The Worst Year On Two Wheels – And On Foot

By Beth Milligan | November 8, 2021

On August 24th of this year, a 16-year-old girl died after being hit by a tractor-trailer while cycling in Interlochen. She was on her way to work.

On September 6, a 76-year-old woman was killed after being hit by a pickup truck. It was ten in the morning and she was walking down Traversefield Drive in Traverse City.

On the morning of September 16, a student at Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) was hit by a pickup truck while trying to cross Peninsula Drive to reach his school bus stop. The student survived the crash and was treated at Munson Medical Center for his injuries.

These incidents are just a few of the many vehicle-to-cyclist or vehicle-to-pedestrian accidents that have occurred in the region this year. If you feel like this type of headlines and stories have been alarming lately, you’re not mistaken: According to Grand Traverse County Sheriff Tom Bensley, there have been a dozen road deaths in the county – plus two more in town from Traverse City – from mid-October this year. It’s the deadliest year on Grand Traverse Count. According to Grand Traverse County Sehriff Bensley, eight of the 14 deaths recorded through mid-October were from pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

“This year wasn’t a good one,” says the sheriff.

Why has it become so dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists? It’s sadly a trend not just in Grand Traverse County but across the country. On Northern Express, sister publication of The Ticker, author Craig Manning explores why things have gotten so deadly this week, the impact it has on cyclists and pedestrians, and tips for improving road safety in all sections of the population. Read more on this week’s Northern Express, available online and at nearly 700 kiosks in 14 counties in northern Michigan.

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