(FOX 9) - Wednesday night, a bicyclist was killed at 12th and Linden Ave West in downtown Minneapolis by a semi making a right turn, the third fatal accident on metro roads since the start of November.
“It really is hard on the heart,” says Dorian Grilley, Executive Director of Bike MN.
Grilley points out drivers making right turns at intersections are one of the most dangerous situations bikers face, as evidenced by the two most recent deaths.
“Because of their turning radius a truck cannot block the bike lane like they are legally supposed to do,” says Grilley. “Both bicyclists and drivers don’t understand that.”
Staff at Bike MN demonstrate how bikers and drivers should safely approach an intersection, but it always depends who arrives first.
“Specifically when there is a bike lane approaching an intersection drivers should not turn across that bike lane, but rather should yield to traffic in that line prior to the intersection,” says CJ Lindor Education Coordinator for Bike MN. “Merge into bike lane before intersection and turn through the bike lane at the intersection.”
Bike MN also points out bikers are safest when they obey traffic laws. Plus they always urge extra caution, including helmets, and bike lights.
“One thing that bikers should be extra careful around large vehicles," says Grilley, “Especially with blind spots and knowing to avoid being near large vehicles at intersections where a right hook could happen.”
Minneapolis city officials are also working to solve the problem.
“I am deeply saddened to learn that another person has lost their life in a crash in our city. Everyone should be able to travel safely. We are working on finalizing the Minneapolis Vision Zero Action Plan, which provides an aggressive three year set of actions for achieving our vision of zero deaths. We are also actively constructing protected bikeway infrastructure. Several projects are underway in downtown Minneapolis and throughout the city to make travel safer for everyone. We all feel the trauma when a fellow bicyclist and Minneapolitan loses their life, and we are dedicated to achieving our goal," said Minneapolis Public Works Director Robin Hutcheson.
During Friday’s evening commute the group Safe Streets Save Lives is planning a ‘human protected bike lane’ at the intersection of 12th and Linden where the most recent biker fatality occurred.
Organizers plan to be there from 4:30-6:30pm. Risa Hustad says the goal is to draw attention to the need for safer bike lanes, which go beyond paint on the pavement.
For more information about sharing the roads go to https://www.bikemn.org/