In New York, More Proof of Safety in Numbers for Cyclists

safety_in_numbers.jpg

The
city’s expanding bike network is paying dividends — boosting the level
of cycling and making streets safer in the process. Snagged from the
latest issue of TA’s StreetBeat, this graph is a great illustration of the "safety in numbers" effect identified by researcher Peter Jacobsen in a landmark 2003 paper
published in Injury Prevention. The stats in New York reinforce
Jacobsen’s body of evidence that the more bicyclists and pedestrians
are out on the street, the safer biking and walking becomes.

"Safety in numbers" also explains why the U.S. has such a high rate
of cyclist injuries and fatalities compared to countries like the
Netherlands and Denmark
,
where biking is much more common. And it’s pretty much Exhibit A when
it comes to proving the folly of "safety campaigns" like the one
currently underway in Savannah, which Sarah wrote about in her post today and which we see our beloved LAPD do on a regular basis downtown and in Mid-Wilshire.  But the sad reality is: when you fine pedestrians or otherwise discourage walking, and you only make streets less safe.

(This story was slightly modified from its original post by Damien Newton.)

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

STREETSBLOG USA

More Evidence That Helmet Laws Don’t Work

|
If you want to increase cycling safety in your city, drop the helmet law and focus on getting more people– particularly women — on bikes, with street designs that offer separation from vehicle traffic. That’s the finding of a new study by researchers at the University of British Columbia [PDF] evaluating safety outcomes for cyclists across Canadian […]
STREETSBLOG USA

Federal Report: Bad Street Design a Factor in Rising Ped/Bike Fatalities

|
A new report from the non-partisan Government Accountability Office [PDF] examines why people walking or biking account for a rising share of traffic deaths in the United States. While the conclusions aren’t exactly earth-shattering, one culprit the GAO identified is street design practices that seek primarily to move cars. The investigation was ordered by U.S. representatives Rick Larsen (Washington State), […]