Crash Report Preview

Members of the BAC committee listen to the crash report presentation

The most comprehensive study involving bicycle crashes in Minneapolis was previewed at last week’s Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting. The data covers reported crashes during the period of 2000-2010. “It’s some of the best data we've seen in the country,” noted BAC chair Nick Mason.

Here are some highlights from the presentation by Simon Blenski of the Public Works Department, who worked on the report:

  • The overall crash rate has gone down significantly from 2000 (10%) to 2010 (3%), despite the sharp increase in the number of bicyclists during that same period.

  • 4 out of 5 crashes occur near intersections.

  • The peak time for crashes is summer, weekdays, and late afternoons, when light is plentiful.

  • Most crashes occur when the weather is generally clear and the roads are dry.

  • Most crashes are with an automobile, not a truck, bus, or taxi. However fatal crashes generally occur on wet roads or in rainy conditions, involve a large truck, or an impaired/aggressive driver.

  • Who’s at fault? Generally both bicyclists and drivers. For drivers, the most common cause was when they did not see or yield to bikes. For cyclists, it’s when they did not behave in a predictable manner.

  • Generally, most crashes occurred on the city’s busiest streets, and near the busiest intersections.

More to come

It’s easy to try and draw conclusions when looking at this bulleted list, but I urge caution; it’s just a few high-level notes. The BAC committee merely viewed a short presentation and does not have the report itself.

In the coming months, they will be diving into the data and sharing the findings.

Harmon Place, Portland Avenue and other meeting tidbits

  • The BAC formally recommended bike lanes should be incorporated into the repaving plan for Harmon Place as a better use of the right-of-way, and a quieter alternative to that stretch of Hennepin Avenue. It’s also in line with the City’s adopted Bike Master Plan.

  • The Portland Avenue resurfacing project plans to end the bicycle connection at 60th street. The committee formally recommended the connection continue all the way to Highway 62, to better connect with Richfield’s bike routes. This recommendation is also compatible with the Richfield and Minneapolis master bike plans.

  • Hennepin county and the Met Council also have bicycle committees. To get in better sync, the BAC passed a resolution to encourage the City Council to add a Hennepin County staff member as an official member of the Minneapolis BAC.

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