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Everyone's to Blame in New Bicycle-Car Crash Report

Drivers caused slightly more crashes than cyclists.

Monday morning, City of Minneapolis officials released the outline of a new report sure to provoke ire from some on either side of the bicycle-car divide.

The report, to be presented to the City Council's transportation committee at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan 15, says drivers and cyclists are nearly equally to blame for the city's bicycle-motor vehicle crashes.

The report took a comprehensive look at crashes from 2007 to 2010, and found that cyclists were at fault or partially at fault in 59 percent of crashes, while driers were at fault or partially at fault in 64 percent of crashes. Often times, both parties were at fault.

Most crashes happen at major intersections (see map at right), the study found, and were caused by drivers not seeing or yielding to cyclists and cyclists "not riding in a predictable manner"—going against the flow of traffic, not yielding the right-of way as appropriate, or running traffic lights and stop signs.

The report recommends more education directed at cyclists, increasing enforcement efforts targeted at drivers and cyclists, and adding features to streets to help deconflict cyclists and drivers.

The report offers one bright spot, however. As the number of bicyclists on the road increased over the last several years, the rate of crashes per cyclist has dropped significantly.

You can read the full report on the City of Minneapolis website.

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