People Powered Movement
America’s roads are dangerous. In fact, the United States reports more fatal and injury-causing traffic accidents than most other countries across the globe. European countries consistently report low incidents of traffic accidents. Why? Many countries in Europe have fully embraced bicyclists and pedestrians.
Visit a European country and you’ll be amazed at the infrastructure. American roads are built for cars and designed for speed. European roads are built to accommodate many modes of transportation and are designed for safety.
Increased bike lanes, sidewalks, and other safety measures will not only keep us safe but also increase the number of Americans who choose to bike or walk. This will have astounding benefits for our public and personal health and well-being.
About People Powered Movement
The mission of People Powered Movement is to make America a friendlier place for bicyclists and pedestrians through united advocacy efforts. As cities and towns across the country embrace changes in their infrastructure to accommodate bikes and walkers, America will become a safer place. Our goal is to provide useful information regarding bike and pedestrian safety and create, strengthen, and unite state and local bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations throughout North America.
There were over 840 bicyclists deaths and almost 6,000 pedestrian deaths in the U.S. in 2016. A recent study estimates the cost of bicycle fatal and non-fatal accidents to be approximately $1 billion dollars. This includes medical costs, productivity loss, and burden on the legal system due to personal injury lawsuits.
We have spoken to various legal experts who handle these types of cases and the response is the same. “My colleagues and I have seen a huge increase in bicycle accident personal injury cases,” says Sherwin Arzani – an attorney who handles accident cases throughout Los Angeles and California. “It seems like cyclists were willing to brush off accidents or blame themselves. Not anymore. Bicycle accident victims seem to know their rights and will enforce them after being injured” states Mr. Arzani.
Leading the way in the United States in bicycle accidents and fatalities is Florida. According to the US Department of Transportation, Florida has 6.56 bicyclist fatalities. That’s almost double the next highest state. Attorney Boris Lavent, a personal injury lawyer in Miami who regularly handles bicycle accident cases, advises that speaking to an attorney may be your best option following an accident. “Given the cost, you may need to seek legal counsel if you’ve been in a collision,” Mr. Lavent tells us.
We have partnered with policy experts, advocacy organizations, cycling enthusiasts, and legal advocates to bring you data-driven information to help lawmakers at the state and federal level make informed decisions regarding biking and walking policies.
Increase in Bicycle Use & Walking Across the Nation
Across the country, an increasing number of Americans are ditching their cars and opting to bike or walk. In fact, between 2000 and 2016, the number of bicycle commuters in the country increased by an astounding 51 percent.
More cyclists have been popping up in cities and towns that have made efforts to make roads more bicyclist-friendly.
Cities with the highest percentage of biking commuters include:
- Davis, CA (16.6%)
- Berkeley, CA (9%)
- Boulder, CO (9%)
- Portland, OR (6.3%)
- Fort Collins, CO (5.3%)
- Madison, WI (4.9%)
- Washington, D.C. (4.6%)
Statistics show that the following American cities demonstrated particularly large increases in bicycle traffic between 2011 and 2016:
- Detroit, MI (1494% increase)
- Louis, MO (140% increase)
- Omaha, NE (258% increase)
- Wichita, KS (358% increase)
- Arlington, TX (201% increase)
- Pittsburgh, PA (85% increase)
- New York City, NY (46% increase)
Initiatives & Advocacy for Safer Streets
Many cities across the country are trying to do their part to increase the number of commuters who choose to use alternative modes of transportation. Why? Studies continue to show that when bicyclists and pedestrians have access to safe infrastructure, they embrace it.
Increased biking and walking is correlated with less traffic, fewer overall accidents, and increased health and well-being. Cities are beginning to understand that they can affect all of these changes by simply installing some inexpensive bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure measures.
Cities Responding to Advocacy Groups
After Portland, OR installed dedicated bike lanes and traffic-calming measures on its roads, the number of bicyclists in the city exploded. In fact, the changes allowed Portland to boast one of the highest percentages of bike commuting in the country.
Portland’s bike initiative was propelled, in part, thanks to a strong local advocacy campaign. This highlights the importance of organizing and campaigning for bicycle and pedestrian safety. When advocacy groups can show the city the benefits of embracing the bicycling and walking communities, change can happen.