Reader Ben Pollack responds to 7 things to know about the latest asinine south Minneapolis bike lane fight:
There are more factors to this than bike-shaming and speeders on the road. To boil down the issue to those two items is ridiculous.
Yes, there is fault on the part of drivers speeding down these streets at over 40 miles an hour. But also think of the bicyclists who don't observe the rules of the road. How many of these injuries and fatalities were because a bicyclist blew through a stop sign or cut in front of a car to turn left? How many times have I seen bicyclists disregard street lights and stop signs?
I live in Uptown, which is just as bad for the bicyclist vs motorist argument. But i can most assuredly say that fault lies on both sides of the equation. Protected bike lanes make a difference, but with that encouragement to use your bike also comes more and more bicyclists who don't actually know what they can and can't do on the road.
We see the movies of the bike messenger weaving through traffic to get someplace on time, and it really is no different in real life. I see bicyclists weaving in and out of traffic on Hennepin, Lake, Bryant and 36th Street. Hell, I pulled out of my alleyway on 36th street and some lady biking hit my car and went up over the hood. All because she was illegally biking on the sidewalk when there is a protected bike lane on the other side of the street!
There is plenty of fault on the motorists who speed through this corridor, but at the same time bicyclists need to be taught their rules of the road too. This, coupled with actually enforcing speed limits and stops, will encourage safer streets.