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Car v Bike accidents up in Normal

Thu, 19 Jul 2012 13:06:39 CDT
By: Charlie Schlenker

The Town of Normal is on pace for a record year in bicycle accidents involving cars. Police Chief Ric Bleichner says there have been 11 such collisions so far. Bleichner says the next highest year had eight at this time.

"We typically have more or see more bike accidents in the fall and that's just because with the return of the students there's more folks riding bikes and busier intersections and stuff like that."

Bleichner says the increase is three over the previous high mark at this time of year. He says it's not clear whether there are more cyclists on the road, leading to more accidents.

"Even though that's a, for us, that's a large increase, number-wise that's not a huge deviation."

And Bleichner says anecdotally, it appears both motorists and cyclists are adapting to the Uptown region as a hub of cycling activity.

"Ten years ago there were not as many pedestrians or bicyclists in the Uptown area. Now people are driving more cautiously, expecting, because there are a lot of people down there. And I think by having more people in those locations, then the motorists are looking for them."

Bleichner says there is no discernable geographic pattern to the crashes. The previous record of 20 car versus bicycle collisions happened in 2010.

2012 - 11 (first six months)
2011 - 14
2010 - 20
2009 - 10
2008 - 12
2007 - 15

Bloomington Police say they do not track bicycle and vehicle crashes specifically. There has been one fatality of a bicyclist this year in Bloomington.

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