Ride Boldly!

Bikes, bicycling, and road safety.

Tragedy on Summit Update

Last fall, when a cyclist was killed in a car-bicycle collision on Summit Avenue near Snelling Avenue, I observed that it was all but impossible for the crash to be the cyclist’s fault due to the street configuration.

Accident reconstruction agrees with me, per the Star-Tribune. The driver now has been charged with misdemeanors – failing to yield the right of way and disobeying a stop sign.

Now, misdemeanors are still pretty weak given the end result. Probably won’t even louse up the driver’s insurance record, save for whatever front fender work he needed post-crash. However, it’s at least an attempt at enforcement.

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Author: julie

Julie Kosbab is an online marketing consultant and active transportation advocate living in Anoka County, Minnesota. She was one of Minnesota's only League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructors when certified in 2005. She is a past member of the National Bicycle Tour Directors Association. She has 2 children and 4 bicycles. Find her on Twitter as @betweenstations.


  1. I’m glad that some enforcement, although I agree, fairly weak enforcement, was done. We’ve ridden past that intersection many many times, and after this accident, observed how it was engineered (very poorly – the “cross street” was in almost a straight line with Summit), and felt great sorrow for the fellow bicyclist that was hit and fatally injured, and incredible anger towards the driver of the motor vehicle, that there was no possible way that he stopped because of the speed at which the cyclist was hit. Anyways, it’s been bugging me since first reading about it. Glad to see enforcement. Glad to see intersection redesign.

  2. I’m guessing that the law allows charges based on actions, not outcomes. So the behavior was a misdemeanor, but one that resulted in a terrible event.

    The real blame falls on the city. The accident zone is very badly designed, common driver errors can have terrible consequences.

    In other words, the systemic risk is high.

    Justice in this case would require suing city hall.