Since The Bay Citizen began publishing local news little more than a year ago, their Bike Accident Tracker app has been one of my favorite features. First, the app mapped San Francisco bicycle accidents and tracked the causes and conditions for each collision. This week, the Citizen has expanded its bike accident tracker to include all Bay Area bicycle accidents, and has found some surprising statistics. Though San Francisco reports far more bike accidents than Contra Costa County, for example, the suburban area (also the home of GJEL’s main office), is far more dangerous in terms of percentage of cyclists involved in bike accidents each year.
That’s mostly because the dense, busy San Francisco streets have far more cyclists than the open, meandering suburban roads of Contra Costa County. So San Francisco’s 2,246 bike accidents between 2005 and 2009 only involved 4 percent of the city’s cyclists, while Contra Costa’s 1,416 bike accidents involved more than 11 percent of the region’s cyclists. In fact, when all Bay Area counties are taken into account, San Francisco ranks the safest, better than Alameda County, Marin County, and Santa Clara County, among others, when it comes to the percent of cyclists involved in accidents.
As San Francisco works to make city streets safer, it is likely to boost efforts to reduce bicycle accidents throughout the region following a series of major accidents on high-traffic streets. Early last month, for example, a 61-year old pedestrian was struck and killed by a drunk driver while crossing Masonic Avenue in San Francisco. And last week, 22 year-old Zander Urban was killed in a pedestrian accident on Lombard and Pierce Streets in San Francisco’s Marina District. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has already put $20 million toward improving safety on Masonic Avenue, but it should continue to implement safety improvements throughout the city to save lives and make the Bay Area more walkable.
Photo credit: youngie42