Milwaukee woman taking legal action, claims she crashed bike after getting tire caught in Streetcar tracks

NOW: Milwaukee woman taking legal action, claims she crashed bike after getting tire caught in Streetcar tracks

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A Milwaukee woman is now planning to take legal action against the City of Milwaukee after she says she crashed riding a bike after her tire got stuck in the Streetcar tracks.

Trace Matabele was riding her bike August 10 near Ogden and Franklin when the accident happened.

“There was no alternative,” Matabele said. “I was trying to maneuver left of the tracks and my tire got stuck and locked.”

Matabele said her ribs hit the handlebar and she crashed into the ground, fracturing one of her ribs and both of her elbows

“This is no joke,” she said. “My injuries are serious. I have a road to recovery that I’m not looking forward to.”

Matabele is a teacher, likes to swim and sail and can’t do any of those activities while she recovers over the next six to eight weeks. She says she plans to take legal action so no one else gets hurt by the tracks. She’s seeking legal advice from law firm Hupy and Abraham.

“We’re filing a claim against The City,” Michael Hupy said. “We’ll file a notice of injury then a claim for damages then a lawsuit if necessary.”

This is not the only case against the Street car. Aaron Henning plans to sue The City and the Streetcar after his motorcycle tire got stuck in the tracks back in July.

“I hope we find a solution to this,” Hupy said. “Whether its discontinue the trolley, take the tracks out, use buses instead or something else we need to come up with a solution before a lot more people are hurt.”

Alderman Bob Bauman says Milwaukee is making a major effort to educate the public traveling near the street car tracks. He says it may just take some getting used to.

“Driving a car in the city of Milwaukee is far more hazardous than riding your bike across streetcar tracks,” Bauman said. “When there’s a debate about banning cars because they are unsafe, then we can talk about the Streetcar being unsafe.”

Evan Pack runs the downtown bike shop, Vulture Space, and he says he has heard a lot of complaints from fellow bikers.

“When the tracks are running parallel w a bikers path it’s hard to turn on such an angle without getting stuck.”

The best way to cross the tracks is at a ninety degree angle.

Alderman Bauman says the Streetcar is ahead of schedule, and could be up and running in Mid-October.

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