Geomapping ICBC bike accident reports sheds light on what’s working, what’s not

A fascinating new tool — an interactive map of ICBC’s  BC bicycle accident reports — is making the rounds on Velolove, a listserve I find indispensable for following cycling life in the city.

The work of Eric Promislow, who recently produced it at the Open Data Hackathon at Foodtree, the map gives a visual impression of hotspots and and new insight into what’s working on the cycle system. (Of course, the many accidents that go unreported will not be here.)

Promislow writes that he has relied on data from “5,478 incidents over 2006-2010 with a latitude, longitude, month, and year. There are another 1,044 incidents that report only a town, month, and year.  I left these off the map to avoid grouping 100s of hits near the city hall.”

Nonetheless, the map shows some fascinating trends. The 10th Ave. bike route in Vancouver, for example, shows many incidents. Is this the result of high bike volumes? No doubt yes, in part, but I find car traffic intense on this route in the medical district between Oak and Cambie.

There’s another cluster along Burrard, a route I have avoided for many years, Now the Hornby bike lanes provide a safe alternative one block away.

And the crossing at Clark Dr. and 10th: it has problems, as many cyclists have been complaining in recent weeks. Despite special signalization and a refuge area in the median, this crossing remains a risky one for cyclists.