Thursday, August 13, 2009

Two Wheels Good, Four Wheels Bad:: Map of Cycling Accidents in Toronto

Toronto Bike Accidents & Bike Lanes for 2008
red= bike lanes, blue=shared roadways

I have yet to get a bike in Toronto, as I usually can walk to where I want to go without having to worry about locking up the bike at home or my destination. In March, the Toronto Star had a map of the 1,068 bicycle accidents from 2008. The full map of bike accidents is here. The data are bike-related accidents reported to the police department and compiled by the transporation department. They didn't have the time to overlay the bike lanes in the city. I did it by brute force in Photoshop {above}, like my density map, so it's a slightly off, but it gets the point across. Where bike lanes end or are nonexistent is where there's trouble. What caught my eye were the hotspots of Queen St. West, College, Bloor, and Bay. I see a need for more off-thoroughfare bike lanes/routes. Berkeley, CA, US has a network of these in the flats. It looks like Yonge doesn't have too many accidents, but maybe most sane cyclists avoid it like the plague. My favourite walk on Yonge {up from Charles to Summerhill} was during a December 2008 snowstorm. Traffic was light and drivers were treading gingerly in single file. Below the street, commuters were crammed in the TTC subway cheek-to-jowl.

Speaking of biking along Yonge, I hand it to this guy. This is a video going from St. Clair to Bloor, a few years back.

I love how he splits the lanes and what I love the most about this...he rides on the STREET. One of my biggest pet peeves in Toronto is how adult cyclists ride on the sidewalks. Aren't we big girls and boys? Growing up in California, riding on sidewalks was drummed into our heads as wrong, if not illegal. I hear that it depends on the city, but in San Francisco, it currently is against the law to ride on sidewalks.

I was a little into cycling in the late 80s, but usually dependent on driving. This video always makes me think fondly of those days.

Twitterversion:: Downtown #Toronto map of 2008 bicycle accidents is superimposed on bike route map. Need more off-thoroughfare bikelanes? @Prof_K


Anonymous said...

A nice map! I will post it on The one thing that is needed is an indication of number of bike commuters on those routes. Bike routes like College and Queen West are bound to have much higher accident rates since they are so busy with cyclists.

On a broad scale I had compared modal share and accidents:, but it's not fine-grained since I used the same "brute-force" methods of overlaying different images.

(You can see more statistics:


Officer Mazaltoff, The Beat Cop Poet said...

Cyclists on sidewalks is a major pet peeve of mine. I've often heard cyclists here say they are frightened to be on the road with drivers. While I've had a few close calls with automobiles, the only time I've been hit by one was when I was travelling on a sidewalk, coming up to an alleyway (That particular street gets quite narrow and isn't really accommodating for bikes, which is why I was on the sidewalk). Since then, I've made a point to not be on the sidwalks.

Vancouver has a decent network of cycling routes that can get you through Vancouver and links up with the neighbouring cities quite well.

My partner and I were able to cycle out to nearby New Westminster and were quite impressed with the recently opened (but still under construction in some parts) Central Valley Greenway.

Kenneth M. Kambara said...

Hi there & thanks for the feedback. I'm working on another one looking at where bike commuters are in downtown TO & the bike routes.

I very rarely drive in TO, but I was on College from Yonge through Little Italy. Lots of cyclists and damn drivers jockeying for "pole position" at the next red light. This one guy was passing like crazy from University to Little Italy. His achievement? He was one car ahead of me at Crawford.

Great stuff you have! Thanks for stopping by.



@Ossifur Mazaltoff::
Hey, I just saw this.I love the extensive network of boke routes. I'm not sure if I'd have the nerve to bike down Main during rush hour. I love the dedicated paths around False Creek. I remember them on that epic walk in May.

Thanks for stopping by.