Study: Cyclists, drivers equally to blame for crashes in Minneapolis

  • Article by: STEVE BRANDT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 15, 2013 - 9:35 PM

Failure to yield, other lapses by both drivers and bikers lead to motor vehicle-bicycle collisions, a 10-year analysis of Minneapolis crash reports found.

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MellersJan. 15, 1310:42 AM

As a user of a bike solely for transportation 8 months a year (I bus or walk the other 4), I think bicyclists are more to blame. I feel that I'm one of the only ones to signal my turn, stop at all stops, and go with traffic consistently. Oh and fellow bicyclists: what you do when no one [no cars] is watching is important (consistency for good/safe behavior) but setting an example for fellow bicyclists. Follow the rules of the road: it's required!

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alagnakJan. 15, 1310:44 AM

Cars are made for the road and the road is made for them- and they pay for some of the up keep. Bikes are made for bike paths with no motor vehicles. By the way- what kind of license do you need for a bike to pay for bike paths and the upkeep?

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sofakindomJan. 15, 1310:52 AM

I bike and drive on the roads. The biggest issue for me, is when bikers feel the need to bike on the roads when there is a good bike path built specifically for them 30 feet away parallel to the road. Occurs often in, or near parks, so annoying. Use the paths, they built them for us and much safer!

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MplsSouthSideJan. 15, 1311:00 AM

I live on the parkway on the south side of Mpls and it is truly dangerous for bicyclists to ride on that stretch of road. It is narrow and winding, a miracle more accidents don't happen with all the Lance Armstrong drones that think they can keep up with traffic when all they do is delay traffic.

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hazzzeeJan. 15, 1311:12 AM

Bicyclists are an annoyance. They get in the way and don't obey the rules of the road. I'm really surprised at the low number of accidents reported.

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songczarJan. 15, 1311:13 AM

Let's mitigate crashes for everyone. I know they are not popular here in Mn, but since most collisions of any sort occur at intersections I'd like to see more round-about. They really are great once you're used to using them. Also, I'd like to note that the conclusions of this report do not mirror national studies which suggest that the largest blame factor is cars and when it is the biker's fault it's usually because the biker is biking on the wrong side of the road and/or drinking alcohol.

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nicolletparkJan. 15, 1311:13 AM

I wish people would quit complaining about the bikes being on the street! In Minneapolis in a lot of places it is illegal to ride on the sidewalks and also the law states that Bikes have a right to be on the streets. People riding road bikes ride on the street instead of the paths because the paths are not smooth enough for fast moving road bikes (sometimes) and also it is dangerous to ride 20-25 mph on a bike path with other slow moving riders.

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Chaz_MackJan. 15, 1311:21 AM

@alagnak: Your implication is flawed. Many bike commuters (like me) and other cyclists also own vehicles and do pay for the roads; we just choose to ride our bikes (a lot or a little) at times on those same roads which, by the way, the law permits us to use. I commute almost solely by bike (and otherwise take the bus) during the non-winter months. I follow the law, I don't run stoplights or stopsigns, and I ride in bike lanes where they exist. And, yes, many cyclists ride without regard to the law and that is frustrating for everyone on the road - motorists and cyclists alike. Attention law-enforcement: An expensive moving violation ticket might help curb their freewheeling habits. On the other hand, even when I am legally riding in a bike lane I have had more near-death experiences than I care to recall because some hurried driver didn't bother to look in the bike lane next to them before turning right in front of me, when I had the right of way. I use lights and bright clothing day and night - just to stay alive. The best thing drivers can do is learn how to share the road - cyclists have a right to be on it and that is not going to change. Cyclists, on the other hand, need to be reminded that the same rules of the road apply to them as to cars. Fairly simple, really. Just ride expecting not to be seen because we're the ones who always lose in any collision.

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chemnpJan. 15, 1311:23 AM

lots of drivers get mad at bikers because they run lights/stop signs. this behavior by bikers is completely inconsiderate and stupid if it is interfering with cross-traffic, however if there isn't anyone coming there are a couple of reasons for doing this. first, it prevents bikers from getting run over from behind by someone who isn't paying attention. second, it keeps the lanes clear for drivers who will not have to slow down for a biker in their lane (because he/she will be 1/4 mile down the road when the light turns).

common sense and decency are most important for both bikers and drivers though.

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cGeeJan. 15, 1311:24 AM

I don't mind sharing the streets with the bicyclists, but I get irritated with their righteous attitude that they own the streets.

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