Study Details

Study Title: Cyclist Safety on Bicycle Boulevards and Parallel Arterial Routes in Berkeley, California

Authors: Minikel, E.

Publication Date:JAN, 2011

Abstract: "This study compares the safety of bicyclists riding on bicycle boulevards to those riding on parallel arterial routes in Berkeley, California. Literature on the impact of motor vehicle traffic characteristics on cyclist safety shows that high motor vehicle speeds and volumes and the presence of heavy vehicles are all detrimental to cyclist safety. This suggests that cyclists may be safer on side streets than on busy arterials. Bicycle boulevards-traffic-calmed side streets signed and improved for cyclist use-purport to offer cyclists a safer alternative to riding on arterials. Police-reported bicycle collision data and manually collected cyclist count data from bicycle boulevards and parallel arterial routes in Berkeley, California since 2003 are used to test the hypothesis that bicycle boulevards have lower cyclist collision rates and a lower proportion of bicycle collisions resulting in severe injury. While no significant difference is found in the proportion of collisions that are severe, results show that collision rates on bicycle boulevards are two to eight times lower than those on parallel, adjacent arterial routes. The difference in collision rate is highly statistically significant, unlikely to be caused by any bias in the collision and count data, and cannot be easily explained away by self-selection or safety in numbers. This is strong evidence that bicycle boulevards, if properly implemented, can provide cyclists with a safer alternative to riding on arterials."

Study Citation: Minikel, E., "Cyclist Safety on Bicycle Boulevards and Parallel Arterial Routes in Berkeley, California." Presented at the 90th Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C., (2011).

CMFs Associated With This Study

Category: Bicyclists

Countermeasure: Install bicycle boulevard

CMF CRF(%)QualityCrash TypeCrash SeverityRoadway TypeArea Type
0.37634 StarsVehicle/bicycleAllNot SpecifiedUrban and suburban