To truly achieve safe shared streets, towns, cities and counties need to publicly support the six commitments for cycling safety.
At the beginning of the global pandemic, cyclists demonstrated the huge potential cycling population by flocking to roads that were closed to motor vehicles due to Covid 19. The road closures made cyclists feel safe to ride on the roads. So many new cyclists flocked to the roads that bike stores were overrun and ran out of bikes. When potential cyclists feel safe, they will ride and the cycling population will dramatically increase.
It has been said that up to sixty percent of greenhouse gas emissions are from vehicles. City, county and state climate change action plans seek to lower greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the total vehicle miles traveled. This requires people to shift from driving vehicles to riding bikes and walking. That shift will only happen if cyclists feel confident to ride on safe, shared streets.
Publicly stating support for these six commitments provides the foundation for gathering the requisite data, and creating transparent public reporting, to fully understand and mitigate the risks cyclists face riding on their roads. Mitigation of these risks is the key to giving cyclists the confidence to ride on their roads.
It is important to note that while cities and counties across the country have adopted hundreds of pages of Complete Streets resolutions and Bike/Ped Master Plans stating safety as their top goal, many still lack detailed performance metrics documenting their effectiveness in enforcing laws for cycling safety. In addition to the six commitments, we also propose useful performance metrics that can help light the way toward truly safe, shared streets for all.
Please sign the petition below and use it as a tool to encourage your town, city, county and law enforcement to publicly support the six commitments for cycling safety.
The Six Commitments for Cycling Safety
Our local jurisdiction (town, city, county, law enforcement) commits to the following:
- Provide jurisdiction-wide training on the Near Miss Spectrum, the impact of near misses and perceived risk, and secure leadership input and support for this near miss, collision, injury and fatality prevention program
- Investigate all reported incidents of motor vehicle – bicycle collisions and criminal near misses with the same priority as any other case of assault with a deadly weapon
- Creation of an independent review of all complaints to ensure consistent and equal enforcement of existing laws for cycling safety
- Actively encourage cyclists to ride with a camera and submit all near miss incident reports to: prevent collisions by changing drivers’ behavior before collisions occur, identify repeat offenders, and generate accurate and objective cyclist threat level data
- Send three-foot violation warning letters to drivers when cyclists report being endangered by three-foot violations
- Provide transparent and publicly accessible collision, criminal near miss, and three-foot violation metrics reporting for all incidents reported by cyclists
Performance Metrics Reporting
Cycling will only increase as a travel modality when the perceived risk is reduced to a level where people feel safe and confident riding on the roads. These public reports will allow us to begin evaluating performance metrics for cycling safety.
- Did the jurisdiction achieve a jurisdiction-wide understanding of the Near Miss Spectrum, their Serious Injury and Fatality (SIF) potential and cyclists’ perceived risk?
- Did the jurisdiction secure leadership input and support for this SIF prevention program?
- Did the jurisdiction commit to performance metrics for preventing SIF potential criminal near misses?
- How effectively did the jurisdiction request cyclists to ride with a camera and submit all near miss incident reports?
- How many collision and near miss incidents were reported in the jurisdiction?
- How many criminal near miss cases were accepted, rejected, dismissed, cited, charged, prosecuted and sentenced?
- How many three-foot incident reports were accepted or rejected?
- How many three-foot violation warning letters were sent to drivers when cyclists report being endangered by three-foot violations?
- How do cyclists who submitted incident reports feel their incidents were handled?
- Has the number of cyclist incident reports increased?
- Is the cycling population increasing?
- Do cyclists feel safer and more confident riding on town/city/county streets?