Is Bicycling's Success in Boston a Danger to Pedestrians?

More bicyclists are on the streets of Boston. That's good for a lot of reasons. But will we start to see more bicyclists running into pedestrians?


Most of the recent news about bicycling in Boston is positive: More people are bicycling and the city is becoming an easier place to bike.

But when you put more pedestrians and two-wheelers crossing the same streets and intersections, bad things could happen. Especially when one or both parties are flouting traffic rules. Boston pedestrians don't seem to pay much attention to whether the crossing light is red or green. And we've all seen bicyclists zoom through red lights.

A recent infamous case comes out of San Francisco, where a bicyclist ran a red light and slammed into a pedestrian. The man fell and hit his head. He died a few days later.

Atlantic Cities recently posted a round-up of cyclist-on-pedestrian incidents. They conclude it's hard to say whether such collisions are on the rise or not. Data from a Hunter College study shows that while there are more bike-pedestrian accidents than people thought, the number is actually declining.

Of course, pedestrians and bicyclists are in more danger from cars than they are from each other.

HenryTucker July 26, 2012 at 03:56 PM
The real danger is all the people plugged into electronic devises. Not being aware of their surroundings creates a hazard for everyone.
David Ertischek July 26, 2012 at 05:35 PM
I don't think bicyclists are a danger to pedestrians. I would agree with HenryTucker that people who are not paying attention, be it from being plugged into an electronic device, or some other reason, are the greatest dangers to those around them. I'd say drivers of cars are still the greatest danger to pedestrians because cars are more powerful.
Robert Orthman July 26, 2012 at 08:55 PM
All are guilty as charged. It never ceases to amaze me how at any given downtown intersection you can simultaneously witness a driver speed through a red light, a bicyclist blast through a crowded crosswalk, and then pedestrians walk out in front of both vehicles and bikes nowhere near a crosswalk. It just seems like it's so often a free-for-all. Maybe a public education campaign is needed? I'm not sure but it really is the wild west at times.


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