Since the Bike Union began, getting accurate bike crash data that indicates cause has been part of the struggle to eliminate death and injuries among cyclists in the city. Now, that step toward “Vision Zero” has finally been taken. Not only do we now have a database that begins to tell the story of how crashes happen, we also have a baseline measure that can be used to measure the success of future efforts to reduce death and injury.
The Boston Area Research Initiative (BARI), the Boston Cyclists Union, the Boston Police Department and other partners, led by Rappaport Fellow Dahianna Lopez, have released two new tools for bike advocates everywhere. One is an interactive online crash map that allows people to identify crash clusters and see potential patterns. Two is a public release of the raw data that helped create that map. The raw data however contains much more data than the map—including narrative police reports that are our best indication of cause and a number of facts derived from them.
The release of the data opens the door for researchers around the world and allows Boston to join just a handful of cities in the country that provide public access to police crash data, and a very select few that include narrative police reports with that data. Accessing the data requires a LinkedIn profile and approval by BARI.
The work on Boston’s crash data resources will continue for years to come as the Bike Union chases a few important goals:
· Adopting Vision Zero in the City of Boston
· Adding regular updates to the existing police data
· Correlating the police data with ambulance and emergency room data to illuminate facts such as which kinds of crashes are causing the most serious crashes, and how much bike crashes are costing the city on the whole.
If you are interested in supporting our continuing work on crash data, you can join or donate, call us at 617-516-8877, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. If you’d like to volunteer on this project or other research email Jessie Partridge, the Union’s Research lead.