Are Roads Getting Less Safe for Bicyclists?

According to a recent report on U.S. Bicycling Facilities, although bicycles account for only about 1 percent of trips across all modes of transportation, on a per trip basis cyclists die on U.S. roads at a rate double that of vehicle occupants.

REPORT: BICYCLING DEATHS HAVE DECREASED, BUT ADULTS REMAIN AT ELEVATED RISK

MADISON - Overall rates for U.S. biking deaths decreased 44 percent from 1975 to 2012, according to a new report published Aug. 14 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and led by Jason Vargo, an assistant scientist with UW-Madison's Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and Global Health Institute.



The steepest decline in bicyclist deaths during the 38-year study period - 92 percent - was seen among children under the age of 15. However, because cycling rates among children also fell during the study period, the authors suggest that the decline in deaths might be due to fewer bike trips by children, rather than a result of safer road conditions. Increased use of helmets among children might also have contributed, they note.

In contrast, death rates increased significantly among adult cyclists during the same period, particularly among men aged 35 to 54.

Data was drawn from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, an annual census of fatal traffic crashes maintained by the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

"We're not sure that the roads have become safer," Vargo said in a Bloomberg News story about the report. "We may be just putting people out on the same roads that are as dangerous as they were before."

Although bicycles account for only about 1 percent of trips across all modes of transportation, on a per trip basis cyclists die on U.S. roads at a rate double that of vehicle occupants, the report states.

Recent years have seen an increase in bicycling in the United States, especially among adults and in urban areas, the analysis shows. The share of total household trips taken by bicycle has doubled over the last 35 years and, from 2000 to 2012, the number of U.S. workers who biked to work increased 61 percent.

The report underscores the importance of improving bicycle safety in the United States with the aim of preventing fatalities, the authors state. They suggest that multifaceted, integrated approaches to address safety while also promoting cycling - including physically separated bike lanes, speed limits, speed bumps, helmet laws and education for motorists and cyclists - could prevent potential increases in biking mortality rates and help counter recent upsurges in adult cyclist deaths.

For example, several countries and some U.S. cities have higher bicycle use and lower mortality rates than the United States overall.

"The local success stories really don't suggest that more cycling leads to high fatality rates," Vargo told Bloomberg. "The national numbers may hide that."


View the full report, along with a state-by-state breakdown of the statistics, at http://go.wisc.edu/bike-fatality-report

Help Local Cities Become Bicycle Friendly

You may have read that a consortium of local communities, Dane County, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, submitted applications for Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) or University status last week (http://host.madison.com/news/local/focus-on-dane-county-middleton-sun-prairie-aim-to-join/article_04199919-d0ce-591b-bed4-0a028f6e7f74.html).
These applications will be reviewed by staff of the national League of American Bicyclists over the next few months, and the League needs our help.

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"Local reviewers" are used by the League to verify the claims made in the applications and identify additional improvements that the communities and universities could make.  We need local reviewers in Dane County who know about bicycling conditions in Fitchburg, Madison, Middleton, Monona, Sun Prairie, and Verona, as well as Dane County as a whole and UW-Madison. 

Please consider helping.  Go to
http://bikeleague.org/content/become-local-reviewer to read about the program and follow the link there to sign up.  Do it now!

Fitchburg Smart Cycling Class Aug 22, 2015




Fitchburg Smart Cycling class is going to be held Saturday, August 22nd at Stoner Prairie Elementary School in Fitchburg. 
 The cost is $50 and you get a cool looking diploma stating that you have completed the course and are now a smart cyclist, recognized by the League of American Bicyclists.
Class is from 9am to 3pm with 1 hour lunch break :)



You do not need to be a resident of fitchburg!!! You need to bring a bike and a helmet!!