Bicycle Lanes Make Intersections Safer

Once again, nonsense is spread around the web and once again, I have to debunk it.

First of all, I’d like to mention that I became disenchanted with looking at crash data when I found that things varied so much from city to city to country that comparing things was a waste of time. Also, I learned that making vast generalizations was also usually a waste of time.

Furthermore, it has been my position from the beginning to work towards SEC: safety, comfort, AND efficiency and that infrastructure is the only thing that provides all of those in the lowest cost way.

But each time we get cherry picked data:

Here’s the new VC DB:

http://janheine.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/bike-to-work-3-separate-or-equal/

“The danger of being hit from behind or being “clipped” by a car passing too close is very small. It accounts for less than 5% of car-bike accidents.”

This leads to this site:

http://bicyclesafe.com/

Which in turn leads here:

http://www.bicyclinglife.com/Library/TaleOfThree.htm

First of all, you see some strange things which is on the graph there are three data sets, but only a single city Austin has reported motorist overtaking. Note that it is a small amount, n=7 collisions. This is in contrast to the “right hook” where there’s 12 (for Austin).

Thus, overtaking accidents are rare and should not be worried about at all?

I knew that there was something fishy so I dusted off an old chestnut, the VC capital’s assessment of cycling:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CC4QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.metroplanorlando.com%2Ffiles%2Fview%2Fbicyclist-crash-study.pdf&ei=pgiVUf_dBMTDqQHsm4CwCQ&usg=AFQjCNGwTEaAQo2aLM40c9Ljj0OZh8Rvjg&sig2=e_c3XsyhWExleb0oJ2pgSQ&bvm=bv.46471029,d.aWM

“Table H shows how law-abiding, daytime, with-the-flow sidewalk and roadway cyclists come into conflict
with motorists.”

There are a few numbers which are significant, but for now, let’s look at “motorist overtaking”. For bike paths AND shoulders (yes the author combined them together in order to inflate the numbers of “edge riding”), we find that there is a grand total of one crash. ONE CRASH FOR OVERTAKING IN THE BIKE LANE. While if we look riding in the road, that’s 19! For every single person who got hit by a car by “edge riding” we have 19 unlucky cyclists who got the “lane prize”.

From the original article:

“Any barrier that separates the cyclist visually from other traffic effectively hides the cyclist. This is counterproductive to safety. Moving cyclists out of the roadway altogether, on separate bike paths, is even more dangerous, because drivers don’t look for (or cannot see) cyclists off to the side.”

What? Why the fuck would you need to see the cyclist if you can’t physically hit her because of a barrier?

“Imagine planning a right turn in the image above. You approach the intersection, the light turns green, you go. If you are vigilant, you can barely see the cyclist behind the parked car. Now imagine if the cyclist was still a bit further back. She’d be invisible. You’d turn right into her path. Let’s hope she has good brakes!”

Oh, so you are saying that the collision happened when the cyclist LEFT THE PROTECTED BARRIER! So this is the same thing as saying that riding in the street is dangerous. So we agree, right?

No! VC DBs like to make everything an argument and every improvement for cyclists becomes a reason to push their goofy (and deadly) religion.

“These are not hypothetical concerns. The police department in Berlin, Germany, found that on streets where “protected bike paths” were installed, the frequency of cycling accidents greatly increased.”

I’m not going to waste my time on this paper b/c it’s in German. Note how desperate this is where he had to find a paper in German?

http://bernd.sluka.de/Radfahren/Radwege.html

But let’s look at the right hook that he mentioned (in Orlando):

Indeed the right hook is dangerous. For those on bike paths AND shoulders combined we get two, count em, two right hooks. So the right hook is twice as deadly as getting rear ended. Let’s look at the right turn for the intelligent vehicular cyclists who ride in a place that’s more visible to motorists: there are six right hooks.

RIDING IN A BIKE LANE HAD THREE TIMES LESS FREQUENT COLLISIONS THAN VEHICULAR CYCLING. THAT’S NOT THREE LESS COLLISIONS, BUT THE COLLISION RATE WAS LESS BY A FACTOR OF THREE.

Thus, my original point, riding in a bike lane is safer than in the road.

Let’s look at the grand totals: Total collisions in Orlando getting hit by any direction including their wonderful “door prize”: twelve cyclists. At the same time riding in the road led to 66 (sixty-six) collisions.

Here’s another way to look at it: IN ORLANDO IN 2003, THERE WERE MORE COLLISIONS BY GETTING REAR ENDED (19) THAN THERE WERE FOR ALL OF THE COLLISIONS COMBINED FOR BOTH THE BIKE LANE AND THE SHOULDER.

In fact there were also more collisions for road riders than for sidewalk riders. Thus, we conclude, riding in the road is the most dangerous place to ride.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: