Joel Stegner, Community volunteer about 4 years ago

The police have a new program to stop bicyclists who break traffic laws, announced in a just-issued press release. While I agree with the idea, I think Edina needs to think more broadly about this issue. First there is the issue of traffic design. It is currently very difficult to safely travel through certain parts of the city on bike. While Edina does enforce the speed laws, speeding, particularly on heavily travelled roads in common, and the places where bike travel are too close to traffic at the speed cars and trucks are driving, particularly as many have become larger and less maneuverable. Second, there is driver behavior. I'd bring up the failure of a very large percentage of drivers to signal their turns, Where this is a special problem for bike riders is when cars pull in front of a bike, fails to signal and turn right. Another is when a vehicle is going from the opposite direction and turns left. This failure to signal intention is dangerous driving, gives the bicyclist no time to react, and is likely to result in a severe injury or direct. Combine that with not fully stopping a stop sign and pulling out in front of a bicyclist who has right of way, opening a car door without looking . . . I could go on. The biggest toll of these driver practices - none of which is justified - is fear on the part of people who would want to use our streets to ride their bikes, which means they stay home or drive, which is both unhealthy and increases traffic congestion. So in other worlds, if the police are going to have a campaign targeted unsafe bicycling, please at the same time remind us that most often when cyclists are injured or killed, a motor vehicle has done the damage. And motorists should realize that stopping a bike at a stop sign involves a lot more effort than using your turn signal.

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Jennifer Janovy admin about 4 years ago

While I support enforcement of traffic laws, I second Mr. Stegner's concern about this initiative focusing solely on bicyclists. The fact that motorists and pedestrians also break traffic laws doesn't excuse bicyclists. The PD has every right (and a responsibility) to educate people about and enforce traffic laws evenly across modes. An initiative focused solely on bicyclists can fuel misconceptions. A recent article adds to this discussion. Search Carl Alviani, "Why Bikes Make Smart People Say Dumb Things," or see https://medium.com/cycling-in-the-city/why-bikes-make-smart-people-say-dumb-things-9316abbd5735.

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Katherine Stelberg Bass about 4 years ago

I couldn't agree more with Mr. Stegner and Ms. Janovy. Pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists must all follow the rules and we all have an accountability to each other as legitimate users of our roads. The police department could be a helpful partner in communicating that residents should expect to see all types of users on our roads and cultivating a culture of respect, whatever mode you choose.

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Liz Ogren over 3 years ago

Educating the community about the concept of multi-purpose roads needs to be pragmatic and deliberate. Every person who uses a road or a sidewalk or simply crosses a street has a role in making it safe for all of us. How do we re-shape the " I own the piece of road I am on" philosophy and develop a new paradigm for " we all own the road and are responsible for what happens on it" When we are safe and courteous walkers, riders, drivers, we all win.

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