Bike Safety Makeover For Dangerous Dinkytown Stretch

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A spot in the Twin Cities gets more bike traffic than any other in the state, and now it’s getting a safety makeover just a couple of months following a deadly crash.

University student Kimberly Hull was killed at 15th Avenue and Fourth Street Southeast. Roughly 3,500 bikes and 12,000 cars bolt through Dinkytown daily.

“My daughter was killed five months ago tomorrow by a fully loaded dump truck that didn’t see her while she was riding her bicycle and ran over and crushed her,” said her father Larry Hull.

She was heading to class down 15th Avenue Southeast. When the truck tried turning, she tried going straight through the intersection. Police say she was not wearing a helmet but was wearing headphones.

“Four out of six bike fatalities in the city of Minneapolis have involved turning trucks and bicycles, so this is a significant problem,” said City Council Member Cam Gordon.

The city has now continued the bike-lane through the intersection, marked with a bright green line that’s been etched into the street. The materials used will make it resistant to Minnesota’s severe weather conditions.

“I think it’ll actually help a lot, especially for drivers who may not know where the bike lanes are,” said student Emily Chen, who was biking Tuesday afternoon.

There are also new signals at the crosswalk that include countdown-timers. Bikers and walkers will now know how long they’ve got to cross safely.

“And we hope, as a result of this installation and future installations in the city, that there will be fewer accidents, fewer injuries and fewer deaths, so that other families will be spared the pain that we carry in our hearts forever,” said Hull’s father.

Heartbreak for his own loss, he has hope for the future of bike safety in Minneapolis.

Her parents are passionate about bike safety and making sure no other parent has to deal with losing their child like they did.

  • Mike S.

    Typical liberal knee jerk reaction. More people would be safe, if the busy intersections were clear of bikes and bikers followed traffic laws (have them go a block around busy intersections) AND the same intersections were clear of heavy trucks (have them go 3 blocks around busy intersections)…but instead the city puts more paint on the ground…useless. I feel for those who have lost their lives, but the liberal “bikes first” crowd are as responsible for this death as the driver himself.

    • S. Mike

      Neither of your suggestions are traffic laws. Typical conservative knee jerk freak out.

  • Richard in Minneapolis

    This is not a “typical knee jerk reaction.” This is a traffic engineer’s reaction to a dangerous intersection and recognition of his/her duty to make the roads as safe as possible for ALL users.

    This is not “bikes first.” This is “bikes, trucks, cars, and pedestrians” all recognizing that they all have to share the road in a safe manner.

  • MB

    Yes, and one of the first things you learn is how to signal a turn, which none of the bikers in this clip seem to know how to do. I don’t care if there’s a left-turn only arrow being used at that intersection; you still signal your turn.

  • U of M Student

    The amount of bike volume is really unique thanks to the University. Ever since that crash five months ago I cross 4th st and University a block over from 15th when biking. I also never assume a car sees me, nor do I wear my ipod because I like to hear cars around me. Everyone needs to do their part, when I am out driving I check for bikers continuing straight if I intend on making a right turn. Personally, I like the green bike lanes they put out. It’s a shame that another person had to die here for it to happen.

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