Five teeter totters on Mount Fromme that were set to be dismantled following a liability case in Ontario have been saved following the advocacy work of the NSMBA and local mountain bikers.
The case in question held Bruce County liable when a man broke his neck and ended up paraplegic following a fall off a similar obstacle in 2008. The court claimed that the rider was insufficiently warned about the dangers of the obstacle, setting a legal precedent for municipalities to oversee safety measures and own responsibility for accidents.
As a result, the North Vancouver district told the North Shore Mountain Biking Association (NSMBA) it would move to dismantle five teeter totters on Mount Fromme between now and the end of the year. The teeter totters set to be dismantled included the one on Ladies Only, which is claimed to be the first in the world for mountain bikes, and the one on Pipeline on which a rider from Idaho died in 2013.
Mike Little, the North Vancouver Mayor told globalnews.ca
, "The simplest solution was to remove the teeter-totters. I’m a heritage guy and I would love to retain them for that, but we do have to manage the risk."
However, thanks to pressure from the NSMBA, Mayor Little confirmed yesterday that after a meeting with the Municipal Insurance Association the teeter totters would stay in place for the time being with better signage and alternative routes to be put in, something which most of the at risk see saws already have.
Mayor Little told globalnews.ca, "We do see mountain biking as being a significant part of our identity for North Vancouver and we definitely want to keep that active and healthy in our community, but we always have to reassess when safety matters come up and make sure that the risks are being mitigated in an appropriate and reasonable way."
Cooper Quinn, president of the North Shore Mountain Biking Association, described the news as "awesome". He said, "I think it speaks to the district really reacting to the community’s reaction and understanding, listening to the people and trying to find a balance between risk management and the value of the resources that we have. It means a lot to the people who built them decades ago and the people who, you know, are still learning, getting the ability level to such that they can ride them in the future here.“