Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Map of the Week - Bicycle Crashes

As some of you know, I was whacked by a car on my bike this past week. Here's a diagram of approximately what happened courtesy of the City of Toronto's Tips for Avoiding Car-Bike Collisions page.
Take away the traffic lights, train tracks and the fact that drivers in other places actually use turn signals and you get the picture. Technically I hit the car but I couldn't stop that quickly - she could and didn't. Anyway I'm still alive and well - just a bit beat up. I thought I'd look for some good bicycle accident maps but there's not much out there. Ghostcycle did a cool thing placing "ghostcycles" at accident sites in Seattle to raise awareness. Unfortunately their google mashup doesn't work (don't try the map-your computer will be sorry).
I was looking for something localized to see if there are local patterns to these crashes. The best thing I could come up with is this map from the Portland Oregonian. X's mark fatalities and you can click the dots for more info.There may be patterns here but I don't know that city well enough to spot them. Anyway keep on riding but be safe, read your tips and don't expect drivers to see you just because you're wearing dayglow colors and it's bright and sunny or you'll end up in a sling like me!


mhwitt said...

Here's wishing you a full and speedy recovery, Doug. The fact that you can make light of the accident makes it sound like you're on the way.

As for the advice to Portland Bicyclists: beware of the Lloyd Center area, especially along Broadway and Weidler (one-ways going opposite directions). Beware also of Hawthorne, even if it is one very cool neighborhood.

Michael5000 said...


Ghostcycle, or somebody copycatting, is active here, too. It's a cool idea, although I'm not sure how obvious it is to the average passer-by that it's not just an abandoned bike sitting there.

Also, I respectfully disagree with my college mhwitt; the Broadway/Weidler and lower Hawthorne corredors are not to by avoided, nor could they be -- they are the only safe and bicycle-engineered approaches to a good bridge crossing. The reason that accidents are concentrated there is just that they are major arteries for bike traffic: more traffic, more accidents.

The fatality "X" that is more or less on top of my house happened the week before we moved in. It was a sad 'un; drunk guy mowing through a group of casual riders....