Tuesday, May 05, 2015

"When was the last time a cyclist was killed in Amsterdam?"

Amsterdam: six cyclists die every year

The answer to that question is probably recently, since more cyclists die in Amsterdam every year than in San Francisco.

The question is from a comment by an anonymous reader: "When is the last time a cyclist was killed in Amsterdam? You are a liar Rob and you know you lie. The only question is, why do you do it?"

After I read this comment, I Googled "cycling fatalities in amsterdam" and quickly found this:

Between 2000 and 2013, there were 274 road fatality victims in Amsterdam, of which cyclists made up 28 per cent, whereas cyclists only accounted for 21 per cent of victims in The Hague, Utrecht and Rotterdam.

Do the arithmetic on those numbers and you come up with this: in 14 years there were 76 cyclist deaths, an average of five a year, which is more deaths to cyclists per year than in San Francisco.

Amsterdam has about the same population as San Francisco, though of course they famously have more cyclists. 

It would be helpful if Amsterdam provided an analysis of those fatal cycling accidents like Commander Ali did of the three cycling deaths in San Francisco last year. 

I suspect that cyclists in Amsterdam themselves caused many of their own deaths by negligent behavior and/or in "solo falls" that have nothing to do with motor vehicles or cycling "infrastructure." It's simple logic: In Amsterdam and San Francisco, more people riding bikes means more accidents and more fatalities, as the MTA's last---and apparently, final---Collisions Report noted on page 21:

Bicycle-involved collisions have been steadily increasing since 2002 (Figure 12). While the exact reasons for this increase are not known, it has coincided with a statistically significant increase in the number of bicyclists riding on various city streets, as measured by annual counts taken by the SFMTA. Table 8 suggests there may be some relationship between the increases in recorded bicycle activity and resulting bicycle-involved collisions. The “safety in numbers” effect of decreasing collisions as bicycle riding becomes more prevalent does not appear to be the case so far in San Francisco.

This is true even though we now know that the city has had a radically flawed method of counting cycling accidentswhich means that there were actually more injuries to cyclists on the streets of San Francisco than that Collisions Report says.

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