Beyond Safety in Numbers: Why Bike Friendly Cities are Safer

I don’t have time to figure any of this out, but in a nutshell, this sounds like a reasonable explanation;

The traffic fatality rates tend to be tied together (i.e. car vs. bike vs. ped), and…

high death rate places have faster traffic in general and vice versa.

Beyond Safety in Numbers: Why Bike Friendly Cities are Safer. The full published paper is linked, but i haven’t looked at it yet. (and i can’t open it on my android tablet?)

Why is AZ so deadly; and why does no one seem to notice or care?

Does, or could this explain the huge disparity between, for example, Arizona’s high traffic fatality rate and Massachusett’s extraordinarily low fatality rate? Check out the NHTSHA numbers here. Arizona’s rates are between TWO AND THREE TIMES as deadly as MA. Why?

These are composite traffic fatality rates, not bicyclist or ped or motorcyclist.

Safety In Numbers

More about Safety In Number on; or this is an excellent backgrounder on aseasyasridingabike.

Safety in numbers: more walkers and bicyclists, safer walking and bicycling P L Jacobsen 2003
Inj Prev 2003;9:205-209 doi:10.1136/ip.9.3.205

4 thoughts on “Beyond Safety in Numbers: Why Bike Friendly Cities are Safer”

  1. Over on Tom Vanderbilt’s blog

    He mentions an intersting opinion piece from australia

    Mentioning a book reference sounds really interesting; but i can’t find it. Googling around… i do see this paper:
    its full text is there, and the author, a Herbert Stack, quotes from Brody’s book and appears to have been a collaborator with him on other work.
    Here is an oft quoted remark from Brody’s book: “problem drivers are problem people; or rather, people with problems, including problems of which they often are not aware”

  2. From report (page 9):

    Empirical evidence indicates that, all else being equal, improved walking and cycling conditions and shifts from driving to these modes tends to reduce traffic congestion. For example, a major study for the Arizona Department of Transportation analyzed the relationships between land use patterns and traffic conditions in Phoenix, Arizona (Kuzmyak 2012). It found significantly less congestion on roads in older, higher density areas than in newer, lower density suburban areas due to more mixed land use (particularly more retail in residential areas), more transit and nonmotorized travel, and a more connected street grid which provides more route options and enables more walking. As a result, residents of older neighborhoods generate less total vehicle travel and drive less on major roadways, reducing traffic congestion.

    J. Richard Kuzmyak (2012), Land Use and Traffic Congestion, Report 618, Arizona Department of Transportation (; at (Dianne Kresich, ADOT, Research Project Manager).

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