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How bike crashes shifted out of downtown DC during the pandemic – Greater Greater Washington

How bike crashes shifted out of downtown DC during the pandemic – Greater Greater Washington 2020-10-02Leave a comment

electrical bike How bike crashes shifted out of downtown DC through the pandemic – Better Better Washington

A bicyclist on the street in DC by Joe Flood licensed below Creative Commons.

All through this yr journey restrictions, enterprise closures, and expanded telework because of the COVID-19 pandemic have had a big affect on the transit habits of DC. Knowledge from the Open Data DC portal on bike crashes within the District reveals that bicycle habits within the metropolis have certainly been altered by the pandemic.

From a top-line look, the pandemic this yr appears to have flattened the same old summer season spike of bicycle accidents. Complete bicycle crashes between March and August in 2020 as in comparison with 2019 dipped from 404 to 163 — an virtually 60% year-over-year change.

It ought to, nonetheless, be famous that there have been a complete of 27 site visitors deaths all through DC in 2019, and 29 general site visitors deaths in DC as of August 2020, in accordance with Vision zero data. GGWash contributor and bicycle owner Dave Salovesh was killed by a driver in April 2019. There have been no fatalities involving cyclists within the District in 2020 to date.


Bicycle crashes between March and August of 2019 and 2020.  Picture by the creator.

Honing in on the distribution of those crashes between wards and it turns into clear that the majority of the bicycle crashes reductions have been in Ward 2 and Ward 6. The 2 wards have skilled a decline of 116.4 and 77.8 bike crashes per 100,000 residents between 2019 and 2020, respectively. These drops in bike crashes come whereas Wards 5 and eight have barely skilled any adjustments in any respect in the identical interval.


Bicycle crash charges by ward in 2019 and 2020.  Picture by the creator.

A cluster evaluation map gives a extra granular view of how precisely the places of motorcycle crashes in DC have modified from the spring and summer season of final yr as in comparison with this yr. The map of 2019 bike crashes within the area reveals the Farragut Sq. enterprise district and the world round Union Station as two of essentially the most frequent facilities of motorcycle crashes.


Bicycle crashes by sort and neighborhood location in 2019. Picture by the creator.

The map of the identical time interval from 2020 reveals not solely the aforementioned decline in complete bicycle crashes but additionally how the remaining crashes have clustered in several areas within the metropolis. Bike crashes on this yr not frequent the Foggy Backside, Farragut Sq., Dupont Circle neighborhoods or the areas round Union Station and NoMa, however moderately cluster extra regularly within the U St./Shaw and Petworth neighborhoods.


Bicycle crashes by sort and neighborhood location in 2020. Picture by the creator.

After all, the neighborhood clusters in Wards 2 and 6 embody a lot of the downtown enterprise and workplace areas, together with the Nationwide Mall, surrounding museums, and authorities companies.

This would appear to counsel {that a} lack of commuters to work in better downtown and vacationers across the Nationwide Mall have contributed to the drop in bike crashes in these areas, with the bigger proportion of fewer crashes as a substitute being centered round extra residential areas away from town middle.

As with seemingly most issues in fashionable life it’s unclear how extended these COVID-19 prompted adjustments to DC transit habits can be. Nevertheless, with the principle facilities of bicycle crashes shifting out of downtown and into extra residential neighborhoods, initiatives like Mayor Bowser’s Slow Streets and the broader Vision Zero plan and the Omnibus bill, handed lately by the DC Council, can be much more vital for adapting the area to a brand new Coronavirus actuality.

Adrian Nesta is a Southern California transplant at the moment residing in Mount Nice. He’s an information geek, biking fanatic, and basketball fanatic who’s keen about urbanism within the DC area, particularly transit.

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