MAG Stats

There was a nice little piece in the local West Valley paper, Surprise a safe zone for bicycle riders.

They make some rather outlandish claims, though.

According to figures recently released by Maricopa County Association of Governments, Surprise has one of the lowest rates of injuries and fatalities in the county.

Surprise has an average rating of 5.08 per 100,000 of its population for bicyclist injuries and fatalities and 6.31 for pedestrian injuries and fatalities from 2003 through 2007, the latest statistics…

This contrasts with other neighboring cities such as Peoria — with ratings of 16.43 for bicyclists and 11.71 pedestrians, and Glendale — with 26.68 for bicyclists and 31.27 for pedestrians.

Tempe ranks as the most dangerous city for bicyclists with a rating of 93.57 injuries and fatalities per 100,000 and 54.5 for pedestrian injuries and fatalities.

Is bicycling really almost twenty times more dangerous in Tempe relative to Surprise? One imagines it has more to do with the amount of cycling relative to population. And other distortions, e.g. maybe ASU students aren’t counted as Tempe residents.

Here is MAG’s Transpo Committee page, to see the data referred to in the story, open page Crash Trends in the MAG Region 2001-2007 and then click on “Injuries and fatalities per 100K population”, and a table with per-city data pops into the same page below the existing stuff (thanks to Sarath for pointing that out).

5 thoughts on “MAG Stats”

  1. If you don’t adjust for rates of cycling, calling Tempe the most dangerous for cyclists makes no sense at all. If there are 100 times more cyclists — which seems high but not impossible — then Tempe would be five times safer than Surprise. And that sidesteps the question of whether the appropriate metric is “injuries per cyclist” or “injuries per passenger-mile” as with other transportation modes.

  2. The MAG webpage titled “Crash Trends inteh MAG Region 1999 – 2007” located at the URL:
    provides a table with active links in most cells that you can click-on to display charts with information. If you need to see the actual data click on “Show Data Table” below the chart.

    For info on Bicycle crashes, if you click on the cell for Crash Type: Vehicle-Bicycle and Injuries&Fatalities per 100k Population, it will open up a table titled “Bicyclist Injuries and Fatalities Per 100k Population”. On some monitors you need to scroll down to see this. This table provides 2007 rates and the averages for 2003-2007. The population numbers are based on census data.

    We do not have any data on bicyclist or pedestrian exposure data (nobody does at this time) for this comparison. Population based rates are not perfect but that’s the best we can do now.

  3. That’s amazing Tempe is so high. Can the VC come out say it is the bike lanes>?

    I dislike cycling in Tempe. Incomplete half mile gird, physical barriers, and congested.

  4. Bike Salmon, sidewalk riders and stop sign/red light runners are the reason Tempe’s numbers are so high, IMHO.

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