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Various Authors 4:09 p.m., May 27
The City may have to add a cracked outdoor cycling track to its near-billion dollar list of infrastructure repairs.
Last week a cyclist injured while riding the steep-banked oval track in Balboa Park filed a lawsuit against the City and the group that leases the track, the San Diego Velodrome Association. The lawsuit alleges that the City and San Diego Velodrome Association knowingly allowed cyclists to ride a defective and dangerous track.
The respondent, Ignacio Silva, fractured his skull and sustained a concussion and broken collarbone on the afternoon of December 22, 2011. His recovery was documented in a blog that a friend started while Silva was in the hospital.
According to the lawsuit, a rider next to him hit a rough spot on the track and swerved into him throwing him from his bike.
*"Defendants were negligent, careless and reckless in maintaining and controlling the subject premises in such a manner as to cause Plaintiff serious injuries," reads the lawsuit. "Defendants knew or should have known such a dangerous condition existed and would result in injuries to others. Defendants failed to warn persons of the dangerous condition.
"The...San Diego Velodrome Association, Inc. ("SDVA") knew the velodrome, which had been resurfaced in mid-2010, was developing substantial and dangerous defects. These continuing and worsening defects were dangerous to velodrome cyclists. The SDVA did not warn or take other action to protect cyclists from danger. The Board of SDVA, knowing of the dangers and defects, proposed a resurfacing at a meeting about 5 weeks before the incident."*
Some local cyclists agree that the track is not perfect but it is far from unsafe.
"The track could use some work but it is not heinous," says one Velodrome member who wished to stay anonymous.
"Of course, the track could certainly use some updating and smoothing out. I can tell you that I have spent a lot of time on the track in the past year and I have never seen an accident or collision, although I understand there have been some in the past. From what I have seen, most, if not all, riders observe proper safety and I don't think anyone would say the track is unsafe."
We contacted the San Diego Velodrome Association asking for more information on the condition of the track and any upcoming maintenance projects. We are waiting for a response.