The journal Environmental Health (2009, 8:47) published The Impact of Transportation Infrastructure on Bicycling Injuries and Crashes: A Review of the Literature, written by a group of health professionals. The authors started with the admirable aim of selecting only studies that appeared to provide scientifically demonstrable evidence of change in safety, a small number, the authors remark, considering the interest in the field. However, even after this selection, the authors attributed far too much improvement to bicycle facilities than was actually demonstrated. The authors were misled by the combination of popular superstition about, and ignorance of, bicycle transportation engineering, and hence failed to detect errors that are well-known in the field. Actually, no paper reviewed provided evidence that bikeways reduced car-bike collisions. My detailed review is here.
Here it is, National Cooperative Highway Research Program, Report 500, Volume 18: A Guide for Reducing Collisions Involving Bicycles, published by the Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC, 2008, which prints out to 3/4 inch thick. This is just one more bureaucratic report presenting many possible actions, some of which have little relevance to the title subject, very few of which are really directed at reducing car-bike collisions, and none of which are based on the collision statistics and safety information that have been known for thirty years. One would think that the authors of this report were very careful not to recommend that cyclists should obey the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles.
The Federal Consumer Product Safety Commission required that bicycles be equipped with the all-reflector system and asserted that this system was adequate for nighttime safety. This persuades people to use only the all-reflector system without the necessary head lamp: CPSC & Lights
The Federal Consumer Product Safety Commission conducted a bicycle safety study. Would you think credible a study whose data say that the average speed of cyclists is about 2 mph, and the average number of bicycles that you see on the road is between 10% and 15% of the number of motor vehicles in sight? The formal conclusions are just as incredible: CPSC Bicycle Safety Study
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Center for Injury Control called a National Conference on Bicycle Safety in 2000. I participated in the Facilities Panel, while John Allen participated in the Cyclist Behavior Panel. The kindest comment that one can make is that this conference was rigged to continue the government's bikeway safety program while concealing that it hasn't reduced casualties, while also concealing the existence of the one best method of reducing car-bike collisions: getting cyclists to ride as drivers of vehicles:
Soon after the conference meeting, I sent a Call to Action to the organizers in NHTSA and NCIC, suggesting that they learn the subject of bicycle transportation engineering and take the appropriate, but courageous, action of recommending a scientifically sound strategy based on the Vehicular-Cycling Principle. Call to Action
California commissioned the world's first statistically robust study of car-bike collisions. When the study demonstrated the falsity of California's policy, California suppressed the study. I own one of the world's few copies. First Ken Cross Study
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