Last week, another young Minneapolis bicyclist, Jessica Hanson, was hit and killed by a car driver speeding late at night through the city. The story is tragic, and the second fatality this year in the city. The details of the crash, a hit-and-run driver who wasn’t using lights, might make it tempting to Jess’ death senseless and random.
But unfortunately, a bicycle death on 28th Street is no accident. The Star Tribune article on the killing lists a few quotes from neighbors about 28th:
Jeff Carlson, a neighbor of Hanson’s, told other neighbors gathered Friday night that he was organizing a petition to bring to the City Council and Mayor R.T. Rybak to improve sight lines and make other safety improvements at the intersection where Hanson was killed.Carlson said drivers as well as pedestrians on Pleasant and Pillsbury Avenue S., which is one block east, often have trouble seeing cross traffic on E. 28th Street, which is one-way eastbound, because parked cars on E. 28th Street block their view. That forces them to edge forward, nearly into traffic, before crossing the street or turning into the traffic.Magalli Aguilar Ramirez, who has lived on the corner for 13 years, said that even without watching, the accidents she has seen there have been “too many to count.”
To me, neither of these comments reaches the root of the problem. 28th Street is one of Minneapolis’s obsolete one-way death traps.
These streets have long troubled me. Back in 2009, I blogged about the danger of the city’s one-way street pairs, again following the bicyclist killed in Dinkytown last year, and the issue has come up many times during Streets.mn‘s discussion of Park and Portland Avenues.