This week is Bike to Work Week, and tomorrow is Bike to Work Day (the League of American Bicyclists lists events here). I wouldn’t have realized this if it weren’t for this Washington Post article; cyclists are common enough here in DC that I’m not sure I’d notice a small uptick in their numbers. What I have noticed, though, is that the overall number of cyclists seems to have increased, probably due in part to the city’s efforts to install more bike lanes and bike racks.
The Post article is accompanied by a database of 2008 bicycle fatality statistics. Only one cyclist was killed in DC that year – which surprised me, since I keep hearing horror stories from my cycling friends about being hit by car doors or having drivers try to force them out of lanes. Florida had the highest death toll, with 125 cyclists killed in 2008; of course, it’s hard to really compare numbers between states when we don’t know the size of their cycling populations.
Streetsblog’s Ben Fried takes a look at New York City’s numbers and finds that as the number of bicycle riders has increased, the number of bicyclist casualties has dropped – something that PL Jacobsen also reported in this 2003 Injury Prevention study. It seems that as drivers get more accustomed to seeing cyclists on the road, they adjust their behavior accordingly.