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Equal blame in Minneapolis bike-car crashes

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Drivers and cyclists are both to blame in many bike/vehicle crashes, according to new numbers released by the City of Minneapolis.

The city averages about 270 bike-vehicle crashes every year. That number has stayed relatively constant over the last decade, even as the number of bicycle commuters in the city increased by about 75 percent.

The city found crashes usually happen when when one or both parties fail to yield the right of way, or otherwise ignore the rules of the road. Cyclists were to blame in about 60 percent of crashes, as were drivers, meaning oftentimes, both parties were at fault. The vast majority of crashes occurred within 50 feet of an intersection.

Minneapolis analyzed almost 3,000 crashes that took place over a 10-year period. A dozen of them were fatal.

City staff recommend improving the design of intersections and bike lanes, as well as increased education efforts for drivers and cyclists.