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The numbers are in and 2008 was the deadliest year since 2000 for Minnesota bicycle riders. One of the suggestions is that because of high gas prices and the overall economy, more people are using bikes to get around. As I have discussed before, the number of incidences with bikes has continued to grow over the last year.

"We had motorists that weren’t necessarily ready and expecting to see so many bicyclists out there," said Nick Mason vice-chair of the State Non-Motorized Transportation Advisory Committee. "And we also had bicyclists who were new bicyclists and not as familiar with the rules of the road."

It’s important that cars be on the lookout and that bikes be aware of the rules.


• Reduce distractions and watch for bikes or cars.

• Follow all stop signs and traffic signals.


• Give cyclists the entire lane if there’s not enough room for a bike and vehicle.

• Give bikes 3 feet of clearance when passing.

• Look ahead and behind for cyclists when turning.

• Yield to bikes on sidewalks and halt before crosswalks.


• Ride just right of center in a lane rather than along curbs

• Stay away from doors of parked cars.

• Bike with the flow of traffic unless there’s a contra-flow bike lane.

• Use hand signals for turns and switching lanes.

• Wear helmets and use lights and reflective gear at night.

Source: City of Minneapolis

Hopefully, the increased number of bikes will make everyone more aware. That might make it safer for everyone.

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