Updated: Bicyclist Hit by Car on Lake Road in Woodbury

The incident happened near the intersection of Lake Road and Oriole Drive at about 6:40 a.m. Tuesday

A bicyclist was struck by a car along Lake Road in Woodbury on Tuesday morning.

The cyclist, a 56-year-old from Woodbury, was at Regions Hospital this morning with non-life-threatening injuries, traffic officer Scott Melander said.

Both the driver—a 46-year-old Woodbury woman—and the biker were heading eastbound on Lake Road, Melander said. The sun was in their eyes, he said.

"Unfortunately, the driver didn't see the bicyclist until it was too late," Melander said.

The woman, driving an SUV, was sober; she was going to drop her child off at daycare, he said.

The bicyclist was in the right third of the lane. "He was where he belongs," Melander said.

Motorists need to be careful when the sun is at certain points in the sky, Melander said.

"Drivers need to drive for the conditions that are presented," he said.

The incident happened near Oriole Drive Sgt. Curt Zacharias said earlier this morning.

One witness to the aftermath of the crash told Patch the bike was "crunched on the back end."


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Bob August 07, 2012 at 04:56 PM
there is a bike path on the other side of the street as well. That one does not go into any neighborhood
Eric Berg August 07, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Most important quote of the story: "He was where he belongs," Melander said. Yes, there is a multi-use path on the other side of the street and it is well used (by me, along with others), but at any speed above that of a recreational rider, it's safer for everyone if the rider is on the road because the path is used by cyclists of all abilities, walkers of varying degrees of awareness, and people with dogs. Personally, I ride on the road only as a last resort. I prefer the path because of the perceived safety, but I know that clueless pedestrians who go three-and-four across or just block the path with their meandering have forced me to go onto the grass or the roads. If I were training for some competitive event, I wouldn't go on the paths, though...and, by the rules of the road, that's my right.
Eric Berg August 07, 2012 at 05:02 PM
But Melander should have said one more thing...."CYCLISTS also need to be aware of the conditions." One of the things that I constantly remind my 10 year old daughter when we ride together is that we're virtually invisible to cars...even if people are looking out for us. We fit into blind spots, we get lost in the background, in the sun (like this case.) I always tell her to assume that she can't be seen and ride ultra-defensively.
Paul Whackernutz August 07, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Lake is a narrow road. Wait til they narrow Woodbury Drive with the reconstruction project and have 50+ mph on that with bicycles in the street.
Kris Janisch August 07, 2012 at 06:09 PM
I think they're going to put in paths on both sides of the road for that project Paul. It's actually on the council agenda for tomorrow night. Public hearing too. http://patch.com/A-wHtG
HHF34 August 08, 2012 at 04:54 AM
AMEN!!! The way cyclists ride around this whole area it's amazing to me that more aren't involved in serious accidents. More than once I've seen them riding down the middle of the lane of traffic on the roads out towards Afton/Lakeland/West Lakeland/Denmark Township. The worst is when they do so where there are lots of blind hills where it'd be impossible for a driver coming over the hill to see them until it's too late. Of course they also swerve further into the lane of traffic without regard for any vehicle trying to pass.
H Herrig August 08, 2012 at 06:24 AM
This happened near our back blvd. & putting a path here would be a waste of tax payer dollars considering there is a sidewalk across the street and cross walks for bikers & walkers to navigate between sides of the road.
Paul Whackernutz August 08, 2012 at 01:40 PM
They are indeed, but the 40 and 50 year olds with bad Spandex and nice bikes aren't going to be riding on them. They're going to be in the road.
Eric Berg August 08, 2012 at 01:43 PM
I think it's funny that if one cyclists or a group of 3-4 cyclists does something, it's "all cyclists", but one driver or one group of drivers doesn't tar all motorists with the same brush. Of course, that's because the only time people notice cyclists is when they're doing something that motorists don't approve of (but is most likely legal for cyclists to do anyway.). I see anywhere from 50-100 cyclists a day whether I'm in a car or on my bike and maybe 5% at most are not following the rules of the road. I wish I could say that the number of rule breakers was that low for drivers. (Speeding, not stopping at stop signs/lights, texting and driving, not maintaining lanes.)
Kris Janisch August 08, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Yeah, that would pretty much negate their value. Any bikers out there choose the roads over paths for one reason or another?
Richard Newmark August 08, 2012 at 02:35 PM
It is illegal to go over 10 mph on the bike paths and extremely dangerous to be going at high speeds at intersections where cars making turns do not look for bicyclists. Government reports show biking on sidewalks is 5 to 10 fold more dangerous than biking on the street. I always try to bike in the street since cars rarely even slow down when making turns when I am on the bike paths.
Kris Janisch August 08, 2012 at 02:37 PM
I didn't know that Richard, thanks for the info.
Paul Whackernutz August 08, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Interesting. Where's the 10 mph limitation coming from? I hadn't heard that one. There's nothing in the city ordinances either at Ch 14, Art. III which talks about bicycle operation generally in the city, nor at Ch. 16-46, which applies to bike use in parks.
John Erickson August 08, 2012 at 03:27 PM
This is an unfortunate incident that happens way too much In Woodbury. I walk one block to Carver Lake Park and have to dodge vehicles all the time I think its important for everyone to know the rules. They are posted on the City of Woodbury's website. http://www.ci.woodbury.mn.us/parks-and-trails/parks-policies-and-regulations/rules-of-the-trail I also don't believe there are any "bike trails" in Woodbury, they are all multi-purpose. I have had many close calls with cyclists when walking. From a pedestrians standpoint we just wish the courtesy cyclist expect from motorists would be forwarded to us. As stated in the Woodbury rules; "Did you know there is a City Ordinance stating that pedestrians have the right-of-way over all other traffic on the trails in Woodbury?" Many clueless cyclists don't announce their presence so how are we to know when cyclist are there. Just remember its a two way street to make it safe for everyone.
H Herrig August 08, 2012 at 04:00 PM
@ Kris-I don't see where this is in on the agenda tonight.
Kris Janisch August 08, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Sorry @Herrig, was talking about the Woodbury Drive project.
Paula August 08, 2012 at 05:23 PM
While I realize cyclists have the same right to be on the roads as cars, they also have the same responsibilities. How often do you see a cyclist signaling a turn or a stop? Hardly ever. How often does a cyclist on the road ride down the middle of a lane, slowing all traffic to a crawl when they could be over to the side allowing traffic to pass? Quite often. It is easy to blame motorists for the accidents that happen but cyclists need to obey the laws as well and signal what their intentions are. And, since when do cyclists just get to blow through stop lights and signs? If you are going to ride on the road, obey the laws like you are supposed to.
Paul Whackernutz August 08, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Nevermind. I see the 10 mph reference on the link posted below to the parks dept. website. It's a department "rule," not an ordinance.
Eric Berg August 08, 2012 at 06:21 PM
In 20+ years of driving and 30+ years of cycling, I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen cyclists slow traffic to a crawl by doing what you suggest. As a frequent signaller, I agree that signalling is important, although I would venture that 98% of the drivers out there couldn't tell you what I am signalling. (I'd like to see motorists signal more, too, for that matter.) I can't speak for other cyclists, but I obey stop signs and stop lights. Why? Because I'd like to not be a road pizza. That doesn't mean that I think that someone would deliberately run me over, far from it. Unfortunately, I've seen drivers texting, putting on makeup, eating, and doing heaven-knows-what-else in their car. When you're in command of a 3,000-6,000 lb object going at any rate of speed, it doesn't have to be deliberate, it just has to be a momentary lapse of judgment, an omission, or just having something in your blind spot that can lead to an accident, whether it's an accident with another car, a pedestrian, a cyclist, or another object. If people are going to drive on the road, they should obey the laws like they are supposed to. No drinking and driving, no speeding, signal all those turns, don't run that red light, yield to the pedestrian in the crosswalk. Let me know when THAT happens.
Rick Rock August 08, 2012 at 06:48 PM
+1 Paula. Bicilists to want their 'right' to the road, but many, if not most, seem to exempt themselves from following the same rules ie. stops, signals, lane usage, and courtsey to other users of the road. Perhaps bicyclists should be required to have a licence and tabs as motorsits are required to do? Demonstrating proficiency in the rules via a licence and paying thier fair share to maintain the roads (and paths which are funded by snomobilers) via tabs would be agood idea.
Kris Janisch August 08, 2012 at 07:25 PM
I once saw a cop pull over a bicyclist on Summit Avenue in St. Paul. That was the only time I can remember seeing something like that.
Eric Berg August 08, 2012 at 08:14 PM
1.) I already pay for the road via gas and other taxation. 2.) If we were to have payments for roads based upon proportion of wear, that's fine with me. I'd like to see the owner of a 6,000 lb SUV complain compared to my 20 lb bike. 3.) Next, let's license pedestrians since they use the roads, too. Wildlife shouldn't be allowed free use, either. Let me know when all the drivers follow all the rules, and I'll get on your "scofflaw cyclist" bandwagon. I, for one, will appreciate the fact that another drunk driver won't hit me when I'm driving, and I won't get hit again by a motorist making an illegal turn.
Eric Berg August 08, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Probably because most of the recreational cyclists out there are obeying the rules. It's the 5% that don't that are getting everyone's undies in a bunch...and, as I've said, unlike idiot drivers, that 5% becomes 100% when people only notice that subset.
Paula August 09, 2012 at 02:53 PM
I agree, Eric, that in many cases in life it is the small percentage of people who ruin it for the majority. It's very unfortunate when that happens and frustrating for those who do things correctly. So if you are one of those who does things correctly I applaud you. However, it is so rare that I see a bicyclist signal or obey the laws of the road that when I actually DO, I have to think about what they are signalling. Maybe it is just me, but I don't think so.
Robert Coelho August 09, 2012 at 08:14 PM
I ride Lake road from near Manning into St Paul for work. It is simply not possible to use the bike/walking paths at the speeds road bikes go. The paths are not smooth, are often congested with young kids and 15 to 30 MPH is a danger to others on the path. The argument that some bikers don't obey the rules makes me laugh. Consider that almost every single car (9 out of 10) is exceeding the speed limit, that drivers are on cell phones, are texting, are drinking coffee, or are fixing their makeup. Bikers need to do better at sharing the road, but drivers need to understand that a biker has every right to use the entire lane if he/she thinks its needed for safety. AND his safety is much more important then you going 45 in a 35.
Kris Janisch August 09, 2012 at 08:17 PM
Did you guys see this blog post from Michelle? http://patch.com/B-ck0T
Paula August 09, 2012 at 09:39 PM
You are very correct in stating cars need to obey the laws too, but tucked safely in our metal cocoons it seems that those driving cars are in a different position, safety wise. No, I don't use that to justify speeding or breaking laws. Based on recent articles about people being injured trying to cross roads around here I think we all need to think about what we are doing. To justify bicycling and not obeying the laws by stating cars don't do it, is like a child breaking a window and justifying by saying their friend did it last week! It doesn't make it any more right! Yes, cars break laws. Drivers are stopped by police all the time and given tickets. Bicyclists, based on what you all have stated here, feel entitled to do whatever you want to and justify it by snickering and saying "cars do it"! Does that make it right...or safe for a bicyclist? Yes, I agree that a bike can take up a whole lane of traffic. However, if there is a SAFE alternative, use it please. Do not just get on the road and ride, without regard for laws, use safe alternatives about where to ride, do not assume that everyone can see you at all times. Our views are not so far apart but it is funny how my statements about bicyclists obeying laws too struck such a nerve.... We all need to respect each others space on the road and to obeylaws. Yes, it irks me to have to slow down to 15mph in a 45mph until I can get around a bike, but you are right that bikes have a right to be there. Be safe out there.
Eric Berg August 10, 2012 at 11:33 AM
I appreciate the fact that you're pointing out that we all, whether we're on four wheels, two wheels, or two feet, need to be aware. Not snickering and saying "Cars do it" or justifying others' actions. On a bike or in a car our safety is partially under our control. I can be obeying every law in the world and still get hit. That's happened to me twice while driving. I was hit by a drunk driver...twice. Car was badly damaged, I was shaken up. As a cyclist, I follow the rules of the road. I am a courteous rider, always far to the right and often give up my right to enter an intersection so that cars can go through. I've been almost hit twice. Once ON THE PATH, once on the far outside of the shoulder, farthest away from traffic. If I'd have gotten hit, I would have been seriously injured, maybe dead. When I'm on two wheels, I depend on all of you on four wheels for part of my safety, because if you hit me it's a lot different than you hitting a Chevy Tahoe. I need you not to drink-and-drive or drink-and-text...for your safety AND mine. If a cyclist blows a stop sign, that's wrong and I think the PD should cite them. If a driver blows a stop sign, I'm under the bumper, then I'm on the way to the hospital or the mortuary...and from what I've read over the years,, the reaction will be "Good,one less cyclist." Struck a nerve? Yes. Lots of cases where motorists hit law-abiding cyclists and don't get charged w/a crime...even if it's a hit-and-run.
Shari August 15, 2012 at 03:15 PM
I'm glad to hear the cyclist is recovering. I came right upon the accident shortly after it happened. All I would like to say is people drive WAY too fast on that road every morning. The road is narrow and if folks don't slow down, it won't matter whether you are driving, walking or cycling. Pay attention!!!!!!! People! Slow down!
Kris Janisch August 15, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Shari, has the sun (or earth, I guess) moved so it's not in people's eyes in the morning at that spot?


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