Letter to the Editor

Not so dangerous

San Luis ObispoDecember 15, 2013 

Your article on bike safety in Dec. 8 was misleading and unnecessarily scary to bike riders. This was especially true of the headline: “City ranks as the seventh worst in California for per-capita deaths, injuries to cyclists.” The number of deaths and injuries per capita is a pretty meaningless statistic, since it ignores the amount of bike riding going on. The best statistic would be the number of deaths and injuries per mile of bike riding, but that might be hard to know. The article sort of makes this point, but it is much later in the article and not emphasized.

One concrete point the article makes is that SLO is a more dangerous place to bike than Davis. This is probably true, but it is easy to see why.

SLO is bisected by a freeway, a railroad and a creek. So there are relatively few through streets, and those are heavily traveled. It is also a pretty hilly town. Davis does not have these disadvantages.

In short, I believe that the article is misleading in implying that SLO is a dangerous place to ride a bike, and that the city has been somehow negligent in creating a safe biking environment.

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