Mapping cyclist collisions

Mapping collisions involving cyclists in Toronto

November 12, 2020

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increased interest in cycling as a form of transportation. To promote this biking boom, the City of Toronto has expanded the cycling network through the ActiveTO program.

While cycling offers health benefits, there is a degree of injury risk. Bicycle-specific infrastructure is often cited as a way of reducing cyclist’s injury risk, such as in this study of 690 injured cyclists in Toronto and Vancouver.

The issue of bike infrastructure efficacy in Toronto can be examined through cyclist collision statistics.

Heat map of collisions involving cyclists in 2018 & 2019

Please click the map to view an interactive version

Source 1: Cyclists: KSI Index, Toronto Police Service Public Safety Data Portal, Downloaded November 7 2020 via https://data.torontopolice.on.ca/pages/cyclists
Source 2: Bikeways, City of Toronto Data Portal, Downloaded November 7 2020 via https://open.toronto.ca/dataset/bikeways/

By mapping Toronto’s current bikeways and overlaying location data of collisions involving cyclists reported by Toronto Police Service between 2018 and 2019, it is possible to determine how many of those collisions occurred in close proximity to a bikeway.

Collisions involving cyclists, 2018 & 2019

Please click the map to view an interactive version that displays details about each reported collision

Source 1: Cyclists: KSI Index, Toronto Police Service Public Safety Data Portal, Downloaded November 7 2020 via https://data.torontopolice.on.ca/pages/cyclists
Source 2: Bikeways, City of Toronto Data Portal, Downloaded November 7 2020 via https://open.toronto.ca/dataset/bikeways/

The aforementioned study notes that not all infrastructure is created equal: different types of routes pose different degrees of risk.

Routes classified as bikeways within Toronto range from paved paths for dedicated cyclist use separated from traffic by a physical barrier to street signage reminding drivers to share the road.

Of all collisions involving cyclists, the majority did not occur in close proximity to a bikeway. Out of the 25 collisions that took place on or within 10 meters of a bikeway, over half were involving bike lanes. Just over a quarter occurred on cycle tracks, which have a greater degree of physical separation from the road than bike lanes.

Further research can be done by comparing this data to traffic data to account for cyclists/motorist volumes’ influence on accident rates.

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