MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota. When cities talk about putting in bike lanes, often the loudest critics are in the minority. The Star Tribune reported on a survey performed by Princeton University that found that 83 percent of Americans support increasing the numbers of bike lanes. The majority also support funding for these lanes, and maintaining them once they are put in. This support may be strong in the abstract, but the moment bike lanes are proposed in specific neighborhoods, residents may worry that these lanes will slow down traffic, lead to more crashes, or take away space from cars. Unfortunately, the critics who are most readily heard are often the loudest ones, leading to confusion about how bike lanes affect traffic and safety.
In an in-depth piece for New York Magazine, the New York transportation commissioner wrote about a loud debate that broke out when she suggested putting bike lanes in Prospect Park West in a Brooklyn neighborhood known for its increasing bike traffic. Residents of the neighborhood worried that the lanes would increase traffic, accidents, and congestion. The bike lane was proposed not just to accommodate bike riders, but also to control speeding traffic that had begun to treat Prospect Park West like a highway. Despite residents’ worries, the bike lanes slowed down traffic, helped retain the residential nature of the street, and kept bikers safe.
Minneapolis is currently facing its own debate about bike lanes and the concerns sound like those raised in New York. When bike lanes are properly planned, they can prevent speeding, increase transportation options, and keep all road users safe. Business and residents often fear bike lanes, worrying that they will cause traffic and interfere with parking and businesses. The truth is that bike lanes, when properly planned, can increase safety in the community and increase options for residents.
Drivers need to re-think what sharing the road really means. Is it worth it to trade a few parking spaces if it means that fewer people will be injured while riding their bikes on Minneapolis streets? Drivers sometimes claim bikers break the law. They run red lights and sometimes fail to use proper signals. Yet, when bikes break the law and collide with a vehicle, very rarely are drivers hurt. When drivers break the law, bikers can be seriously injured, or killed.
The Law Office of Martin T. Montilino is a car accident lawyer in Minneapolis, Minnesota who understands the immense importance of sharing the road. Yet, it is known that drivers text and drive, drink and drive, speed, and sometimes break the law. When they collide with bikes, often bikers are the ones viewed with suspicion. Unfortunately, the ones who often get hurt in these situations are the bicyclists. If you’ve been injured in a bike crash in Minneapolis, Minnesota, consider speaking to a personal injury lawyer today. You may be entitled to collect a recovery to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages. Visit https://www.martinmontilino.com/ to learn more about your options and rights under the law.