BikeLA released the 2023 Bicycle Safety Report Tuesday, stressing the ongoing need to expand investments in active transportation infrastructure quickly and equitably. The report analyzes the 26 bicycle-related fatalities on LA County roadways in 2022 and determines several key findings.
Most notably, the report identifies four factors that were prevalent in the vast majority of collisions. These design elements include high speed limits, excessive travel lanes, missing bike lane infrastructure and poor street lighting. With 81% of collisions involving two or more of these factors, it suggests that infrastructure deficiencies are the main culprit behind the dangerous conditions on the county’s roads.
The report also considers the geographic distribution of each collision and found that 61% of last year’s bicycle fatalities took place in heavily concentrated low-income, Black and Latinx neighborhoods. Tragically, many crashes were also concentrated along heavily-traveled corridors without quality bike infrastructure including Anaheim Street in Long Beach and Figueroa Street in Los Angeles.
Three bicycle-related fatalities took place in the San Fernando Valley. One occurred in the City of San Fernando on Oct. 22, when 43-year-old Robert Abraham Salas was killed near San Fernando Road and Meyers Street. Two more took place on Jan. 4, when Matthew Zink, 58, and Ana Hernandez, 37, were killed in a hit-and-run crash in Chatsworth. Hernandez was pregnant at the time.
BikeLA recommends several solutions including reducing speed limits, embracing road diets and expanding cyclist education programs. Taken together, these solutions can help governments across the county recommit to their vision for zero traffic fatalities.
“When we bicycle, we become members of every community we ride through,” said BikeLA Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman. “However, no matter how conscientious we are on the road, the infrastructure we rely on must do a better job of supporting our freedom to navigate Los Angeles without fearing for our lives. The current reality on the street detailed in our 2023 Bicycle Safety Report is unacceptable for all modalities and we are committed to advocating for the systemic change necessary to make our region bikeable for everyone, no matter their zip code.”
“When we look at the impacts, we see that the communities that need the greatest assistance are located in lower income, POC dense areas,” says Kevin Shin, BikeLA’s deputy director. “This shows the impact of historic disinvestment and racist policies that lead to a lack of resources resulting in the negative outcomes we experience now. Our goal is to have this data reshape the policies that distribute resources so that these communities get to enjoy their streets safely.”
The entire Bicycle Safety Report, including an interactive map that highlights the locations of all 26 fatalities from 2022, can be found online at www.bike-la.org/safetyreport.