- Streetsblog.net - http://streetsblog.net -
More Cyclists = Safer Cycling in Minneapolis
Posted By Angie Schmitt On February 10, 2011 @ 10:36 am In Network Roundup | 13 Comments
Studies have long linked cycling safety to the number of cyclists on the street — the old safety-in-numbers maxim in action.
The latest evidence validating this phenomenon comes from chilly Minneapolis. In the mid-1990s, collisions involving cyclists peaked at 334, according to city data reported by the League of American Bicyclists . Since then, bike commuting has skyrocketed 174 percent. Meanwhile, the number of collisions has declined 20 percent to 269.
If that’s not enough to convince skeptics, LAB has a few more data points:
“People are so used to seeing bicyclists — love them or hate — and they don’t want to hit them,” Shaun Murphy, coordinator of the city’s non-motorized transportation program, told the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune . He also told the Tribune that the “hot spots” for bike-motorist accidents are not located around the University of Minnesota, where bicycling is common, because drivers there are so used to watching for bikes.
The data from Minneapolis are just the latest example of this counter-intuitive relationship between more bicycling and fewer crashes that has become known as the “safety in numbers” concept after the famous 2003 study  from Peter Jacobsen. New York City has shown a similar trend (source: Transportation Alternatives ). Also see this follow up work on Safety in Numbers in Australia .
The link between cycling volume and lower collision rates is the perfect response to the argument that the safety of cyclists shouldn’t be a priority because their numbers are few. Minneapolis has done as much or more than any Midwestern city to make cyclists comfortable and safe. Its efforts are paying off, with more people choosing a healthier way to get around, despite a less-than-ideal cycling climate.
Elsewhere on the Network today: The City Fix  reports on a truly green laundry in Philadelphia that does its deliveries by bicycle. Walkable Dallas-Fort Worth  illustrates how cars can drain vitality from a city, while pedestrians and cyclists enliven it. And Market Urbanism  warns that rezoning in Jamaica, Queens should not to fall into the too-common trap of raising density without lifting minimum parking requirements.
Article printed from Streetsblog.net: http://streetsblog.net
URL to article: http://streetsblog.net/2011/02/10/more-cyclists-safer-cycling-in-minneapolis/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://streetsblog.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Picture-142.png
 League of American Bicyclists: http://www.bikeleague.org/blog/2011/02/ridership-up-crashes-down-safety-in-numbers-in-minneapolis/
 Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune: http://www.startribune.com/local/115449079.html?elr=KArksUUUoDEy3LGDiO7aiU
 famous 2003 study: http://safetrec.berkeley.edu/newsletter/Spring04/JacobsenPaper.pdf
 Transportation Alternatives: http://www.transalt.org/files/newsroom/streetbeat/2009/June/0604.html#safety_in_numbers
 Safety in Numbers in Australia: http://www.cycle-helmets.com/safety_in_numbers2.pdf
 The City Fix: http://thecityfix.com/not-your-typical-greenwashing-wash-cycle-laundrys-bike-centric-business-model/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+thecityfix%2Fposts+(TheCityFix)
 Walkable Dallas-Fort Worth: http://www.carfreeinbigd.com/2011/02/lively-city-vs-empty-city.html
 Market Urbanism: http://marketurbanism.com/2011/02/09/jamaica-queens-upzoning-was-great-but-dont-forget-the-parking-minimums/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MarketUrbanism+(Market+Urbanism)
Copyright © 2008 Streetsblog.net. All rights reserved.