Today, Minnesota Public Radio also aired a story on the recent increase in reported bicycle accidents and fatalities today:
An interesting twist in this coverage is the following (from the transcript):
There are countless miles of roadway in Minnesota that pose potentially fatal risks to unwary or inexperienced bicyclists. This unsafe arrangement in St. Paul, with frontage road merging onto Summit avenue that forces vehicles to cross a bike lane, is but one example.
By the nature of what a ‘bike lane’ is there will be traffic crossing it at various points – just as cross-street traffic will cross the through-street. On the other hand, the notion of risks to inexperienced cyclists in such arrangements is a fair call. Many cyclists get a false sense of security on trails, sidepaths, and even in on-street bicycle lanes. I’ve commented before on how much of the Summit Avenue bicycle lane is poorly engineered – it rides squarely in the door zone for a good stretch, and has several places where the lane swings in so that a bicyclist may end up to the right of a right-turning car.
There’s a reason that the 5 Es of bicycle-friendliness are engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation/planning.