Archive | Safety

The Great Bicycle Helmet Controversy

A month ago we took a look at the history of bicycle helmets and data on their usage at various locations in Minnesota. But should a bicycle helmet by mandatory, or even worn in the first place? Everyone points to the original study saying they reduce head injuries by 85% or tells anecdotes about how […]

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Chart of the Day: Deaths per Billion Miles Travelled, US vs Others

Here’s a chart from a recent New York Times op-ed column comparing the United states to a few other countries. Long story short, we have not made much progress in the last 20 years about improving our road safety. Here’s the chart: The Times piece lists a few reasons for this relative lack of progress, […]

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Three Short-Term Projects to Make Downtown Saint Paul Safer on Bike

On November 7th, Saint Paul elected a new mayor for the first time in twelve years, former Ward 1 City Council Member Melvin Carter III. Carter campaigned on a platform that pledged to move Saint Paul forward, calling to “reduce our city’s carbon footprint by expanding transit, biking, and pedestrian opportunities citywide” and to “design […]

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Are Roundabouts Safer for Pedestrians?

Urban planners and some bicycle and pedestrian advocates tell me that “roundabouts are safer than traditional signalized intersections.” It comes up in the context of conversations about pedestrian-friendly urban street design. I hear this line a lot and see it on websites and in social media posts. In most cases, folks are parroting various viral […]

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Almost Killed – Twice

What direction do you suppose the drivers in the green Kia and dark plum taxi above are looking (and encouraged to look based on road design)? As almost everywhere in the US, they are legally allowed to turn right on red. They are likely in at least somewhat of a hurry and would prefer to […]

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Kitten Reading Internet Comments

We Read the Bike Lane Article Comments So You Don’t Have To

When controversy happens….when tempers flare….we read the comments, so you don’t have to. Well, actually, I was on vacation. I was hugging trees and canoeing and stuff, so I missed out on this weekend’s comment-bait Star Tribune article, “Spread of bike lanes in Minneapolis and St. Paul prompts both excitement and ire” until I came home […]

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26th and 28th Street Changes Are About Safety For All

This past Saturday there was a bike lane protest that included “Nazi Lane” and “Mafia Lane” signs. Such rhetoric is disturbing, offensive, and trivializes the very real negative impact of white supremacy. Never do it. That protest was against recent changes to 26th and 28th Streets in Whittier and Uptown. Thankfully there was also a bike […]

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The Myth of the Scofflaw Cyclist

One of the things that drew me to the Twin Cities metro, and to St. Paul, is the cycling friendly community, and while St. Paul lags Minneapolis in many respects, it is still leagues ahead of most cities in this country and all the places I have lived. That being said, there is a virulent […]

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The Causes of Crashes

There’s been much discussion about car vs. pedestrian crashes in the Twin Cities and closer-in suburbs. Here is a discussion about one in an exurb and one in a small town. When a crash happens, eventually the investigating agency winds up saying someone french-fried when they should have pizza-ed, assigns blame, the insurance companies and lawyers […]

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A New Vision Zero for St. Paul: Part 4 – Education

Engineering was the subject of Part 3 of this series, and of necessity it covered a number of Educational topics in order to explain the need for changes in the way our traffic network is designed. Here in Part 4, Education as one of the “Five Es” – Evaluation, Engineering, Education, Enforcement, and Encouragement – […]

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