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For whom the bell tolls

From star Tribune: Bicyclist, 60, killed by car in Blaine

Last year was the deadliest year for bicyclists since 2000. In all, 13 cyclists died in accidents on Minnesota roads.

Despite the increasing bicyclists' fatalities, here is the good news: Highway deaths fall in 2009, lowest since '61

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Thursday about 7,689 motorists were killed in the months of January through March, a 9 percent decline from a year ago.

Reporting ahead of the July 4 holiday, a busy period on the nation's roadways, the government estimated that 37,261 motorists died in 2008, the fewest since 1961. If the 2009 fatality trends continue, fewer than 31,000 people will die this year.

In this tough period of economic downturn, probably fewer people are using cars (or at a lower frequency) and more people tend to become bicyclists. So the recession saves lives on highways, yet the bell may toll for more bicyclists/pedestrians.