolley tracks and was sent to the hospital with severe injuries. She died over a week later.
The city’s report on her crash argues that rider error caused the incident.
“I just have to say, I miss everything. She was such a wonderful person,” McCloud said. “It just feels like someone is incompetent, or just does not care.”
McCloud’s lawsuit on behalf of his sister is still pending.
Sound Transit and the City of Seattle have not responded to Greenberg’s lawsuit.