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Portland is a PR machine for light rail & streetcar

Here are Some Facts About Portland Oregon          

“It must always be remembered how cost-effectiveness works in the public sector: the cost IS the benefit.” - author unknown

Bicycle Riding is 3-12 Times As Deadly As Cars.

“Cyclists in the EU now account for eight per cent of all traffic fatalities, up one-third in the last decade. In the urban areas, cyclists account for 12 per cent of all road fatalities. In the Netherlands, a great cycling nation that politicians often hold up as a model, cyclists account for 30 per cent of fatalities. The bicycle, where it is most in vogue, is a killing machine: fatalities are five to 10 times that of automobiles per kilometre travelled.”  http://ti.org/antiplanner/?p=13988

784 cyclists died in 2005 (p. 86). That would make the death rate 0.37 to 1.26 deaths per 10 million miles.

33,041 motorists/passengers died (p. 86) from 3 trillion miles travelled (p. 15), making their death rate 0.11 per 10 million miles travelled.

So cyclists are either 3.4x or 11.5x as likely to die as motorists, per passenger mile. Neither conclusion is very happy.    https://bicycleuniverse.info/bicycle-safety-almanac/

Bicycle Riding is 7 - 9 Times As Deadly As Cars.

A NTSC report(1) says bicycle fatalities are 79 per billion miles.  

Wikipedia(2) shows car fatalities are 1.1 per 100 million miles. This is 11 per billion miles, making bicycle death rate SEVEN times that of cars.

If you adjust for cars carrying 1.3 passengers, then the difference is even greater - bicycles have NINE times the death rate of cars!

(1) pdf page 39 of “Bicyclist Safety on US Roadways: Crash Risks and Countermeasures”  https://www.ntsb.gov/safety/safety-studies/Documents/SS1901.pdf

(2) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_vehicle_fatality_rate_in_U.S._by_year

Bicycle Riding May Be 10 Times As Deadly As Cars.

Getting good data to calculate the bicycle fatality rate has been hard to find. While fatalities data is readily available, vehicle miles has been difficult to find. The Bike League published a report that contains bike miles traveled, allowing the calculation of bike fatalities on a per 100 million vehicle-miles basis to compare with automobile data.


Here are the data sources:

PDF Page 189 of https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/Benchmarking_Report-Sept_03_2019_Web.pdf

2017--Bikes: 8.5 Billion miles

USA bike fatalities (the number, not the rate)


2017 – USA fatalities 777

USA Auto fatalitiy rate 2017 (the rate per 100 million miles traveled)


2017--1.16/100e6 (1e8)vehicle-miles

Calculate bike fatalities/100 million (1e8) vehicle miles:

777 fatalities/8.5e9 miles x 1/8.5 = 91.4 /1e9 = 9.1/1e8

Calculate the ratio: Bikes have a fatality rate 7.85 times that of cars. (9.1/1.16 = 7.85)

Since cars average more that one occupant, we can adjust vehicle miles to passenger-miles which is really people-miles of travel which is probably a better comparison. This calculation depends on the average number of people in a car and various numbers are published. We use 1.3 people per car as a conservative average:

     7.85 x 1.3 = 10.2, thus traveling by bike is about 10 times as likely to kill you as traveling by car.

Note: There is some confusion about the meaning of rate. It is the result per exposure, in this case the deaths per mile traveled. To avoid tiny fractions, it is usually reported per many miles traveled, in this case per 100 million miles traveled.

Bikes Save Little Energy Compared To The Best Cars

Now walking consumes 18–34 MPG of oil equivalent, and biking comes in at 70–130 MPG.


NOTE: The average car has 1.6 occupants, so that:

18-34 MPG for walking becomes equivalent to a car getting 11.25-21.25 MPG

70-130MPG for biking becomes equivalent to a car getting 43.75-81.25 MPG

Analysis: ‘The carbon footprint of riding a sandwich-fueled bicycle could be 30 percent higher than driving’. '

You still can alter your behavior to reduce your carbon footprint. In particular, make sure you don’t ride a bike when you could drive a car. How’s that? Well, the people at Phyics.org thought the sandwich-climate topic was important enough to get access to the full text of the original article. They pass on this particularly interesting tidbit: A bacon, sausage, and egg sandwich (the whole Hampton Inn breakfast buffet in one tidy package) has a carbon footprint “equivalent to CO2 emissions from driving a car for 12 miles.”

Driving a car uses energy that comes from gasoline. Riding a bike uses energy that comes from the bicyclist’s food. Both sources of energy have carbon footprints. We are told CO2 emissions from the life-cycle process of producing a sandwich is equal to that of driving a car 12 miles. The question, then, is how far will the calories in that sandwich take you on a bike? ...

The bicyclist would need to eat 1.3 sandwiches to go 12 miles. That is, the CO2 footprint of riding a sandwich-fueled bike would be 30 percent higher than driving a car.


Above article relies on this: Is your sandwich bad for the environment?

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