A 40-year-old Iowa man has pleaded guilty to driving drunk when he struck and killed bicycling "hobo" Randy Nomeland, 60, of Minneapolis, on July 29, 2011.
Travis Thomas of Floyd, Iowa, has entered written guilty pleas to felony charges of involuntary manslaughter and OWI. Thomas will appear in court for a plea change hearing on May 8, according to Mason City Globe Gazette. He faces up to five years in prison.
Four years ago, the Twin Cities, Sheboygan County, Wis., each received $25 million from the federal government to construct nonmotorized transportation infrastructure -- namely pedestrian and bicycle trails, lanes and sidewalks.
Now the Federal Highway Administration released a report late last month concluding that the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program (NTPP) successfully encouraged more people to bike, walk and use public transit. Specifically, the result included:
Fewer bicyclists died in accidents on Minnesota roadways last year than in any year since 2007. The number of bicyclists injured, however, has risen a bit, according to Minnesota Public Radio.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety reported five bicyclists were killed in accidents in 2011 compared to nine in 2010. DPS also noted that 942 bicyclists were injured in accidents last year, up from 882 reported the year before.
Wisconsin dropped from third to sixth most bike-friendly state in the nation in the ranking the League of American Bicyclists released today. Wisconsin was ranked as high as No. 2 two years ago.
Now Minnesota holds the No. 2 spot behind only Washington, having moved up from fourth. "From the Mississippi River Trail bikeway and DOT’s supportive policies, to Nice Ride bike sharing and the Blue Skunk Polo Club, Minnesota loves bicycles," the League's BFS Report Card for Minnesota states.
With temperatures forecast in the high 80s, the organizers of the Madison Marathon are contemplating canceling the 26.2-mile race this Sunday, May 27.
If they do -- the final decision will be made Friday at 4 p.m., according to the Madison Marathon website -- then "all full marathon runners will have the option to run the half marathon" which will start at 7:12 a.m. Keeping the course open until 11:30 a.m. would give the runners "an extra hour to slow their pace" and adjust their efforts to the conditions.
Not content to see Minnesota rise from fifth most "bike friendly state" in 2008 to 2nd behind Washington this year, the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota (BikeMN) has its sights set on the No. 1 spot.
The rankings are determined by the League of American Bicyclists.
A couple fatal bike crashes and significant drop in the state's ranking as a bike friendly state has prompted the Iowa Bicycle Coalition to redouble its efforts to get a 3-foot passing distance law enacted.
Bills requiring motorists to give cyclists at least three feet of clearance while passing have been introduced in the Iowa Legislature in recent years. The lack of such a law, which 25 other states have on the books, is one of many reasons the League of American Bicyclists recently downgraded Iowa from 6th to 16th most bike friendly state.