Here are the results of a 2 year study involving 690 cyclists in Vancouver and Toronto, who were injured while cycling and wound up at an emergency room because of it. The study aimed to find which infrastructure features contribute to safety, and which ones cyclists prefer. The results were published in the American Journal of Public Health and elsewhere.
Of the 690 injured cyclists in the study, 59% were male. The injury trips were mainly on weekdays (77%), less than 5 km long (68%), and for utilitarian purposes (74%). Of the injury events, 72% were collisions (with motor vehicles, route features, people, or animals) and 28% were falls.
We found that route infrastructure does affect the risk of cycling injuries. The most commonly observed route type was major streets with parked cars and no bike infrastructure. It had the highest risk. In comparison, the following route types had lower risks (starting with the safest route type):
- cycle tracks (bike lanes physically separated from motor vehicle traffic) alongside major streets (about 1/10 the risk)
- residential street bike routes (about 1/2 the risk)
- major streets with bike lanes and no parked cars (about 1/2 the risk)
- off-street bike paths (about 6/10 the risk)
The following infrastructure features had increased risk:
- streetcar or train tracks (about 3 times higher than no tracks)
- downhill grades (about 2 times higher than flat routes)
- construction (about 2 times higher than no construction)