Comment 38570

By Are bike lanes a good idea? (anonymous) | Posted March 03, 2010 at 17:53:26

bike lanes, let's take a look at your first link...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/may/07/cycling-safety-york-calderdale

Where is the link to the study?

Regardless, this story still does not indicate anything about the effectiveness of bike infrastructure on reducing the TOTAL number of accidents or injuries. That is what's most important, whether bike infrastructure reduces TOTAL accident and injury rates? All this article points out is that where there are more cyclists, injuries and deaths PER cyclist is reduced.

Why does it matter how many people are injured PER cyclist on the road? Using that logic, you could have double the TOTAL number of cycling injuries and deaths in Hamilton than another community, yet because Hamilton has 4x as many cyclists, you would celebrate that our "injuries per cyclist" was only half that of the other community.

I ask you this, what is more important, reducing the TOTAL number of injuries per resident, or just the injuries per cyclist on the road? As for this article, it says nothing about how bike infrastructure affects the TOTAL number of injuries related to cycling in a community.

The next link, the CBC one is useless. It throws out some numbers, but has no links to sources. Why would you include articles that make claims based on nothing?

Let's look at the last link...

Once again, this study says NOTHING about the TOTAL number of injuries per resident for the different jurisdictions, just relative to the number of people who are cycling. I will ask you again, why is that relevant? Why does it matter how many injuries there are relative to the number of people undertaking a certain type of activity?

If an activity such as cycling on the road is inherently dangerous and it leads to higher numbers of TOTAL injuries, perhaps people shouldn't be doing it at all. Just because the injury rates per dangerous activity are lower when more people are undertaking the dangerous activity, does not mean that more people should embrace the dangerous activity.

None of the information you have presented shows that bike infrastructure reduces the TOTAL number of injuries related to cycling. Yes, your one study shows that countries that cycle more have reduced rates of injuries per cyclist, but that is not the same as saying that those communities enjoy less overall injuries related to cycling.

Like I said at the beginning of this thread, if the goal of is to increase the number of cyclists on the road, building bike infrastructure seems like a great way to do this. However, if the goal is to reduce TOTAL injury rates per resident, the study that I linked to appears to suggest that creating bike infrastructure does NOT do this, in fact, it has increased the rate of accidents and injuries.

Once again, I agree with you that putting more cyclists on the road leads to less accidents and injuries per cyclist, but that is not the metric that we should be focusing on. The most important measure is the TOTAL number of accidents and injuries per resident. If we do this, then it would appear from the Denmark study that building bike infrastructure will work against this goal.

Do you disagree?

highwater, "and cherry picked a stat from a study that refutes his own argument."

If by cherry picked, you mean I placed more emphasis on the actual results from the study, rather than the author's unsubstantiated opinion about the possible health benefits of cycling, then yes, that's what I did.

Was this wrong? And if so, in what way. I look forward to your response.

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