Safety: Engineering + Planning
Well designed bicycle infrastructure improves and enhances safety. Key actions through which cycling safety can be improved include:
- Managing the traffic mix by separating different road users to reduce potential conflict;
- Speed management schemes such as speed zones and other traffic calming measures; and
- Infrastructure design that caters for cyclist security and crash protective principles.
A Conceptual Framework for Road Safety and Mobility Applied to Cycling Safety (Netherlands)
15th Apr 2013
This paper published in the Journal Accident Analysis & Prevention online April 3rd, proposes a new conceptual framework for road safety and mobility comprising factors for risk and exposure resulting from travel behaviour. The model helps to identify potential effects of measures and policies on both exposure and risk. this paper also uses the framework to link research on cycling (safety) to land use and infrastructure.
Setting local speed limits circular and speed limit appraisal tool (UK)
19th Feb 2013
In January 2013, the UK Government published new guidelines to help local authorities implement 20mph speed limits and zones. At the same time the government published an online toolkit that will enable local councils to calculate the potential costs and benefits of implementing new speed limits.
On-road bicycle facilities and bicycle crashes in Iowa, 2007–2010 (USA)
19th Feb 2013
This reserach, published in the journal Accident Analysis & Prevention in January 2013, examined the impact of on-road bicycle facilities on crash risk. The results suggest that intersections with an on-road bicycle facility are more protective against crashes than those without, that bicycle-specific pavement markings are more protective against crashes than bicycle signage and that increased street width increases the risk of a bicycle-motor vehicle crash.
Cyclist Activated Warning Signs - VicRoads Trial (Australia)
08th Feb 2013
In January 2013 VicRoads switched on a new trial technology at the intersection of Nepean Highway and McDonald Street, Mordialloc which aims to improve the safety of cyclists. The new bike detection and cyclist activated warning signage is expected to increase driver awareness of cyclists as they exit a busy intersection.
Review of Cycling Safety Policies in the European Union (EU)
09th Jan 2013
In December 2012 the European Transport Safety Council released a report detailing best practices for facilitating cycling on roadways in a variety of European Union cities. It investigates policy, infrastructure, vehicle design and road user behaviour interventions and makes a series of recommendations to the EU and its members states.
Evaluation of the C-roundabout – an improved multi-lane roundabout design for cyclists (New Zealand)
09th Jan 2013
In December 2012 the NZ Transport Agency published a report evaluating the on-site operation of the C-roundabout design at a site in Auckland, New Zealand. The primary aim of the C-roundabout is to improve the safety of cyclists at multi-lane roundabouts and make multi-lane roundabouts more cyclist-friendly. The concept of the design is to decrease vehicle speeds through the roundabout to around 30 km/hr by increasing the deflection of the roundabout, and to reduce the widths of approach lanes and circulating lanes so that cyclists are required to travel in the centre of the lanes, like other vehicles.
Evaluation of Narrow Bridge Treatments for Cyclist Safety (Australia)
08th Jan 2013
In November 2012 consultants SKM finalised a report for the QLD Department of Transport and Main Roads which examined the effectiveness of treatments on narrow bridges to improve the safety of bicycle riders. The project tested the use of ‘Watch for Bicycles’ signs, ‘No Overtaking on Bridge’ signs, and Bicycle Awareness Zone (BAZ) pavement symbols. The findings recommend changes to the Australian guidelines relating to narrow bridge treatments for cyclists.
Crash Data Analyses for Vehicle-to-Infrastructure Communications for Safety Applications (USA)
05th Dec 2012
This report, released by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration in November 2012, presents the potential safety benefits of wireless communication between roadway infrastructure and vehicles by identifying the magnitude, characteristics, and cost of crashes that would be targeted.
Pedestrian and bicycle plans and the incidence of crash-related injuries (USA)
03rd Dec 2012
This study, reported in the journal Accident Analysis & Prevention, published in January 2013, examined the association between the presence of pedestrian and bicycle plans to pedestrian and bicyclist nonfatal and fatal injuries from 1997 to 2009 among 553 North Carolina (NC) municipalities. The research found pedestrian plans were associated with decreased nonfatal/fatal injury rates but bicycle plans were not.
Understanding the fear of bicycle riding in Australia
16th Nov 2012
Rates of bicycle commuting currently hover around 1 -2% in most Australian capital cities, although 17.8% of Australians report riding at least once per week. The most commonly stated reason for choosing not to ride a bicycle is fear of motorised vehicles. This paper, published in the Journal of the Australasian College of Road Safety in September 2012, sets out to examine the literature and offer a commentary regarding the role fear plays as a barrier to bicycle riding.
Route Infrastructure and the Risk of Injuries to Bicyclists: A Case-Crossover Study (Canada)
01st Nov 2012
This Canadian research,published in the American Journal of Public Health in October 2012, compared cycling injury risks of 14 route types. It found that separated bike lanes were the safest, with an estimated relative risk of 0.1 (or a reduction in injury risk of about 90%). Other routes designed for bikes were also safer, with relative risks near 0.5 (or a reduction in injury risk of about 50%): painted bike lanes on major streets without any parked cars; residential street bike routes; and bike paths in parks.
Bicyclists’ Injuries and the Cycling Environment Study (Canada)
26th Oct 2012
This University of British Columbia Cycling in Cities study examined the association between bicyclists’ injuries and the cycling environment (e.g., route types, intersection types). It found that the lower risks on quiet streets and on busy streets with bike-specific infrastructure support the route-design approach used in many northern European countries. Transportation infrastructure with lower bicycling injury risks merits public health support to reduce injuries and promote cycling.
Traffic Management and Infrastructure - Lessons from In-depth Crash Investigation (Australia)
23rd Oct 2012
This report, published by Austroads in October 2012 discusses infrastructure and traffic management issues identified in an examination of approximately 700 crash investigations conducted in metropolitan and rural areas of South Australia. The report recommends that segregation should be provided for cyclists on arterial roads where kerbside parking cannot be effectively eliminated and that a study into the interaction between cyclists and vehicles in wide kerbside traffic lanes should be conducted.
What do cyclists need to see to avoid single-bicycle crashes? (EU)
16th Oct 2012
This research paper, published in the journal Ergonomics in 2011, indicates that crashes, in which the cyclist collided with a bollard or road narrowing or rode off the road, were related to the visual characteristics of bicycle facilities. Edge markings, especially in curves of bicycle tracks, and improved conspicuity of bollards are recommended.
Long term bicycle related head injury trends for New South Wales following mandatory helmet legislation (Australia)
04th Oct 2012
This research report, published in Accident Analysis & Prevention in January 2013, finds the decline in bicycle related head injuries attributable to mandatory helmet legislation (MHL) has been maintained over the following two decades. Increases in cycling numbers post-MHL is associated with a similar increase in injuries with the exception of head injuries. A recent decline in cycling injuries and a continued increase in cycling numbers is associated with expenditures on cycling infrastructure. The decline in injuries attributable to cycling infrastructure is more pronounced for head injuries.
Austroads Guide to Road Safety (Australia)
23rd Aug 2012
The Guide to Road Safety examines road crash costs and road agencies’ duty of care to provide safe travel. The advantages and disadvantages of different ways of measuring road safety are discussed, and these methods are used to illustrate progress in road safety in Austroads’ member jurisdictions in recent years.
Bicycle Road Safety Audit Guidelines and Prompt Lists (USA)
11th Jul 2012
In May 2012 the US Federal Highway Administration released a guide designed to provide transportation agencies and road safety audit (RSA) teams with a better understanding of the safety of cyclists in the transportation system. The guide includes an overview of basic principles of the safety of cyclists and potential issues affecting cyclists, as well as information on how to conduct an RSA and effectively assess the safety of cyclists. The prompt list portion of the guide highlights safety issues that should be considered when conducting a cyclist-specific RSA.
Promoting Bicycle Commuter Safety (USA)
05th Jun 2012
This report, published in February 2012, presents an overview of the risks associated with cycling to emphasize the need for safety. The report suggests engineering, education, enforcement, encouragement, and evaluation solutions to safety.
Cycle safety measures on trial (New Zealand)
18th May 2012
In May 2012 Auckland Transport (AT) announced it is trialling new ways to keep cyclists safe on roads. The innovative safety measures, installed at two locations in Auckland’s west, are a first for New Zealand. Measures include raised cycle lane delineators and flexible bollards.
Determination of personal exposure to traffic pollution while travelling by different modes (New Zealand)
17th Jan 2012
This research report, released in November 2011, examines the results of a project which aimed to assess the comparative risk associated with exposure to traffic pollution when travelling via different transport modes in New Zealand cities. Concentrations of the key traffic-related pollutants (particulate matter: (PM): PM10, PM2.5, PM1; ultrafine particles (UFPs) and carbon monoxide (CO)) were simultaneously monitored on pre-defined routes in Auckland and Christchurch during the morning and evening commute on people travelling by car, bus, on-road bike, train (Auckland only) and off-road bike (Christchurch only) from February to May 2009.
Cyclists' Exposure to Traffic-Related Particulate Matter (USA)
25th Nov 2011
This research paper, published by the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium in July 2011, found that moving cyclists just a few feet from automobiles can make a big improvement in their exposure to ultrafine particles given off by automobile engines.
Evaluation of Pedestrian and Bicycle Engineering Countermeasures (USA)
04th May 2011
This report documents a US Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) project to quantify the effectiveness of selected engineering countermeasures to improve safety and operations for pedestrians and bicyclists. The report reviews the use of Rectangular Rapid-Flashing Beacons, HAWKs, Sharrows and Crosswalk Markings. It was published in April 2011.
Bikesafe: Bicycle Countermeasure Selection System (USA)
24th Sep 2010
This report provides information on 50 engineering countermeasures or treatments, along with education and enforcement programs, that may be implemented to improve bicycle safety and mobility. Included in this version are 60 case studies that illustrate these concepts applied in practice in a number of communities throughout the United States.
International Scan Summary Report on Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety and Mobility
24th Sep 2010
In May 2009, a team of 12 transportation professionals with expertise in bicycling and walking from the United States visited five countries in Europe to identify and assess effective approaches to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety and mobility. This summary report provides an overview of the team’s findings and recommendations.