One of the best parts about the Midtown Greenway is the lack of street level crossings. Instead of constantly stopping and looking both ways, cyclists and cruise along at a steady pace, for the most part moving above, below and beside traffic.
One street level crossing is going to get a whole lot safer with the installation of a new median at the 28th Street crossing.
Hopefully this traffic adjustment will do what, a big yellow bicycle sign and flashing lights haven’t, make cars slow down and stop for cyclists. You might ask yourself why would you need this traffic throttler at this intersection, don’t cars have the right of way? Well, yes that is true, as a cyclist or pedestrian you have a stop sign, and most cyclists patiently wait until the intersection is either traffic free, or until a car stops to let them pass.
So why the median? The cause of more than one accident at this intersection has been the following scenario; car no.1 approaches the intersection traveling either east or west, and sees a cyclist stopped waiting to cross and car no.1 stops and waives the cyclist across. Car no.2 then approaches from behind car no. 1 and doesn’t understand why car no. 1 is stopped (or is annoyed that they are stopped) so car no. 2 swings out around car no. 1 to the right side to pass, boom collision with the crossing cyclist.
The new medians narrow the east and west bound traffic to only one car’s width at the crossing, this will prevent car no. 2 from pulling around car no. 1 in the future and will hopefully make the crossing much safer.
It’s things like this that help the City of Minneapolis demonstrate their commitment to cyclists. It is a small change to traffic, not very expensive to install (comparatively) and yet could mean the difference between life and death or serious injury for a cyclists.