Cycling fatalities drop in Detroit
There were four fatal bicycle crashes on average for every million Detroit residents between 2017 and 2021, per data from the League of American Bicyclists via the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — down 14% from 2012-2016.
- The figure is based on Detroit's approximately 0.6 million residents.
Why it matters: Bicycle use exploded during the pandemic, leaving many cities scrambling to install new bike lanes and adopt other measures to keep riders safe and encourage cycling, Axios' Alex Fitzpatrick reports.
- Detroit is building the 27.5-mile Joe Louis Greenway for bikes and pedestrians, plus spending at least $14 million to install bike lanes in other parts of the city — though not everyone likes the latter, as BridgeDetroit reports.
Zoom out: There were 2.7 fatal bicycle crashes on average for every million U.S. residents between 2017 and 2021 — up 5% from 2012-2016.
Zoom in: Some of the country's best new bike lane projects are in Seattle, Portland and Bethesda, Maryland, per advocacy group PeopleForBikes.
Reality check: Protected bike lanes and other measures designed to keep cyclists safe are often met with fierce pushback from drivers who lament the loss of any lanes or parking spots.
- Some local critics also say they are "useless features to attract gentrifying Detroiters" and that many were installed on affluent corridors, BridgeDetroit writes.
- Others see them as necessary and protective — but the streets that do have bike lanes vary in how they look and where the bikes go in comparison to the road, making them feel inconsistent and unsafe for many.
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