09/06/11

Bike Walk & Blog: Bike Walk Ambassador Program Provides Commercial Vehicle Driver OutreachBike Walk & Blog: Bike Walk Ambassador Program Provides Commercial Vehicle Driver Outreach

 

Bike Walk Ambassador Program Provides Commercial Vehicle Driver Outreach

Last year, Donnelly Stucco - a family-owned home repair and improvement company located in Minneapolis' Longfellow neighborhood - contacted the Bike Walk Ambassador Program about concerns about safety along the Midtown Greenway. This past August, Bike Walk Ambassador David Peterson presented to employees of Donnelly Stucco about sharing the road with bicycles. Donnelly Stucco operates a small fleet of trucks and trailers, and drivers cross the Greenway multiple times each day.

 

The Ambassadors have created a presentation specifically for commercial vehicle drivers. It focuses on how and why bike/motor vehicle crashes happen and steps that drivers can take to reduce the possibility of collisions.

 

The City of Minneapolis has been analyzing bicycle crash trends for recent years based on police reports. Responsibility for crashes seems to fall about evenly between bicyclists and drivers. The main factors for crashes when vehicles are responsible are a left turn into the path of a bicyclist (occurs in about 19% of crashes), a right turns into a bicyclist's path (15%), and improperly entering traffic (10%). For bikes at fault, the main crash factors are not obeying a stop sign or red light (12%), failure to yield to cars that have the right-of-way (10%), and wrong-way riding (6%). Bikes riding on sidewalks are the single clearest pre-crash maneuvers implicated in crashes (33%). Bicyclists are very likely to be injured in crashes (84% of crashes, versus 0% of drivers). These data are subject to change as more cases are added to the analysis.

 

Staff were highly engaged in the presentation and discussion. The main concern was that it can be difficult for drivers of large vehicles to clearly see bicycles when crossing the Greenway and generally, and that many bicyclists don't follow posted traffic control devices. The chief takeaway for drivers was to make certain to look carefully for bicyclists when crossing the Greenway and at all intersections. David also took a message back to the city about working to improve visibility at greenway crossings.

 

Donnelly Stucco - like many businesses with professional drivers - is keen to ensure that crashes don't happen. They're bad for business, the city, bicyclists and drivers. We are happy that Donnelly Stucco took some time out of a busy schedule for employees to discuss this important issue, and make Minneapolis streets safer for everyone.

 

The Ambassador Program is available to come to your business and talk about motor vehicle and bicycle safety. Please contact David Peterson at david.peterson2@minneapolismn.gov.

 

Upcoming Motor Vehicle - Bicycle Safety Event

Behind the Big Wheels: Bicycle Safety Demo

Join the Ambassadors, Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota, Minnesota Trucking Association and Minneapolis Public Schools for a safety demonstration about blind spots on trucks, buses and other large vehicles. Saturday, October 8th, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., 2nd Street North between 17th & 18th Aves. in North Minneapolis (map).