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Is it safer to bike on the sidewalk?

Author's Note

Unquestionably accurate statistics are hard to come by. It's an issue most writers face, and one that has grown increasingly problematic with the rise of Internet publishing. Now, in addition to the fact that numbers can be made to say pretty much anything you want them to, there are ones being pulled out of thin air.

And so we look for the most credible sources. In this case, I limited my statistical sources to government and university documents and national cycling organizations. It should be noted, however, that some less obviously credible publications, most notably blogs, in some cases offered injury and collision statistics that differed from the ones I included here, and they were often higher. I personally believe the blogosphere to be a highly valuable resource and many bloggers to be credible, responsible writers and journalists. It's sometimes hard to tell the difference, though, between the fact-driven and the dogma-driven, and so I chose the numbers backed up by the big guys. There are, however, others out there to be found, if you want to look.

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More Great Links


  • "America's Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities." Bicycling Magazine. (Sept. 19, 2012)
  • "Bicycle Friendly Community: Davis, CA." League of American Bicyclists. (Sept. 19, 2012)
  • "Bicycle Crash Facts." University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center. (Sept. 21, 2012)
  • "Bicyclists and Other Cyclists: 2010 Data." Traffic Safety Facts. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. June 2012. (Sept. 20, 2012)
  • "Colorado Bike Law." Pedal. (Sept. 17, 2012)
  • "Oregon Bicycle Laws." Bike Portland. (Sept. 17, 2012)
  • "Sidewalks are For Walking." San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. (Sept. 17, 2012)
  • "Top 5 Rules for Biking on the Sidewalk." Commute by Bike. July 9, 2008. (Sept. 17, 2012)
  • "Traffic laws for bicyclists and motorists to know." Florida Department of Transportation. (Sept. 17, 2012)
  • "The World's Most Bicycle Friendly Cities." Copenhagenize. July 21, 2009. (Sept. 19, 2012)