Planning Commissioner: St. Paul Intersection Where Bus Killed Cyclist too Dangerous

“Everybody loses when we have an unsafe intersection.”

Edgar Linares
May 10, 2018 - 4:46 pm

Courtesy of St. Paul Police


A member of St. Paul's planning commission is urging the St. Paul Mayor to make the intersection at Summit and Snelling Avenues safer, after a bicyclist was struck by a school bus and killed on Wednesday afternoon.

“Everybody loses when we have an unsafe intersection,” said Bill Lindeke, a planning commissioner for St. Paul. “I think it’s really important we focus on safety here on Summit before another crash happens again.”

On Wednesday, Alan Douglas Grahn, 75, of Minneapolis lost his life at the intersection after being hit by a school bus full of middle school students. The exact cause of the crash is still being investigated by police.

Lindeke recalled in the last ten years multiple injuries and deaths at the intersection. He described the intersection as complex, chaotic, and unsafe for pedestrians and cyclists.  In 2014, a 51-year-old man was left in critical condition after his bike was struck by an SUV at the intersection, while a 51-year-old woman cyclist was killed there in a 2008 crash

“This corner at Snelling, where people drive really quickly, is complicated,” said Lindeke. “There’s a frontage road, then there’s the main thoroughfare, then there’s bike lanes on both sides, then there’s multiple lanes on Snelling.”

He said there are a number of things the city can do to fix the intersection such as expanding buffers zones between parked cars and bike lanes; installing plastic poles so drivers are aware there is a bike lane there; and painting the bike lanes green. Lindeke says the lanes on Summit are 16 feet wide, wider than lanes found on interstate highways. He said that since the area where the crash is a city road, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter would be in the best position to address the issue, as he appoints the city's public works director and sets the budget.

He said this wasn't a question of prioritizing one form of transportation over another. 

“Everyone will be better off if we can make a safe bike lane,” Lindeke said

WCCO Radio has reached out to St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter for comment and will update when he responds.


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