Bike and Pedestrian Safety Benefits Motorists More

Wednesday, February 16 by JerryFoster

Photo BikePortland.org

The WWBPA believes that building a bicycle and pedestrian friendly community benefits everyone, not just bicyclists and pedestrians. Now there’s even more proof, coming from Portland, OR.

In a recent email, Greg Raisman of the Portland Bureau of Transportation, notes:

“Portland has had 6 of the past 12 years with zero bicycle fatalities. 2010 and 2008 were two of those years with zero bicycle fatalities. However, that’s only one part of a more important story.

Our experience has been similar to other multi-modal cities. As cities work to make walking and bicycle riding more safe, it remains true that bicycle and pedestrian safety significantly improves. However, the greatest safety benefits are realized by people driving cars and trucks.

In Portland, the numbers speak loudly. Over the past 25 years, the City has seen a long-term, downward trend in total traffic fatalities that is being reduced approximately 6 times faster than the rate for the US. In 1986, there were 79 traffic fatalities, with 61 motor vehicle deaths. In 1996, there were 59 total traffic fatalities with 41 motor vehicle fatalities. In 2010, we had 26 total traffic fatalities with 11 motor vehicle fatalities.”

So there you have it – building a bicycle and pedestrian friendly community not only raises property values, it creates safer streets for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. Everyone wins, not just bicyclists and pedestrians.

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