What Can Minnesota Do About The Rise In Cycling Fatalities?
I have to be completely honest with you: I get annoyed whenever I’m driving down the road and encounter someone on a bicycle. Many cyclists are no doubt cool people, but I’ve dealt with some who take up the entire lane, causing me to slow down to a speed way below the limit. When I used to live in Minneapolis, this would happen in the winter. We’re told to ‘share the road’ while they regularly blow through red lights! It’s maddening. End rant.
On the flipside, there are a lot of benefits to having more bicycles on the road (and boy will some cyclists let you know about it). In theory, less cars means less traffic. It’s better for the environment. Biking is healthier and cheaper than driving a car. Even I’ve thought about getting a bike and driving less. But there are still some issues.
According to the Star Tribune, as bicycles have continued getting more popular, the amount of cycling fatalities on the road has risen nationwide. In 2015, at least 45,000 cyclists were injured in crashes, while cyclist deaths have been going up by about 55 per year. 76 cyclist deaths were due to distracted driving, while half of cyclists killed were not wearing a helmet.
So what are some solutions? Recommendations include more marked and clearly defined bike lanes that separate cyclists from vehicles, special traffic signals for bikes, cycling safety programs, and more accommodating roads, to name a few. As biking continues getting more popular, especially here in Minnesota, something needs to be done. I've been seeing more and more bikes on the streets, and it would be great for both drivers and bikers if we can make life a little bit easier for everyone on the road.
Credit: Star Tribune