Saturday, July 11, 2015

"It's Safer to Walk and Bike Where More People Walk and Bike."

Attentive drivers?

You'd be surprised how much more often one takes notice of inattentive drivers while walking. In New Albany, the one-way arterial street grid encourages driver inattentiveness.

It needs changing, as soon as possible. We'll take care of that, beginning January 1.

Why It's Safer to Walk and Bike Where More People Walk and Bike: Drivers pay more attention, by Eric Jaffe (City Lab)

 ... In other words, he concluded, cars are less likely to strike walkers and cyclists where there are more walkers and cyclists. That’s not to say fewer total people get injured in these places; on the contrary, the data suggested that a place where walking or cycling doubled would result in a third more pedestrian or rider injuries. But the risk of injury in these same places would fall 34 percent. And the flip side holds true, too. If the number of walkers and cyclists halved, fewer total injuries occur, but the risk of injury goes up 52 percent.

Jacobsen calls the result “unexpected.” His analysis can’t explain for sure why there’s safety in numbers, but he offers a theory: drivers become more attentive when there’s a lot of bikes and pedestrians around. (The same expectation of driver caution guides the “shared streets” movement.)

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