While this conclusion – that vehicle-pedestrian or cyclist collisions are more likely to occur in areas more attractive for walking and cycling – may seem obvious, the study authors note that they controlled the volume of traffic by examining the data.
“There is an implicit assumption that ‘on foot’ and ‘by bicycle’ means safe for walking and cycling, but these indices do not actually include objective measures of safety,” said Tarek Sayed, professor at the UBC’s civil engineering department and one of the principal investigators, in a press release.
“We found that areas with better cycling and walking scores had higher crash risks,” Sayed said. “We have controlled the volume of traffic and the number of pedestrians and cyclists, which reflects the real collision risks for individuals. ”
Areas of Vancouver that pose the greatest risk to cyclists include downtown, Strathcona and Mount Pleasant. Pedestrians are the most exposed in these neighborhoods, as well as in Fairview and Grandview-Woodland.
These neighborhoods are considered passable on foot or by bicycle because they have a high density of places that people want to visit on foot or by bicycle, but not because they are particularly safe for pedestrians or cyclists.
Sayed and his colleagues propose an alternative metric that measures both the safety and attractiveness of destinations.
On this scale, the highest scoring neighborhoods in Vancouver are parts of Point Gray, Stanley Park, False Creek, the River District, Kerrisdale, and along the Fraser River in Marpole.
“By providing the public with an objective measure of safety, I hope cyclists and pedestrians will be better equipped to navigate their cities safely and with a clear understanding of where they are at greatest risk of injury in collisions. car, ”Sayed said.