Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Interactive bike crash maps

Posted by on August 19th, 2005 at 2:45 pm

I recently posted about the City of Portland’s work on an exciting mapping project that combines our bike routes with an interactive, web-based map. I have also heard from many of you about your close calls with motorists.

The next step will be to integrate the close-call data with an interactive map. This map would instruct the city on where to focus their bicycle infrastructure budget, it would be a useful tool to highlight problem areas for advocacy groups and the police and it would also help cyclists choose the safest routes through the city.

To get an idea of how this “crash reporting map” might look, I just came across this nifty map reporting bike crashes in Sussex County Delaware.

New York City transportation advocacy group, Transportation Alternatives also has a cool bike crash mapping system called CrashStat that offers loads of valuable information like the top 10 crash locations and an injury/fatality trend map.

Besides being a useful tool for our community, an online bike crash map would encourage more cyclists to report incidents that currently go unreported. Stay tuned for more details and your chance to get involved with this effort.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Ghost Dog August 19, 2005 at 9:48 pm

    Are they going to include bikes colliding with MAX?

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  • Jonathan Maus August 20, 2005 at 7:09 pm

    Ghost Dog: As far as I know, the database will include any and all incidents that include a bicycle and a motorized vehicle. Bus, MAX, car, train, whatever. You may also be interested to know that the BTA is working with Tri-Met on safety issues.

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  • Vena September 3, 2005 at 5:07 pm

    any one thinking about doing a ghost cycle thing like seattle?

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  • Jonathan Maus September 4, 2005 at 10:00 pm

    Yes, the BTA is working with a group of volunteers in the bike community to do something like this in Portland. Also, the city of Portland is working with their mapping engineers to create an online map that marks safety “hot spots” and records both reported incidents and close calls. I would encourage you to get involved by contacting the BTA directly if you’re interested in helping out.

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  • Go Clipless November 12, 2005 at 6:23 pm

    Google Maps Mashups for Biking

    Google Maps mashups are everywhere. Actually mashups of all kinds are promulgating the Internet at dizzying rates. There are mashups of music, real estate, auction listings, social networking sites, etc. Tools to make it easier to develop mashups, such as

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  • Kelly October 25, 2007 at 4:48 pm

    I have no personal issues with bicycle enthusists. I appreciate and respect their efforts to reduce their own carbon footprints, and to possibly spawn a widespread shift in our awareness of the environmental impacts emenating from the kazillion combustion engines on the raod today.
    However,I don\’t believe the bicycle and the automobile will ever coexist in the modern American city. Regardless of what you might see in Europe or Asia, we can\’t go backwards.
    Here are some of my reasons:
    (1) Bicyclist are ardent about what they believe to be their rights. But, how can they expect their rights to be respected when they think they also have the right to ride on sidwalks, ignore stop signs and signal lights, go the wrong way on one way streets, they go much faster than the traffic they are in, and they generally disregard all traffic control devices. I\’ve watched them every day for over a year, and that\’s what I witnessed. These were not the minority, either. They included just about every bicyclist I saw including Portlands finest on bike patrol.
    (2)The recent fatalities involving vehicles making right turns and colliding with cyclists was just waiting to happen. I knew it would happen the very first time I saw a bike lane. In fact, it almost happened to me. I was about to make a right turn after the car in front of me. He had his blinker on and I had mine on. I craned my neck around to make sure there wasn\’t any bicyclists coming in that lane. The car in front of me moved forward and turned, and I moved up to the corner and was about to turn when I heard somebody yell. I slammed on the brakes and looked around. From out of nowhere this gal was coming toward me fast. There was enought room for her to get around so she just smoked by flipping me off while mouthing something I could only imagine. What\’s up with that? I was there, I had my signal on, and I had looked up the bike lane a second before I started to turn.
    (3)There have been numerous times that I\’ve rounded a blind curve on a country road only to find bicyclist riding three abreast, and I had oncoming traffic. When they were going a lot slower then the speed limit—where are motorist supposed to go, if there is not enough stopping distance?
    (4) I don\’t want to hear about Portland being bicycle friendly or environmental
    arguments about the environment. There just is not enough (and there never will be) bicyclists to make any significant difference. I drive into town every morning and I see the same 3 bikers, rain or shine. But, when it\’s nice out I might see a few more cyclist that left there cars home for that day. I\’m sure cycling is growing recreationally, and whenever there\’s some kind of big charity ride, but other than that, there aren\’t enough riders to justify bike lanes, or make any real difference environmentally.
    Having said all this I still have a high regard for bicycle concept, but the concept does not fit the reality.

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  • Chris Burt November 9, 2007 at 10:21 am

    I know it\’s hard to get a license plate number while your heart is still thumping in your throat, stomach and ears after a near miss, but if it\’s possible, there is a website that logs bad drivers license plates. Everyone should try their best to use this system let Portland know that bad driving won\’t be tolerated. We always joked about getting in trouble and someone telling you that the incident would go on your permanent record. What \”permanent record\”? THE INTERNET! Here are two important sites… The first (http://www.platewire.com/) allows you to record a license plate and the \”infraction\”. The second is for all of you clever-ass developers who could do something creative, like tie it into the Interactive bike crash maps (http://www.platexchange.com/).

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