Jeff Buchanan, 56, pulled through the intersection of Collins Road Southeast and Munier Road, and quickly recognized why it was flagged as a danagerous intersection for motorcyclists.
“I can see what the problem is, you come to a stop and then you have to cross four lanes and the traffic is going 60 or 65 mph,” said Buchanan, a motorcycle journalist from Los Angeles.
Buchanan is stopping in six cities, including Cedar Rapids, to raise awareness about dangerous intersections on a “rider risk roadshow” tour out to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in northwest South Dakota. The iconic rally is Aug. 4-10.
The roadshow is part of Allstate Insurance’s motorcycle safety program. The program has created an interactive map for users to flag dangerous intersections and communicate with one another. Users can find the map on Facebook by searching “Rider Risk Map.”
The map includes user feedback for the flagged Collins Road and Munier intersection. It states, “This intersection needs a redlight. There are several accidents here. I was nearly killed ... when my motorcycle was struck by a car and I was thrown 40 feet. My motorcycle was totaled and I can never ride again.”
The first-person feedback is intended to help guide fellow riders as they plan their trips.
“In the motorcycle industry, any time riders can talk to each other about safety, it’s a good thing,” Buchanan said.
For Buchanan, this trip has some added bonuses.
He is test driving a new line of Indian Motorcycles, cruising a good stretch of the Midwest countryside, and he will end up at his first-ever trip to Sturgis.
Buchanan’s stops include Minneapolis, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Omaha, Sioux Falls, S.D., and Rapid City, S.D. The stops were selected based on the most dense clusters of dangerous intersections.
Cedar Rapids has nine “risky” intersections within a 30 mile radius, according to the map.
The flagged areas include:
•Jacolyn Drive Southwest and 12th Avenue Southwest, Cedar Rapids
•Collins Road near I-380 offramp, Cedar Rapids
•Collins Road Southeast and Munier Road, Marion
•151 and 13, Marion
•Waubeek Road, Whitter Road and Boy Scouts Road, Central City
•Jordans Grove Road, Central City
•Sutliff Road Northeast, Lisbon
•Chambers Avenue Northwest and 295th Street Northwest, Oxford
•Highway 1 and Morse Road Northeast, Iowa City
Each intersection includes a little bit of feedback about the danger.
According to the map, those heading to Sutliff Bridge should be aware of, “Blind curve with an outlet leading to a popular motorcycle, snowmobile, and car traffic to a historic landmark. Caution is highly recommended any time of year.”
In 2014, there’s been at least 28 motorcycle fatalities in Iowa, including at least five in Linn County, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation.