City official calls for action after latest cyclist crash on Minneapolis streets
MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - A cyclist was hit by a produce truck downtown Minneapolis Thursday, which has some city leaders speaking up about safety on the city’s streets.
The city’s goal is simple: Make sure things are safe for everyone in Minneapolis.
FOX 9 spoke with some Minneapolitans Saturday who say there is room for improvement and that this crash should serve as a wake-up call to be more aware.
Jason Finstad came across an alarming scene during his evening walk Thursday.
“I saw somebody underneath a box truck and a bicycle underneath the truck as well,” he said.
Minneapolis Police say a cyclist and the truck were both heading northbound on Third Avenue South when the cyclist was hit as the truck turned right.
“I noticed that the box truck was in the middle of the bike lane,” Finstad said.
Minneapolis City Council Member Steve Fletcher was also on his bike that day and passed the scene.
“When I heard later about what it was closed off for, it was really a sinking feeling,” Fletcher said. “Like, this could’ve been me.”
Fletcher wants to make sure the city is doing everything it can to avoid scenes like that in the future.
“It’s a wake-up call for everyone that we really need to be aware that the roads are being used in multiple ways,” he added.
Fletcher says there have been some major improvements over the past few years to make sure pedestrians, cyclists and drivers feel safe; he says the city has a complete street policy.
“We’re designing streets so it’s going to be safe for all modes of travel,” Fletcher said. “So, we mean pedestrian-first, bicyclists and cars. And the goal is so everyone can move safety through all of our city streets.”
There are ideas to improve bike lanes by making them more visible, or to protect them more permanently. Those using the streets every day have suggestions, too.
“Maybe a sign they could put there like, ‘Bike Lane,” said one pedestrian.
There’s also something everyone can do in the immediate future, no matter how you get around.
“As a public safety notice to everyone, keep paying attention when they’re out and about,” Fletcher said.
Some of the other ideas to improve safety for cyclists are simple. For example, a cyclist told FOX 9 they would like to see some of the lanes get a fresh coat of paint so they’re easier to see.