Something We Are Doing Is Making Things Worse

Background Reading

Rural roads with small shoulder space tend to be the most dangerous for bicyclists. Photo: shutterjet (CC-BY-ND)

Rural roads with small shoulder space tend to be the most dangerous for bicyclists. Photo: shutterjet (CC-BY-ND)

Summary

b99563258z.1_20150824221226_000_g9kcarc8.1-0


TakeAways

When you see an upturn in fatalities (even after installing new bicycle infrastructure) you have only a few choices to help explain these results:

  • The infrastructure is doing its job but an increase in the number of users is exposing some ‘weaknesses‘ in the infrastructure.
  • If the number of users and their mileage remains level then perhaps you have introduced some ‘weaknesses‘ in the existing infrastructure.

Here in Illinois we are dealing with similar results in certain areas. The problem with these kinds of results (increased in mortality rates) is that they bring into question the claims that ‘bicycle infrastructure is the answer‘.

Elsewhere we are discovering that as an aging population discovers bicycling their injury and mortality rate is jumping upward as well. At the very least our infrastructure design engineers have their work cut out for them.