Friday, June 17, 2016

Boston and SF: Same problem counting bike accidents

The Massachusetts Avenue and Beacon Street intersection might benefit from eliminating a lane, cycling advocates say.
Boston Globe

I’ve finally completed a report analyzing almost 1,800 bicyclist crash incidents reported by Boston Police between 2009 and 2012. The City of Boston produced a report in May 2013 summarizing this information (and also EMS data), but this new analysis uses the raw data (released by the Boston Area Research Initiative) to code the incidents by crash type, using the PBCAT system. Some highlights:

Based on data from the Mass Department of Public Health, the Boston police reports almost entirely miss 76% of bicyclist emergency department visits and 60% of bicyclist hospital admissions–--the ones that do not involve a motor vehicle. Only 9% of the incidents in the BPD data did not involve a motor vehicle...

Rob's comment:

Boston's problem counting cycling accidents is remarkably like San Francisco's, which that UC study found way back in 2012. Like Boston SF also relied too much on police reports and between 2000 and 2009 neglected to count more than 1,300 serious cycling accidents treated at SF General Hospital, the primary trauma center in the city.

I wonder if like San Francisco the Boston media also refuses to report on this counting issue? Still waiting for even a mention of the UC study in the Chronicle, the Examiner, or the SF Weekly. 

Why the blackout? Because the study shows that riding a bike in San Francisco---or anywhere, for that matter---is more dangerous than City Hall and the Bicycle Coalition have been telling us for more than ten years, undermining City Hall's important anti-car, pro-bike policies---and the local media's monolithic editorial support for those policies.

For the same reason, the Chronicle still hasn't done a story on the latest bicycle count report, since it showed a 7% decrease in cyclists counted compared to the previous count.

San Francisco: The City That Knows How---to Bury Unwelcome News.

Thanks to Mark Kaepplein for the Boston link.

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Smart City Challenge: "Seven cities competing to waste $40 million"

Smart City Challenge logo
Smart City Challenge

Electric cars! Robocars! Smart transit stations! Solar-powered buses! Free WiFi in transit corridors! These are some of the ideas proposed by seven cities that made the cut from 71 original applicants for President Obama’s “smart city” challenge. The Obama administration promises to give away $40 million to some lucky winner, with more likely in future years.

These are almost all stupid ideas that will do little to fix the real transportation problems in the cities that are applying for the funds. But the federal government has offered funds for these kinds of projects, so these kinds of projects is what cities will do...

Rob's comment:
Years ago when I was writing for a Northcoast weekly, I interviewed a spokesman for the Mendocino County Sheriff's Department about the annual campaign against marijuana growers. He said that, first of all, growing marijuana is illegal, and also the state gives the county money to do the raids. I posed a hypothetical: If you posted deputies at every traffic intersection, you could also nab a lot of law-breakers. His response: We would do that if the state gave us money to do it!

An earlier post on the subject: A "Smart" city is an anti-car city.

Later: San Francisco didn't win the grant, losing to Columbus, Ohio.

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