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MN Drivers Hate Stopping for Pedestrians

Plus a guide to getting your discounted e-bike, a Japanese brewery buys Octopi, and Minnesota's undefeated/unnamed new hockey team in today's Flyover news roundup.

3:17 PM CST on January 5, 2024

Em Cassel|

A simple Minneapolis crosswalk… nothing else to see here!

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

Please, Folks. Yield to Pedestrians.

Every year, roughly 225 pedestrians are killed or seriously injured by vehicles in Minnesota. We know, we know, it's the kind of figure that makes drivers' eyes glaze over—the same thing that, apparently, happens when they encounter a pedestrian waiting to cross the street. Minnesota drivers just are not good at stopping for folks on foot, the Reformer's Christopher Ingraham reports, citing a new paper from the University of Minnesota. Researchers set up cameras at 18 different intersections across the state in the summer of 2021 and found that at unsignaled crosswalks (those with no traffic light) drivers only stop for walkers about 60% of the time. At unmarked crossings, where the law still dictates pedestrians have the right of way, drivers only yielded about 10% of the time.

These kinds of statistics are depressing on a really fundamental level, because it just... doesn't seem like they'll ever change! If you're a pedestrian in this city, you're familiar with the feeling of waiting at a crosswalk for a stream of cars to pass before you can cross the street. If you're a driver in this city, it feels like no one's ever going to stop or ticket you for failing to yield at a marked crossing. And without some sort of cultural shift or meaningful enforcement of pedestrian safety laws, it's just gonna be like this forever. I hate our car-centric society! Oh well!!!

MN's Unnecessarily Complicated, Means-Tested E-Bike Program, Explained

Can't we just give people $1,500 toward an e-bike? That was the woefully naive chatter around Racket HQ this a.m. as we scrolled through Sahan Journal's guide to taking the state rebate program, which should launch this summer. The max payback is 75% of the cost of an e-bike up to $1,500, and Minnesotans who earn $25,000 or less annually (or $50,000 for those married filing jointly) are eligible. The more money you make past $25K, the smaller the rebate, which shrinks by one percentage point for each $4,000 earned over $25,000 (or $50,000). The reductions will stop at 50 percent of the cost of an e-bike. Of course, something is better than nothing, anything that gets people out on bikes is a good thing, etc., etc. It's possible we're the ones being annoying about this. Still, seems like too much paperwork. The moochin' sugar beet industry (probably) doesn't have to work this hard for sweet government handouts...

Japanese Co. Snaps up Wisconsin Brewer That Makes Minnesota Beer

You might remember Octopi Brewing from this 2022 story by Jerard Fagerberg about how the Waunakee, Wisconsin, company was responsible for brewing some of Minnesota’s premier beers. Or you might not. How should we know what you read and what you don’t? What are we, the story police? Regardless of your prior knowledge of Octopi Brewing, you are hereby notified that the Japanese brewer Asahi has just acquired the Wisconsin brewery. The same facility that brews Wild Mind Artisan Ales will now also brew Asahi Super Dry, Japan’s most popular beer. Beloved locally born pundit Thomas Friedman really nailed it when he said “the world is flat,” didn't he?

It's Still Not Too Late to Give MN's New Hockey Team a Kickass Name

The inaugural season of the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) kicked off this week, and we're pleased to report that Minnesota debuted with a 3-2 victory over Boston last night. That's just "Minnesota" and "Boston" by the way—no PWHL team has a name yet, though the Minnesota contingent did file a trademark for the name Minnesota Superior in October. We'll repeat now what we said then: There's still time to give this team, now 1-0, a name that doesn't suck! The Minnesota Dome Dogs has a real ring to it, if you ask us. Or, as commenters pointed out last month, revive the very good Whitecaps name. But for the love of god, pick something. Washington Football Team-ass hockey league. Anyway, you can catch the undefeated Minnesota __________ again on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. when they'll face off against Montreal.

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