According to the League of American Bicyclists, Minnesota is the fifth most bike-friendly state in the country. Additionally, the city of Edina has consistently been one of the group’s bronze award recipients since 2014. 

With a population of over 52,000 residents, you might expect Edina to experience at least a few dozen collisions between bikes and automobiles each year. But in actuality, the city sees fewer than ten crashes every year. The town has kept its bicycle accident statistics low and earned its accolades by way of a clear plan to build up its bicycle infrastructure.

Edina Bicycle Accident Statistics

Beginning in 2016, Edina has been included in the list of cities that the state tracks accidents for via its MnCrash website. 

Using the parameters of Crash Date, Cyclist Injury Severity, and Crash City, it can be gathered that the city of Edina has seen the following amounts of (non-fatal) cyclist collisions each year from that point forward:

  • Nine in 2016
  • Eight in 2017
  • Three in 2018
  • Seven in 2019
  • One in 2020
  • Eight in 2021
  • Three in 2022
  • Six in 2023

The city has such a small sample size that these numbers appear to jump around and fail to produce any discernible trends. That said, they remain within a predictable range of three to nine crashes per year, with the only major exception occurring in 2020 due to pandemic-related lockdowns.

Outcomes of Edina Bicycle Accidents

In the six bicycle accidents in 2023, bicyclists suffered from the following outcomes:

  • Four crashes that resulted in suspected minor injuries
  • One crash that resulted in possible injury
  • One crash that did not result in any apparent injuries but did result in property damage

Edina saw no fatal bike crashes in 2023, meaning bicycle accidents that year had an 83.3% injury rate.

Perhaps the most shocking statistic for the city, in general, is that it experienced zero deaths out of the total of 45 bicycle accidents it saw over the course of eight years. This suggests that its drivers and cyclists exercise great care while using the city’s roads and highways.

When Bike Crashes Happen

Bicycle crashes tend to follow a predictable pattern, with the risk of collisions between bicycles and automobiles increasing during heavy traffic. 

The statistics in Edina make that clear. Specifically, Thursday had the most crashes, while Sunday saw the fewest. The most dangerous time for bicycle crashes was between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., just as the afternoon rush hour started.

Bike accidents in Edina peak during June and July, which makes sense, seeing as how kids and other recreational riders take to the trails in the city during the summer months. With that said, it’s natural to see the number of bike crashes drop alongside lower ridership during winter.

Causes of Bike Crashes

Most bicycle collisions happen for only a few reasons, such as:

  • Improper passing
  • Distracted driving
  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Inadequate surveillance

Three of these causes result from driver carelessness in maneuvering near cyclists: First, drivers tend to crowd cyclists when they overtake them. If they fail to leave enough space when they pass or change lanes, they can sideswipe or cut off cyclists.

Second, drivers at intersections can collide with cyclists when they turn left across a cyclist’s path, often when distracted drivers fail to spot cyclists approaching the intersection. It can also happen when impatient drivers try to beat a bicycle through the intersection.

Third, drivers turning right can also hit cyclists. When drivers reach an intersection, they often do not look to their right to check for (and yield to) pedestrians or cyclists before turning. As a result, a driver can hit a cyclist on the shoulder or in a crosswalk when they make a right turn.

Bike Accident Hotspots

Bike collisions can happen anywhere, but they tend to cluster on a few roads or intersections where traffic or road conditions encourage or amplify dangerous driving behaviors. For example, drivers tend to speed on wide, straight roads without intersection controls.

Most intersection crashes involving bicycles result from a driver’s failure to yield the right of way, which typically occurs when drivers do any of the following:

  • Go out of turn at intersections rather than waiting for bikes
  • Run red lights or stop signs
  • Turn left across the path of cyclists
  • Turn right into the path of a cyclist on the shoulder or in a crosswalk

Some of the intersections in Edina with multiple crashes, according to the MnCrash website, are as follows:

  • 50th St. and Browndale Ave.
  • 70th St. and York Ave.
  • Hazelton Rd. and York Ave.

Bicycle crashes can also happen between intersections. Although rear-end collisions are common collisions between automobiles, they happen much less often with bicycles. Instead, many auto-bicycle collisions involve sideswipe collisions in which a vehicle crowds a bicycle while overtaking it.

The MnCrash website identifies many roads that have seen multiple bicycle crashes, including the following:

  • MN-158/Vernon Ave.
  • Valley View Rd.
  • Cahill Rd.
  • MN-31/York Ave.
  • MN-17/France Ave.
  • MN-53/66th St.

These roads just so happen to include many of Edina’s busiest. Heavy traffic increases the risks to bicyclists. Some of these roads also lack bicycle facilities, like bikeways, that can buffer bicyclists from road traffic.

Bicycle Infrastructure in Edina

Edina publishes a map of its existing and proposed infrastructure. 

Currently, the city has an extensive bikeway network that includes the following:

  • Multi-use trails reserved for non-motorized traffic
  • On-road bike lanes
  • Advisory bike lanes showing where vehicles must yield to bikes when present
  • Shared lanes

Edina also allows cyclists to ride on sidewalks, which can keep young riders safe near schools on busy roads.

Additionally, MetroTransit provides facilities to accommodate bikes. Passengers can take all standard bikes and e-bikes on light rail trains and buses for no additional charge. These facilities allow cyclists to extend the range of their bicycle use or travel through areas without trails and bike lanes.

Riding Your Bicycle Safely in Edina, MN

Edina is a bike-friendly city with extensive facilities, but crashes can still happen. Always remember to wear a helmet to protect you from head and brain injuries, and exercise caution at intersections by slowing down and ensuring that drivers see you. You should also try to plan a route that includes bikeways and public transit. Following these tips can keep you safe as you ride through Edina, Minnesota.