Universities around the country, Including the University of Minnesota, are engaging in construction projects and one of the newest concerns in these areas is biking safety.
Earlier this month, an Ohio State student, Daniel Hughes, was biking near a University construction area when he was hit by a dump truck backing out of the construction zone as Hughes was passing by. What occurred at the time Hughes was hit by the dump truck is still being investigated.
The most recent incident occurred on the University of Minnesota campus on September 16th when a University student steered into a construction zone from Huron Boulevard Southeast. The biker did not see the 2-foot ditch prior to riding into it, which threw him over the handlebars and caused extensive facial injuries.
Now bikers are being encouraged to use caution and to not use construction zones as shortcuts. Construction workers are being urged to take certain precautions. A bicycle accident can happen easily near construction zones and reckless biking is an issue that the campus has seen for quite some time. A combination of reckless biking and a lack of vigilance by construction workers can end in obvious disaster.
While there are debates among students regarding the bicyclists themselves, with some stating the riders are courteous and others saying they act like they own the road, there are some that say that university campuses do not have enough bike lanes. Because so many students ride their bicycles to class, there tends to be a bit of congestion. When construction is taking place, no concessions are being made for bicyclists like there are for motorists.
Students have said that many of the bicyclists have to skirt past vehicles and weave through parked cars, especially during construction periods. This creates a hazard for them, for the vehicles, the drivers, and students walking to class. However, University of Minnesota officials state that they are moving toward making biking on campus much safer for everyone. This involves increased enforcement of biking rules and additional bike lanes on campus after construction is completed.