This IU street has had the most crashes since the start of the year

3rd Street bike lane drop off

A black Porsche pulls into the bike lane Sept. 26 to drop off a passenger on Third Street.  Sam House Buy Photos

IU Police Department has handled 325 on-campus car collisions since Jan. 1, 2018. Many of them are caused by illegal parking on the side of the road. 

IUPD suggests people be patient and follow the rules of the road to prevent crashes.

There have been 75 crashes reported on Third Street, the most of any campus street. 

Many of these crashes are caused by people dropping off others in designated bus pull off areas, Lewis said.

“Buses have to let off at a certain area or else their entire schedule gets thrown off,” Lewis said. 

When parking in these areas on the side of the road, cars often don’t pull over as far as they think. They end up blocking a lot of the lane they were just in and causing many issues for other drivers, Lewis said.

“People may get impatient and do an unsafe lane change,” Lewis said. “Either that, or it causes a traffic jam on an already busy road.”

In addition to creating impatient drivers and messing up bus routes, pulling over in an unauthorized area also affects bicyclists. When a car on a narrow campus road pulls over on the right shoulder and parks in a bike lane, bikers are forced to quickly swerve partially into the other lane to get around. 

This can be a dangerous maneuver, Capt. Craig Munroe said. 

“You always have to keep your head on a swivel for pedestrians and bikers entering the street,” Munroe said.

Even if it appears that no bus is around or no bikers are approaching, police said pulling over on the side of the road can have major repercussions. 

“It’s hard to tell how many accidents this issue causes because an accident two blocks down the road may actually have been caused by someone in a bike lane two blocks back,” Lewis said. 

In addition to being a nuisance, parking in a bike lane is also illegal, Lewis said. Instead, drivers should drop people off on side roads or in the designated 15 minute parking areas on campus. 

If bikers happen upon a car blocking their lane, they do have other options. Biking on a sidewalk is legal as long as you yield to any pedestrians. Biking in the street is also legal. Just be sure follow all traffic laws.

“Bikes have the same rights of the roadway as cars do,” Lewis said. 

Even when a bus is able to pull over and drop passengers off smoothly, those exiting can still be in danger, Munroe said. He advises riders to never walk or cut in front of the bus after exiting because the driver and cars in other lanes might not see them.

Instead, Munroe said passengers should either wait until the bus has pulled away or the opposite lane clears to begin moving again.

“The biggest thing is don’t behave unpredictably,” Lewis said.

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