Comments on: How to make New York’s cyclists safer A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: Blox Fri, 29 Jun 2012 15:55:55 +0000 the x axis – cyclist commuters as a percentage of all commuters – presumably includes train and subway riders, which form a much higher percentage of NY commuters than of any of the other listed cities. Isn’t the relevant figure cyclists to drivers?

By: BenfromBedStuy Thu, 28 Jun 2012 11:54:11 +0000 Thank you Felix for your smart editorial.
This is not the first time when our media outlets ignored the most important substance of a many-page report and highlighted the most sensational, conflict-driven narrative.
I agree that mandating helmet use is absolutely the wrong idea. All over the world, the cities with highest rates of cycling, and the lowest rates of injuries, have very low rates of helmet wearing. It is because the governments of these cities (i.e. Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Berlin, etc. etc.) have actively re-engineered city streets to make them safer for all users, particularly the most vulnerable road users (cyclists and pedestrians). One thing that Copenhagen does is to send traffic engineers to study the scene of every traffic accident involving serious injury of death, to determine if an improved road design might reduce the likelihood of another accident occuring in that spot. In this way, hundreds of dangerous intersections have been systematically re-engineered for safe passage for cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists. Mr.Liu mentioned in his report that the city should improve the safety of dangerous intersections, so perhaps he might endorse NYC adopting this smart practice.

By: morshpotato Wed, 27 Jun 2012 14:46:10 +0000 Felix “bets” that injuries and fatalities will “double or triple”. I’m calling my bookie, because I’m finding Komanoff’s argument persuasive on the issue:

“Since the increase in bicycle trips from bike-share is 1 part in 15, for the program to double the daily rate of collisions, whether with cars or pedestrians, or icebergs for that matter, each Citi Bike rider would have to be 15 times more likely than a cyclist on a regular bike to crash into something or someone.”

By: weiwentg Tue, 26 Jun 2012 18:11:10 +0000 TFF – that is a fair point. There are 8 cities here, which is not a lot of data. I remember the McKinsey analysis of US healthcare costs compared to OECD countries – they used 12-18 comparison countries in their regression analysis (although for some regressions they used 6-8).

That said, there is reason to think that increased numbers of cyclists will make motorists more aware, which can make them safer (as in, accident rate per individual cyclist goes down). In Singapore, we’re always taught to turn our heads to check our blind spots when making a turn. There are a lot of motorcyclists and a significant number of bicyclists on the road. For better or worse they tend not to take the lane. So, you check your blind spot. I don’t see American drivers doing the same (folks born in the US – is this true?). They’ll hopefully learn to do so if there are more cyclists on the road. Or most drivers tend to underestimate cyclists’ speed, because the last person they saw on a bike was a kid, so they think they can do things like overtake a cyclist and immediately make a right turn. Not true, but hopefully people will learn with more cyclists on the road.

The AAA guy obviously is too dumb to know, but helmets don’t protect against all injuries. They will mitigate any collision involving the head, though. So, while I can see Felix’s point, I’m wearing mine, and I think all high mileage cyclists should. We’ll probably have to learn the hard way about what works.

By: TFF Tue, 26 Jun 2012 13:54:39 +0000 If you remove New York and Chicago from that graph, I see no association between the two variables at all.

On the other hand, the Canadian cities are generally lower than the US cities.

Very hard to draw any sensible statistical conclusions from such a small sample.