Duh -- I always find these things *after* posting. I guess insurance
concerns killed it. No follow-up articles were found. :P
Caltrans ruling stalls bridge charity race
Caroline Keough, OF THE EXAMINER STAFF
Wednesday, September 20, 1995
Lifespan's insurance deemed inadequate
An annual charity run that closed the top deck of the Bay Bridge the
last three years has been postponed at the last minute because
Caltrans doubled the insurance requirement to $20 million and
organizers couldn't obtain a policy.
The Lifespan race across the bridge, which raised $100,000 for United
Way Charities and drew more than 7,500 runners last year, was
scheduled for 7 to 9 a.m. Sunday.
The state Department of Transportation doubled the race's insurance
requirement from last year because of exploding liability lawsuit
awards and the dangers of two-way traffic on the lower deck of the
bridge, said Paul Hensley, Caltrans' district chief of operations.
"Particularly on the Bay Bridge, you have people of extremely high
incomes traveling, and that increases our exposure to liability,"
Race director Peter King said Tuesday that he couldn't find an insurer
who would cover all the requirements imposed by Caltrans. "We went to
everyone, even Lloyd's of London," he said.
When Lifespan couldn't get enough coverage, King and Caltrans worked
out a plan to increase security during the race and reduce the
insurance to last year's $10 million. But there wasn't enough time to
add dozens of police officers to direct traffic, or order extra detour
signs and marking cones.
"I think (Caltrans) is acting responsibly, but from our perspective it
was just an impossible situation," King said.
Other such events that use state highways could be in jeopardy, King
said, if the strict insurance demands are imposed on all
"The precedent was really frightening," King said.
"This would put a lot of (nonprofit) events out of business."
But Hensley said Caltrans dealt with very few such events.
For example, he said, "we don't deal with Bay to Breakers at all. It's
through The City."
Lifespan, which King said was the 10th-largest race in the country,
has been tentatively rescheduled for Nov. 12, which is also the 59th
anniversary of the opening of the Bay Bridge.
"We'd like to still do it," King said. "But we've already spent money
promoting this, and there's a million little things that would need to
get done, and then there's concerns about the weather."