• Wed October 10 2007
  • Posted Oct 10, 2007
Tom McMahon, Staff Writer 10/10/2007 DENISON - The Crawford County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution Tuesday banning RAGBRAI from using the county's roads. In a letter to T.J. Juskiewicz, RAGRBAI director, Crawford County Engineer Paul Assman stated the county recently reached a settlement with Betty Ullrich, whose husband Kirk died after falling off his bike during the 2004 bike race across Iowa. Ullrich alleged the county was negligent in not properly maintaining Crawford County Road E16. Kirk Ullrich's bike allegedly struck a centerline joint in the middle of the road, causing the fall. The county did not admit negligence in offering the $350,000 settlement. Assman stated the county roads are maintained to meet standards related to vehicular travel and not bicycle events. "Simply put, Crawford County's position is that we have met the test of providing safe roadways for "intended" users. That said, the issue then becomes the "permissive" use of Crawford County roadways by participants in the RAGBRAI event." The resolution stated the secondary roads are not designed to meet the specific standards related to bicycle travel and constitute an unacceptable risk to participants in RAGBRAI and events of like kind and nature. It goes on to state that the use of the roads for such events puts the county at risk for future litigation and prohibits their use for RAGBRAI and any other similar event. Juskiewicz said he had not seen the resolution. "We will not go to a place where they don't want the event," he said. "Most places want RAGBRAI." He said it is the only jurisdiction that has passed such a resolution. RAGBRAI completed its 35th race this July, hosting about 10,000 riders on the annual weeklong trek across the state. Crawford County's decision could impact neighboring counties as organizers plan next year's route.

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