Bicycle-Friendly Cities are Safer for All Road Users – Momentum Mag
By Ron Johnson
There are many reasons why safe cycling infrastructure in urban areas is a good thing. It’s good for the local economy, our environment, health, and, of course, it keeps those on the bicycles safe. Turns out, that’s not the end of it. Cities with vibrant biking scenes often boast safer streets for everyone. According to Nicholas N. Ferenchak and Wesley E. Marshall, authors of a groundbreaking study, this connection is no fluke.
“Cities with high levels of bicycling tend to be some of the safest cities for all road users,” Marshall wrote.
The study examined 14 small and mid-sized U.S. cities, each with populations ranging from 50,000 to 200,000 residents. First, the researchers chose seven cities characterized by high rates of bicycle commuting, labeling them as high-bicycling cities. Subsequently, they matched each high-bicycling city with a paired comparison city. These comparison cities were selected based on their lower or average rates of bicycle commuting, yet shared similar traits with the high-bicycling cities, including overall population size, regional location, and proximity to major universities or large urban centers.