Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Dept. of Public Health: Accidents "vastly under-reported"

From a thread on SF Weekly about street design, a response to my comment (below in italics), apparently from someone in the Dept. of Public Health:

@Rob Anderson: You'll get what you wish for, at least this time. The discrepancy between police reports of crashes and EMT pickups and hospital ER intake has been huge such that it's apparent that crashes have been vastly underreported. The SF Dept. of Public Health is in the process of compiling new data and it will be posted here as it becomes available: www.transbasesf.org

And let's distinguish 'City Hall' from individual police officers who chose not to or don't know about reporting. Will leave it to you to locate online the city's repaving schedule and associated street redesign plans---if numbskulls don't block progress.

Right. A city government that can't even count the accidents on city streets is making "progress" in redesigning our streets. People are beginning to understand who the real "numbskulls" are. Good to know that the city is repaving city streets, since they are among the worst maintained in the country.

And you can't blame the city's accident count problem on city cops. They've just been operating in a flawed system created by City Hall.

As I pointed out several months ago, the Dept. of Public Health knew it needed a better counting system more than ten years ago but obviously failed to follow up on it. From the Framework Document of the version of the Bicycle Plan that was litigated in 2005:

For the last several years, the San Francisco Department of Public Health has been working on an injury data linkage project using hospital admission data. Currently, San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH) is not obligated to report bicycle injuries to the SFPD. This is left up to the injured parties. EMS (ambulance services) is supposed to report bicycle injuries, but many are not reported. Comparing police collision reports with SFGH emergency room visits or hospital admissions shows that approximately 20 percent of pedestrian injuries (caused by a collision with a motor vehicle) did not show up in police collision reports in 2000 and 2001. The rate for bicycle injuries is probably similarly under-reported (page 6-12, SF Bike Plan: Policy Framework, September 2004).

My comment that "multimodal" is responding to:

Still waiting for you bike folks to tell us which streets in San Francisco you want to put separated bike lanes. We know about Masonic---a fiasco waiting to happen next year---and Polk Street. But where else?

City Hall can't even be trusted to count injury accidents on our streets, as that UC study found. Nothing but silence about that study from the Bicycle Coalition, Streetsblog, City Hall and the Bay Guardian.


Sooner or later the MTA is going to have to publish a Collisions Report dealing with the count issue. The last one was issued in August, 2012.

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