Brad Swopeby Joe Ward
For those of you who donít subscribe to the club mailng list or otherwise communicate with the club very often ó and you have your reasons, Iím sure ó noted cyclist Brad Swope is at home recuperating from a cycling accident on March 11. He told me he is looking at an 18-month recuperation period before heís back to cycling as he knew it.
Brad was returning from a circuit of Cherokee Park in the late afternoon, riding about 20 miles an hour on Seneca Park Road. Thatís slow for him, but he was breaking in a new set of tires. He was going through the park roadís intersection with Pee Wee Reese Road ó past the Y there where Pee Wee Reese comes down from Taylorsville Road, through the golf course, and down the hill.
Coming down Pee Wee Reese the other way, from the bridge across I-64, was a kid in a compact car, going 30 or 40 mph. The kid whipped into a left turn, and hit Brad head on. Said the sun was in his eyes.
Brad nailed his windshield, but at a price. He broke four vertebrae in his neck and some teeth. He cut his face, and bruised up a shoulder and his thighs. He had no paralysis, but a broken vertebra cut an artery to his brain, causing some clotting.
He was in the hospital until March 18. When I saw him briefly on March 20, he was on his feet, but moving very slowly. He seemed well on the mend. But the next day he had to go back to the hospital because of life-threatening blood clots. He was in ďvery criticalĒ condition for about an hour.
He got out of the hospital again March 25 or so, and is resting at home. He appreciates widespread expressions of support, but he needs his rest now. His Swope Design Group website says the best way to contact him is by snail mail, at his company address, 2297 Lexington Road, Louisville, KY 40206.
Bradís accident engendered a good bit of discussion in official circles about the intersection in question. There have been several accidents there, including a relatively minor one involving Tim Omerís son, Clayton, on April 4, since Bradís accident.
Barry Zalph, noted cycling and pedestrian advocate who lives across the street from Brad, has been riding herd on the discussion, along with such other club members as Advocacy VP Stewart Prather and former Advocacy VP Cheryl Brawner.
I called Metro Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator Mohammad Nouri at Barryís suggestion. Mohammad told me that changes in that intersection have a high priority with the Metro government and could come within a couple of months.
Mohammed is new to the position, having come from a career in the private sector, where he said the needed change would probably take place in a couple of weeks. But he said government takes longer.
He said the intersection will most likely be changed so that the roads come together in a T, with 90-degree angles and stop signs. The roads might also be narrowed there, to slow traffic down.
The design stage is almost done, he said, and the next stage is deciding which department will do the work. His department has some money for the project, he said, but more will have to be found somewhere else. He said he and others also are looking at other intersections in the area, seeking a general improvement.
Mohammad said he is Mayor Jerry Abramsonís point man on bicycle and fitness issues, which he said have risen to a high spot on the mayorís agenda.
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web posted: 2 May 2004
last updated: 2 May 2004