Sunday, April 3, 2011

Cycling, Safety & Health by Thomas Krag

 Interesting essay. I've posted the conclusions here. One thing I like about Tom's essay is that he doesn't wed himself to separated facilities. Unlike a lot of people, he knows there is more than one way to skin that cat, not all of which pit us against each other in a zero-sum game.

The .pdf of this article is available from the European Cyclists' Federation's website right here.

Cycling, Safety & Health
by Thomas Krag

       There are reasons to be concerned about cyclists' safety, and one should be careful in providing a safe infrastructure for cyclists, whether this is in the form of separate cycle ways or by integrating cycle traffic in the already existing road network. Concerns should however not be exaggerated. The fatality risk of cycling per hour or per trip is not bigger than for car driving, and the contribution to traffic deaths from long car trips is considerable. The individual who replaces the car with public transport and cycling will be exposed to a reduced risk of being killed in traffic.
       It seems moreover to be an almost general law, that the risk of cycling is lowered the more cycling there is. Experience even in some cases shows a drop in the absolute number cycling injuries associated with an increase in cycling. When also the positive health benefits from physical exercise are taken into account, cycling will in any case turn out very positively. There is no reason to wait for a traffic safety per kilometre level as low as that for motoring, before one can promote cycling from an ethical point of view.
       There are, on the contrary, reasons to warn against a strictly sectoral approach to traffic safety. Traffic safety is a highly relevant concern of health impacts from the traffic system. If, however, one only takes the direct, negative health consequences from traffic accidents into account, one is missing the major part of the full picture.


Steve A said...

I just wish reference 11 said how it got those results. They support other results but I've grown tired of govt sources citing bogus results as fact.

Khal said...

Unfortunately, the level of peer review rigor on a lot of this stuff is pretty low.

veloben said...

The O'Rouk article is well dumb. Here's his photo caption "Cyclists ride over the Brooklyn Bridge. 'Although the technology necessary to build a bicycle has been around since ancient Egypt, bikes didn't appear until the 19th century. The reason it took mankind 5,000 years to get the idea for the bicycle is that it was a bad idea.'"

Well the technology to invent teh steam engine has been around since well 4,000 years. Maybe the ancients knew global warming was a bad idea too. The guy just uses history like all conservative, to make his case in ignorance.

Khal said...

O'Rourke is pedaling agit-prop. Nothing really of substance there but as we know, substance rarely wins elections.

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