The 1,000 pedestrians were injured enough to visit a hospital for treatment, but on the other hand less than one pedestrian a year was killed by a bicycle. (3 in 5 years.) Hardly a bloodbath.
In the same one year period 15,321 pedestrians are injured statewide by motor vehicles, and more than 300 died from their injuries. So get hit by a car or truck and you have a 1 in 51 chance of dying, get hit by a bicycle and the chance of a fatality is less than 1 in 1,000.
The other thing these figures don’t tell is who is at fault in these accidents. There are so many people walking around with ear buds in, listening to music; or talking or texting on cell phones. There is no law against this as distracted walkers are mainly only a danger to themselves.
So many pedestrian will step off a curb first then look for traffic, or step out between parked cars.
Cyclists need to stay off sidewalks, and yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, especially if they have a green light.
But if a pedestrian steps or runs into a traffic lane, there is little a car driver or bike rider can do. The bike rider with a little more maneuverability has some chance of going around a person, and if there is a collision with less weight and speed chances of survival are greater.
Let’s not forget also that a pedestrian can cause a cyclist to fall, resulting in injury; or in a worst case scenario knock the cyclist under the wheels of a passing car.
I will continue to be critical of scofflaw cyclists, because they not only put themselves and others in danger; they cause all cyclists to be viewed in a bad light, all are painted with the same broad brush. However, it serves no useful purpose for one group to constantly blame another; we are all just trying to get where we need to be.
It behooves those who are more vulnerable, namely cyclists and pedestrians, to ride and walk defensively, and to pay attention. Pedestrians should also realize that bike lanes and more cyclists have a calming effect on motor vehicle traffic. Less speed means less likelihood of a fatal collision.
Car drivers should note that more bikes mean less cars, less congestion; people can drive slower, use less gas and still get where they a going in the same time.
We should all realize that people driving, cycling, or walking can sometimes make mistakes. Some are reckless, but that doesn’t mean all are reckless.
The best any individual can do is try to be responsible for their own actions, and possibly be a little less critical, and a little more forgiving of the actions of others.