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Is Burnside construction making Ankeny worse for bikes?

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

I got a tip from a reader about a traffic safety situation that more people should be aware of. Erik Isaacman, who runs Inner Gate Acupuncture witnessed the aftermath of a severe collision* on Friday (7/2) in front of his shop on the corner of SE Ankeny and 14th.

Isaacman says the person on the bike was riding west on Ankeny when a car heading east “took a sharp left” from Ankeny onto 14th (to go north).

Here’s a photo from the scene:

This collision occurred on SE Ankeny and 14th. The person riding the bike was injured but is out of the hospital and is “doing okay.”
(Photo: Erik Isaacman)

Isaacman is concerned that a lot of people driving cars are avoiding the major construction project at the E Burnside/12th/Sandy intersection and using Ankeny instead. If so, this is a trend worth watching because Ankeny is a popular east-west bike boulevard that serves a lot of bike traffic.

Isaacman said he’s concerned with the increase in motor vehicle traffic on Ankeny and warns people on bikes to be extra cautious in this area. “While out taking pictures of the site I watched a dozen other cars do the same thing… another biker came by and told me that the exact same type of accident occurred at 16th and Ankeny only 2 days earlier.”

Has anyone else experienced this? How can the City better manage situations like these (when major construction projects create a significant amount of diverted traffic onto bikeway streets)?

*I haven’t heard from the person riding the bike yet, but Mr. Isaacman says he spoke with her a few days after the collision and she is limping and is pretty banged up, but is “okay.”

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