Tuesday, July 22, 2014

How safe are city streets?

Along with under-reporting cycling accidents, apparently the city has also been under-reporting pedestrian injury accidents for the same reason: not counting all those accidents treated at San Francisco General. From a 2005 study (San Francisco pedestrian injury surveillance: mapping, under-reporting, and injury severity in police and hospital records):

We found that police collision reports underestimated the number of injured pedestrians by 21% (531/2442). Pedestrians treated at SFGH who were African-American were less likely then[sic] whites, and females were more likely than males to have a police collision report...

City Hall was in such a big hurry to rush the 500-page Bicycle Plan illegally through the process it failed to take seriously an important recommendation in the Framework Document, which the Board of Supervisors voted to make part of the General Plan (It tried to hide the second volume of the Plan, the Network Document, at the SFCTA):

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).

The city knew in 2004 that it had a problem counting both cycling and pedestrian accidents. Evidently the "injury data linkage project" was not completed or implemented.

That answers more completely the question I asked last year: What did City Hall know, and when did it know it?

But we still don't know why or how this failure happened. Maybe when the MTA releases its long-overdue Collisions Report there will be an explanation.

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Honor Diaries: The Movie

More at Honor Diaries.

Thanks to Harry's Place.

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