Cyclists at Fault in Most Car vs Bike Collisions

Cyclists at Fault in Most Car vs Bike Collisions

While cycling is being promoted as safe, clean and energy efficient,  it is an everyday occurrence to see cyclists running stop signs, and even red lights –  seemingly as if laws do not apply to them. While the same is true of cars, the issue appears to be far more significant for cyclists. Rather than rely on anecdotal observation I went to the source to find out the real story. Thanks to the California Highway Patrol I was able to secure data for the years 2011-2012 for the entire state. Previously I had reported on accident figures for the city of San Rafael, but the numbers were arguably too small to be statistically significant. Framing the Data (1) The data only covers instances of collisions between vehicles and bikes – so it is vitally important to remember that it omits all vehicle vs vehicle collisions. I do not have this information, but I would speculate that there were far more vehicle vs. vehicle collisions than there were vehicle vs. bike collisions. (2) The data only covers instances of collisions where there was a stop sign violation, or a red light violation (3) The data combines the years 2011-2012 in order to generate more statistically significant conclusions. This is the most recently available data as of the date of publication (24th April 2014). (4) The CHP informed me that in general there has been a trend of increasing vehicle fault collisions over the past few years caused by texting and smart phone related distractions. (5) The data does not cover any collisions where there was not a stop sign or...
The Myth Spreading Larkspur Station Area Plan DEIR

The Myth Spreading Larkspur Station Area Plan DEIR

Larkspur represents a focal point for transit in Marin, where the SMART train terminates, the Golden Gate Ferry and the Marin Airporter converge. The area already experiences acute parking issues either in the ferry terminal lot, or in the Larkspur Landing mall. The freeway is a choke-point for traffic – that has yet to be addressed (e.g. by the Greenbrae Corridor Project) and traffic intersections in the area fall  below the targeted acceptable level D. Special interests have been focusing on pushing through plans that would allow the building of an additional 920 dwelling units, a hotel and 77,000 square feet of commercial space. This week I reviewed the newly published Larkspur Station Area Plan Draft Environmental Impact Report – the precursor document used to inform final decisions to allow such development in the area. The Station Area Plan was funded by MTC and SMART. Here is what I discovered: Exaggerated Representation of Bike Path Usage Page 104 of the Larkspur SAP DEIR makes the following statement: “The most popular bicycle paths around and through the Plan area include the multi-use path along the Corte Madera Creek, the path along the southbound U.S. 101 on-ramp from Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, and the Cal Park Hill Tunnel Multi-Use Pathway. These paths are all heavily used by commuters and recreational users [emphasis added] alike to access such destinations as the Larkspur Ferry Terminal and the shopping centers located south of the Plan area. Compared to Car Travel, Bike Usage is Very Low The actual bike counts in the report show the following usage over a two hour period (car numbers to follow are over a 1 hour period): – Corte...
Cyclists Dominant Cause in Car vs Bike Accidents

Cyclists Dominant Cause in Car vs Bike Accidents

While cycling is being strongly promoted by county supervisors and city councils, what is not being promoted is safe cycling. Every day I witness cyclists failing to comply with traffic laws such as stopping at stop signs and red lights. While neither cyclists or motorists are saints, the impression given is that it the violations of the law by cyclists were much more commonplace. So I asked the City of San Rafael Police department if they had any data that might shed light on the real situation.   Accidents Between Cars and Bicycles, March 2013- March 2014, San Rafael, CA #Collisions:        30 Driver at Fault:   11 (37%) Cyclist at Fault:  15 (50%) Mutual Fault:      3 (10%) Undetermined:   1 (3%) This clearly shows a story where cyclists are significantly more in the wrong – 50% vs 37%. Stopping At Red Lights A major concern is that few cyclists adhere to the law of stopping at a red light. Here are the statistics for March 2013 – March 2014: Accidents between cars and bikes #failure to stop at a Red Light: 2 Cyclist at Fault:                      2 (100%) Motorist at Fault:                    0 Obtaining a Larger Sample Size: California 2012 Stats On the Way Now this isn’t exactly the largest sample size – these are representative of a city of roughly 57,000 people over a 12 month period. In the interests of obtaining numbers with statistical significance I have been following up with the CHP to obtain...