Greater Greater Washington has published a new interactive map showing all the locations where bicycle fatalities have happened since 1987. Pins are labeled by color to differentiate between fatalities that happened in the roadway (yellow), intersection (red), crosswalk (black), shoulder (blue), sidewalk (orange), bicycle lane (green) or another location (white). The blog’s author, David Cranor, has also calculated the number of fatalities by location, with the most happening in intersections (37), followed closely by roadways (36) and crosswalks (20). By county, Prince George’s County has had the most bicycle fatalities, with 36 occurring over the 27-year period of study. This is followed by D.C (25) and Montgomery (21). Arlington County is the safest, with one bicycle fatality since 1987. The full rankings are available on the original blog post (cross posted on Wash Cycle blog.
The data comes from two sources: media reports and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). Both have their limitations but are the most comprehensive sources of information on bicycle fatalities in the region and nationwide.
These statistics show we need to work to make our streets safer through greater investments in walking and bicycling, especially in places where there have been fatalities or major injuries in the past. Just yesterday, the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board approved a number of transportation projects that will make our streets safer, but these are still a small percentage of the overall transportation budget. We are grateful to have many groups working on the ground in the DC region to reduce pedestrian and bicycle injuries, make the region a safer place to get around by walking and bicycling and advocate for more money to be spent on these improvements. Together, we can make the DC region a safer and healthier place to live and get around by walking and bicycling, and these statistics should be a call to action.
The interactive map can be viewed here.