Fewer bicyclists were injured in 2009, even as more New Yorkers take to their bikes, according to a new analysisof city and state data from Transportation Alternativespublished in the Wall Street Journal.
2,730 people were injured while bicycling in 2009, a 7 percent drop from 2008, and marking five straight years of declines. Since 1998, cycling injuries have fallen by more than 45 percent.
The numbers are especially compelling given the dramatic growth in cycling in the city in recent years. Some estimates suggest that the number of people bicycling in New York City has grown by 20 percent in the past year, a testament to the improvements NYC DOT has made to the city’s bicycling infrastructure.
While at first blush it may seem contradictory that injuries are declining even as cycling rates climb, several academic studies have found that cycling safety improves when there are greater numbers of bicyclists as drivers grow more accustomed to sharing the roads. And certainly NYC DOT’s efforts to improve safety for cyclists and other road users deserves credit.
Image: Gersh Kuntzman/Brooklyn Paper.