Boston looks to curb bicycle injuries as ridership spikes

bicycle man on bike red light
A bicycle rider.
Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki/METRO

Boston is aiming to reduce injuries to bicycle riders by 50 percent in the next 7 years as a new report on biking trends in Boston shows a spike in ridership over the last few years.

The city released its first Cyclist Safety Report on Wednesday. The nearly 100-page report details bicycle crash information from the Boston Police Department and Boston EMS as well as ridership data.

Five bicycle riders were killed in the city in 2012 and there were about 500 total crash incidents reported. Those numbers increased from pervious years. For example, in 2010, there were about 478 crash incidents reported. And in 2010 and 2011 combined there were four total bicycle rider deaths. The city acknowledged in its report that those numbers are likely underreported as not all crashes are brought to the attention of police or emergency personnel.

Also rising during that time was the city’s estimated daily ridership, which averaged about 56,644 last year. In 2010, ridership was closer to 47,600.

In light of the injury data, Mayor Thomas Menino said in a statement that the city now has a goal of reducing the cyclist crash injury rate by 50 percent by 2020.

“Since we launched our bike program in 2007, Boston has gone from being called one of the worst cycling cities in the country to one of the best,” Mayor Thomas Menino said in a statement. “Our city was devastated by the five cyclist fatalities in 2012, and we want to do everything in our power to prevent future tragedies. We’ll continue to work tirelessly to improve the safety of our streets for all, and this report will guide us as we continue to grow Boston’s vibrant biking community.”

One of the key findings of the report, the city said, was that injured bicycle riders were less likely to be wearing a helmet than average cyclists. To address that, the city plans to install helmet vending machines this year. There are also low-cost helmets available at various retailers around the city, including at farmers markets.

To also help reduce the injury crash rate, the city is installing side guards on some large public works vehicles within the next few weeks and hopes to inspire other truck owners to do the same.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Apple says its systems not to blame for…

By Edwin Chan and Christina FarrSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The week before a crucial launch of its new iPhone, Apple Inc said intimate photos of…

Local

Tallest residential building planned for lower Manhattan

A residential tower planned for lower Manhattan will soar 1,356 feet in the air -- just 12 feet shy of 1 World Trade Center. When…

Local

Bronx man commits suicide by decapitation

A Bronx man committed suicide Monday morning in the Hunts Point area of the Bronx by decapitating himself. According to the NYPD, the 51-year-old man…

Local

Top cops enroll in Twitter course at John…

NYPD officers are reportedly getting a lesson on the best way to use 140 characters or less. The New York Post reported Tuesday top officers…

Arts

Pop culture and prostitutes: New Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit at…

Henri Toulouse-Lautrec documented the cult of celebrity and the rise of pop entertainment in his prints, posters and lithographs — now on display at MoMA.

Arts

PHOTO: Extreme artist Eskil Ronningsbakken balances unicycle on…

Extreme artist’ Eskil Ronningsbakken balances on the edge of a cliff face at 4,600 feet – on a unicycle. The Norwegian travels across the globe, balancing over vertiginous ravines, tall…

Music

Hear two previously unreleased Adele songs

Missing some Adele in your life? Two previously unreleased songs from the singer have appeared online.

Music

Lincoln Center just made 'Lord of the Rings'…

Middle Earth already has sweeping vistas, a hero's journey and technology-revolutionizing special effects. But next April, the Lincoln Center will add another dimension to Peter Jackson's…

NFL

10 storylines to watch for the Giants this…

The Giants rebounded from an embarrassing 0-6 start last season, but not well enough to make the playoffs.

NFL

Michael Vick set to be weekly guest with…

Mike Francesa may need to backtrack from his harsh commentary of Michael Vick now that the Jets backup quarterback will be a weekly guest on his show.

NFL

Jets expect to make playoffs after sitting on…

The same pundits who predicted the Jets would be woeful a season ago are now eying the playoffs for this revamped team.

NFL

Antonio Allen returns to practice after concussion

Antonio Allen was cleared to practice again following his concussion two weeks ago.

Parenting

In defense of making a mess during playtime

"Recipes for Play" authors Rachel Sumner and Ruth Mitchener think playtime should involve the five senses and making a mess is part of the fun.

Wellbeing

Jason Hope helps push anti-aging efforts forward

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article When it comes to age-related illness, the direction of modern medicine seems more reactive than proactive. In…

Wellbeing

Today's Doomsday preppers: a closer look at survivalist…

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. The term “Doomsday prepper” is often associated with the paranoid, anti-government stereotype of the 1990s. The truth…

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…