Cyclist Killed on West River Parkway
There's been another tragic crash that has resulted in the death of a bicyclist in Ward 2. Last Saturday, 61-year old Thomas Malloy was biking to worship in Saint Paul. He was attempting to cross West River Parkway from the bike trail to the ramp up to the East Franklin bridge when he was hit by a truck driven by Wesley Gubbin.
According to what I've read in the media and heard from staff, Mr. Gubbin was driving north in the southbound lane, in order to pass vehicles that stopped - presumably conscientious folks taking the time to let Mr. Malloy cross the street. Mr. Gubbin then drove away.
I am pleased to hear that Mr. Gubbin - likely spurred on by the fact that the police had a good description of his truck - has turned himself in. It makes sense that he's been charged with criminal vehicular homicide, and he faces serious consequences for his reckless behavior.
In my opinion, this is not an infrastructure problem, but a problem of driver behavior. When we choose to drive, we need to recognize that we have the power to end someone's life, and act with care.
It's especially disturbing to me that this accident occurred on West River Parkway, because it links to complaints I've heard for years about driver behavior on the parkways. The parkways are not speedways - they have a 25 mph speed limit for a reason. They are facilities with parallel car, bicycle and pedestrian routes, and drivers need to be prepared to stop to allow pedestrians and bicyclists to cross. When traffic stops in front of you on a parkway, please try to keep in mind that this is normal, not some sort of obstruction to veer around. If you're in such a hurry that you can't comply with the 25 mph limit or wait for other road users to cross the road, please choose a different route.
Lastly, I want to thank the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition for working with Mr. Malloy's family on a memorial ride, tentatively planned for Sunday, November 29th, at 3pm.