Archive for February, 2009

Vancouver stats

A reader pointed us to this report from the Greenways and Neighbourhood Transportation Branch of the City of Vancouver. It documents cycling and pedestrian traffic based on StatsCan census data and the city’s field research.

As you’d expect, cycling and walking are highest in the downtown, with walking being more popular in the core, and cycling being more popular slightly outside of downtown. However, I would have guessed that in a dense, fair-climate city like Vancouver, that the combined walking and biking share for the downtown would be higher than 50%. Are the other 50% taking the Skytrain to workplaces outside the downtown? Or are they motorists? Although the purpose of this report is to highlight cycling and walking, but I’m instantly curious about the traffic breakdown (although I could dig it up on StatsCan).

Cycle Salvation

We were recently asked to spread the word about this interesting organization:

I am contacting you in the hope that you might help us spread the word to the Ottawa cycling community about Cycle Salvation.

Cycle Salvation is a social enterprise operating under the umbrella of Causeway Work Centre. The business strives to achieve a triple bottom line (profit, people, planet). We do this by providing training in bike mechanics to people who are economically disadvantaged, providing refurbished bikes at a reasonable price to the cycling community, and at the same time diverting bikes destined for scrap and landfill sites.

Of course, we depend on a steady stream of donated bikes to work on. As you can imagine, the stockpile of bikes is running pretty low now in February. We are hoping that we can notify the community of our need for bike donations so that the idea is fresh in their minds when they first pull their old bikes out of winter storage.

Bad data

Bad Science deconstructs and rebuts some silly, fearmongering cycling accident statistics from a British insurance company:

“Mounting financial pressures have led to a surge in inexperienced cyclists taking to the roads,”say LV in their press release: “resulting in a 29% increase in road accidents involving cyclists in the past six months.” It’s topical, it involves death and fear, it’s dressed in the cloak of statistical authority: this is totally going on the telly.

The first thing to note is that LV were comparing accidents in the 6 months leading up to November 2008 against accidents in the 6 months prior to that. What these insurance geniuses have failed to account for here, we might reasonably suspect, is the well-documented seasonal variation in road traffic incidents, since fewer people cycle in winter. I shall not be buying shares in this insurance company.