Bicycle Guidelines and Crash Rates on Cycle Tracks in the United States

Anne Lusk and her collaborators have published a paper in the American Journal of Public Health claiming that “the risk of bicycle–vehicle crashes is lower on US cycle tracks than published crashes [sic] rates on roadways.” You can read the full article, available open access, on the AJPH website (direct to PDF version).  AJPH has also published my letter about the article, and Lusk et al.’s response.


  1. Typical of Lusk & Co.

    I think anyone who has studied the data that’s available on cycling safety has knows that these folks, like Teschke and Pucher, are much more devoted to public health than science. Their claims of infrastructure safety fly in the face of pretty much all studies done by actual experts on transportation.

    What Lusk & Co. seem to be doing is attempting to publish as many studies as possible so as to create an overwhelming body of work supporting segregated bicycle facilities. Since studies supporting segregation make up only about 15% of cycling safety studies over the past 40 years, they have a long way to go. But if we only consider the last five years, these bigots are becoming a force to be reckoned with. Fortunately for the future of cycling safety, these zealots must torture the data to get it to say what they want it to say, and it’s never too difficult to find where the flaws lie.

    It’s a pity that these folks are not censured by their peers during the peer review process. The problem is, it’s hard for anyone who’s not involved with cycling safety to see the problems with advocacy tirades that are posing as scientific documents. Maybe when cycling becomes more popular, people will begin to see through these so-called ‘studies’.

  2. Gary Cziko rode the Boulder facility, and reports:

    “The cycle path I found extends on Broadway from Dartmouth in the south to Arapahoe on the north end. That’s only 3.53 km. I don’t see where the extra 1.3 km is. Overstating the distance would make the crash data look better for cycle tracks, wouldn’t it?

    “And the north end of those 3.53 is not cycle track as it is on campus well separated from the street.”

    This is similar to the padding of facility length which also occurs in Lusk’s Montreal study.

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