Date of Award

12-2014

Degree Name

Master of City and Regional Planning/MS in Engineering (Transportation Planning Specialization)

Department

City and Regional Planning

Advisor

Dr. Cornelius Nuworsoo

Abstract

Over the past twenty years bicycle use as a mode of transportation has grown considerably in the United States. Other studies have examined the individual bicyclist’s risk in proportion to the growth in cycling across cities, a phenomenon referred to as ‘safety in numbers.’ This study expands from that research and examines the effect of cyclists on road safety for all road users.

The study examines the roles of bicycle modal split, a city wide analysis, and bicycle infrastructure, a site based analysis, in road safety outcomes. For the city based analysis, twenty years of crash data in 12 California cities were analyzed over a 20 year period. This study primarily used census data and State wide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS) data. This study concludes that as bicycle modal split increases in a city, the traffic fatalities tend to decrease and the relationship is an exponential function.

The site based analysis focuses on the effects of installing a bicycle lane on a street and examined its effect on injury crashes. 20 sites in San Francisco, CA that had bike lanes installed on them were compared to 25 control group sites, also in San Francisco, that did not have any bike lanes or other significant changes. An Empirical Bayes method of analysis was done to test its effects and determined that the effects were statistically significant.

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