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Responsible Transportation

1 October 2008

When I was a kid, my family lived for a year in a suburb of Copenhagen, Denmark.  Even back in the early nineties gas prices were insane in Europe, and since we were only going to be there for a year it made sense for us to join the legions of Danish cyclists.  This was my introduction to bike commuting and I fell in love with it.  I have been proud to continue this tradition here in Minneapolis, a city which was recently voted second in “Top Cities for Bicycling” in the USHere at the Minnesota Energy Challenge we are passionate advocates for recreational and commute cycling for many reasons: it’s fun, it’s great exercise, it helps us save money in a time of increasing economic uncertainty and it reduces our carbon footprints. What’s not to love!

I am deeply saddened by the four recent cyclist deaths that have occurred in the metro area in the past month.  Jimmy Nisser, Dale P. Aanenson, Nicholas Morton and Virginia Heuer-Bowar were all struck and killed by cars while biking the Twin Cities. Most articles attribute these accidents to a recent proliferation of bikes on the road as people look to alternatives during times of high energy costs, general infastructure issues regarding bike lanes and a pervasive lack of respect between cars and cyclists.

As someone who switches between driving a car and biking, there are some simple rules to the road that we can all use, no matter our form of transportation, to make sure that we are all safe on the road.

As a cyclist, I always wear a helmet, have bright lights on my bike and obey traffic laws.  That means coming to a full stop at intersections, obeying red lights and trying to stay on bike paths as much as possible.  As a driver, I try to stay conscious of the traffic around me, including keeping an eye out for cyclists. I also try to give bikers a wide berth if they are on the road with me.

Respect, awareness and communication!  Safe traveling in the Twin Cities, and please look out for the other human beings traveling along with you.

:: Minnesota Independent

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