After setting off an online firestorm by proposing that Minnesota follow neighboring states with a 25 mph urban speed limit, the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota has quietly folded on the issue for now.
Cyclists are probably the wrong people to be out in front on such a push, said Dorian Grilley, alliance executive director.
He referred to repeated online complaints about bikers breaking traffic laws when the lower limit was debated after a Star Tribune story. The evidence from one detailed study found drivers and cyclists ignore traffic laws at about the same rate. So did another.
Minneapolis and St. Paul both have favored a lower presumptive urban speed limit, citing studies that find lower speeds reduce injuries and fatalities. Grilley said he’s hoping that will be the key argument for any coalition that seeks lower speeds.
Grilley said this week that the organization needs to build a coalition to support lowering the urban limit, possibly with groups representing local government. The League of Minnesota Cities said it has no policy on changing the urban limit.
The Association of Metropolitan Municipalities favors a uniform local limit rather than allowing cities to set the limit themselves. Several years ago it dropped a previous stand in favor of going from 30 to 25 miles per hour. “It was a pretty robust discussion,” Executive Director Patricia Naumann said.