The Star-Tribune reports a cyclist being crushed by a truck on Park Avenue in Minneapolis this morning.
If you look at the configuration of the bike lane and the traffic lane at this intersection, and, in fact, all the way along Park Avenue, this tragic occurrence is not surprising. The lane configuration will regularly put a bicyclist riding straight through in the path of turning vehicles, contrary to the rules of strategic lane placement for vehicular cycling:
Incidents like this are challenging, because the bike lane itself ends up being a part cause of the accident. A cyclist stopped at the light may be invisible to a vehicle stopped next to it, depending on lane width, placement, and even the height of the vehicle (like a truck). My advice to cyclists using such a lane with such engineering is to never stop AT the stop line. Be sure to be stopped in such a position that you have a clear view of the rear view mirror of the car in the adjoining lane – so the vehicle is ahead of you. Watch for turn signals. Making noise is also a good plan – sing, clap, whatever. You may look like a goof, but better a live goof than crushed by a truck.
Word on Twitter says there will be a Ride of Silence for the anonymous cyclist tonight, May 20, from Lyndale/34th, but I lack a time for this rumored event. I’m watching the MplsBikeLove forums for more detail.