Sacramento Ranked One of the Worst Cities for Cyclist Safety
A recent study of bicyclist safety in America found that Sacramento, California has an average of 4.8 cyclist fatalities per 100,000 people. This number makes Sacramento the nation’s fifth worst city in terms of cyclist safety.
For this study, members of the Wall Street Journal analyzed traffic fatality statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The fatality figures used were taken between 2007 and 2016.
Bike safety advocates believe Sacramento had such a poor showing on this test because the city hasn’t invested enough in bike-protected lanes. This is especially a problem in areas outside of the Downtown and Midtown districts.
Indeed, the most dangerous areas of Sacramento for cyclists are in the south. Safety advocates say streets south of Broadway and west of Power Inn Road have especially high rates of cyclist fatalities.
Another reason for this increase in cyclist fatalities has to do with the increased rate of drivers who speed on Sacramento’s roads. The rise in distracted driving might also play into these cyclist fatality figures.
In response to these high fatality numbers, Sacramento pointed out its recent investment in highly visible bike lanes near SAC State as well as dedicated bike boxes by traffic lights. City officials also put a law into place a few years ago that requires motorists to drive at least three feet behind bicyclists.
Sacramento officials are now working closely with the Vision Zero safety group to put an end to all traffic fatalities by 2027. The Vision Zero program originated in Sweden and works with cities around the world to create actionable policies to improve street safety.
In total, cyclists account for about 2.2 percent of total traffic fatalities. In 2016 alone, 840 American cyclists died in traffic collisions. The Wall Street Journal points out that 20 percent of these fatalities occurred between 6PM and 9PM and that over 70 percent happened in urban areas.
The other four cities on this study’s list were all in Florida. The most dangerous area for cyclists in the nation is the Tampa/St. Petersburg area with 7 fatalities per 100,000 cyclists. In descending order, the second through fourth most dangerous cities for cyclists are Jacksonville, Orlando, and Miami.
For more information about Sacramento’s Vision Zero program, please visit the city’s official website on this link.