MINNEAPOLIS – It’s not just marijuana getting the green light Tuesday.
Another new state law changes how bicyclists get around — and what drivers need to watch out for.
Minnesotans love their bicycles, and the owners of bike shops, like Gene Oberpriller, say it’s no surprise why.
“Because it’s the oldest transportation machine and it’s the most efficient machine ever made,” said Oberpriller, a partner at One on One Bicycle Studio. “And that’s what we like about it, because it’s highly refined over 130 years. There’s nothing else like it.”
Minnesota lawmakers have refined the way bicycles work on the road. Now, bicyclists can roll through a stop sign as long as they can see no one is coming from any direction.
The change is getting mixed reviews.
“You have more things to be aware of in your surroundings when you’re outside versus when you’re inside a vehicle,” Oberpriller said. “So more people take that into account when they’re rolling stop signs.”
“If they get to just roll through a stop, I feel like they will put themselves in more danger and then the blame will be on the automobiles for not paying attention, so, not a big fan,” said Minneapolis resident Tron Kotz.
Some feel bicyclists need more protections.
“People ride side by side all the time, and then they complain when we don’t give them enough space. Or you know they ride on sidewalks and then they complain if we don’t pay attention that they’re going. So my opinion is they should be a little bit more regulated,” Kotz said.
Others think more education is key.
“Is the education gonna be behind it in driver’s ed? And are we ever gonna have a cycling education, much like the motorcycle market? Because we need that in order for all this to work properly. Otherwise we’re gonna have issues,” Oberpriller said. “I think as anybody would tell you, it’s like ‘I don’t know if they’re stopping or not.'”
Minnesotans who buy an e-bike could also soon get. State lawmakers passed that program, but the Minnesota Department of Revenue hasn’t launched it yet.