We’re approaching two dozen reports from cyclists who have crashed here…
Helped by others, including Nancy Tipton from the Albuquerque Journal, a steady stream of reports have come into BB the last few days from cyclists who have crashed trying to cross the railroad tracks on El Pueblo NE.
Numbers and details from reports so far include:
- Oldest Incident: 1994
- Latest Incident: October 18, 2018
- Injuries beyond “road rash”
- 3 fractured wrists
- 1 severely broken thumb requiring pins (we have x-rays of these long, long pins, but will spare you)
- 1 broken pelvis
- 1 case of Traumatic Brain Injury
- At least 3 concussions
- 1 shoulder injury
- Several cases of bicycle damage
- More photos illustrating injuries than you ever want to see
- Pending court cases in response: 1 that we know about
- Previous legal settlements: 1 that we know about
- Common Element in 3 crashes: Victims were riding to the Balloon Fiesta, having never ridden El Pueblo before
- Number of 311/911 calls in response: Fewer than you would think. More than one case of broken bones was reported in which the victim was just driven to urgent care by a relative.
- Memorial Quotes: 23 or 100%, including the following from different victims:
- “Completely destroyed my helmet”
- “The helmet most likely saved my life.”
- An ambulance attendant told the victim’s uncle that the nephew’s crash was, “third in a string of bike accidents that morning.” (Balloon Fiesta)
- Took bike to Cycle Cave to get fixed and was told “they get about two wrecks a week from that crossing.”
- And more than one statement that: “I have never ridden over those tracks again!”
It’s hard to pick a favorite report so far, but this one from a regular BB reader includes an observation that perhaps says more about these crossings than any other:
Roughly 17 years ago I was riding from my part-time job at Honeywell on Jefferson to my full time job at Comanche and Princeton. As I rolled carefully down El Pueblo and across the tracks, I was slammed to the pavement.
I clearly remember tucking my chin in so that my head just tapped the strategically placed curb on the north side of the road. While my head was safe, I could feel the results of having my ribs slammed into my spine for weeks. The bloody mess that was my right thigh healed up pretty fast.
The thing that caught my attention, as I gathered my things and straightened out my bike so I could continue on to work, was all of the detritus from previous crashes. Shards of reflectors, screws, bits of helmets let me know I wasn’t alone. For what that’s worth.
This place is a hazard.
No, El Pueblo crash victims, you are most certainly not alone. Speaking of which, have you told us your story? We’ll be taking them on an ongoing basis as we move forward in passing the stories/incidents along to those who can, and should (and must), get this situation fixed. This work includes some public records requests from which we will share info as we get it.
We’ve been wrecking on El Pueblo since at least 1994. Keeping that in mind, we’ll patiently “work the system” and any ideas/avenues you have toward that end are hugely appreciated.
Thanks for the stories. Keep ’em coming.