Saturday, June 06, 2009

Safety in Numbers

Cycling seems rather dangerous in Singapore. So are we crazy or irresponsible to be promoting more bicycle use?

I think not. The more people use bicycles the safer it will become for each individual bicycle user.

New York City cyclists seem to be getting the benefits of safety in numbers after some years of increases in the amount of cycling (and some effort to make it safer). This image comes via Streetsblog.

That there is safety in numbers for cyclists and pedestrians was the (more scientific) finding of a 2003 paper in Injury Prevention journal by Peter Jacobsen, which found:
A motorist is less likely to collide with a person walking and bicycling if more people walk or bicycle. Policies that increase the numbers of people walking and bicycling appear to be an effective route to improving the safety of people walking and bicycling.

The safety in numbers argument reassures us that we are not being irresponsible to promote more cycling.


thomask said...

have you seen bike contrail?

as you ride a thin layer of powdered chalk is deposited on your rear tyre which then gets laid down on the road, leaving a "bike contrail".

the more you ride the route, the brighter the contrail gets, encouraging more people to ride that line too. the more people with the device fitted - the wider and brighter it gets too, basically a DIY bike lane!

if the LTA won't paint the lines, then do it yourself!

Unknown said...

Yes, the more the merrier please. I also notice this phenomenon when I rode in London, NYC, Amsterdam.