Minneapolis bicycle crash rates steadily decrease while bike commuting climbs

From the Star Tribune:

Recently crunched city data show the reported cyclist-motorist accident rate dropping as the number of bike commuters grows. For 2008, the most recent year for which complete data were available, the crash rate was one-quarter that of 10 years earlier. Moreover, a trend line shows a steady decrease in the crash rate even as the number of commuting cyclists more than doubled.

It would be interesting to see these crash rates for other cities, since we know mode share for bicycles is increasing in many parts of the metro.  I’m not sure if they parse them out as specifically as Minneapolis does.

The Strib also quotes Peter Jacobsen from the journal Injury Prevention, but leaves out a critical sentence (emphasis mine):

A motorist is less likely to collide with a person walking and bicycling if more people walk or bicycle. Policies that increase the numbers of people walking and bicycling appear to be an effective route to improving the safety of people walking and bicycling.

About a month ago, the Governors Highway Safety Association released a report that actually said “A focus on liveable communities…may increase walking and pedestrian vehicle conflicts”, although the discussion in the report actually seems to point more towards distracted pedestrians or pedestrians being forced to walk were poor or no facilities existed.

4 thoughts on “Minneapolis bicycle crash rates steadily decrease while bike commuting climbs

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Minneapolis bicycle crash rates steadily decrease while bike commuting climbs | Net Density -- Topsy.com

  2. Pingback: Austin on Two Wheels tweets summary for the week ending February 10, 2011 | Austin On Two Wheels

  3. I can see that I’ve seen this effect happening in Mpls. as more people have started riding bikes over the last 10 years. Why do I think this is happening? 1st, cars notice bikes now due to increased volume. It used to be they weren’t looking for you. 2nd, motorists have increased respect for cyclists, partly due to the fact that they perceive there to be more bikes out there. Hate to say it, but bullies pick on loner’s. I don’t get the “honk” just because I shouldn’t be on the road anymore, except in St. Paul. 3rd, motorists have changed their behavior because they don’t know when I bike might come along. Sense of risk slows cars down.

    BTW~ I doubt the crash rate has anything to do with helmets, except that it depresses ridership, which the opposite of what we have here.

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