Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Few Words About Robert Zeeb

Sad news about the death of longtime cyclist Robert Zeeb, who crashed in Arlington on Monday, November 9, 2009. Reports indicate that he was traveling on a sidewalk alongside the westbound lane of Route 2, near the Alewife T stop, when he encountered an open hole for an electrical box which was obscucred by leaves. Mr. Zeeb, who was wearing a helmet, sustained fatal head injuries. According to a State Police spokesman, the cover for the hole was located a few feet away. The Department of Transportation, which had jurisdiction over maintenance issues, replaced the cover following the accident.

It amazes me to hear stories like this, and it makes me think of the other hazards we all encounter such as raised and uneven manholes, those natural gas conduits (which are often broken with sharp edges) and most notoriously the slotted storm drains that are improperly set so that the wheels of a bicycle can get stuck in them. (While I'm at it, I also note the dirt and debris that trucks bring onto the roadway from construction sites because contractors fail to wash down the trucks before they exit the job site.) Mr. Zeeb did nothing wrong here and this is an accident that never should have happened. The workers (private and public sector) who maintain roads and utilities need to be educated about just how hazardous--and potentially deadly--these conditions can be.

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