Cyclist Killed in Downtown
I was incredibly saddened to read yesterday that a cyclist was crushed by a truck in downtown Minneapolis, at the intersection of Park Ave and 14th St S.
Today, I read that the driver of the truck will not be cited in any way for his role in the accident. From the news reports, it's fairly clear that the cyclist was proceeding through the intersection legally, in a marked bike lane, and the driver of the truck violated the rules of the road by turning left into him.
Cities and countries that get more people biking and walking do not do so only through better infrastructure. They also make very clear that drivers who hit and kill cyclists and pedestrians will face severe consequences, and by doing so increase the safety of bicycling. The decision by the Minneapolis Police Department to allow this driver entirely off the hook sends the opposite message: drivers are free to hit and kill cyclists, while violating traffic laws, without fear.
This is not new. My aide was struck purposefully by a hit-and-run driver in 2006. He made a police report. The City chose not to pursue the case, and the driver suffered no consequences.
I will be making my displeasure with the MPD's response to this and other car/bike accidents clear to the MPD Administration, and working to improve the patchy, inadequate enforcement of traffic laws against drivers who hit cyclists.