Interactive Map Shows Where Bike Crashes Happen The Most In L.A.
The creative geniuses at the MIT Media Lab's Social Computing Group have created an interactive map that shows all 2,043 bike accidents in Los Angeles that happened in 2012.
It is part of a year-long project simply called, "You Are Here," which creates interactive maps of major cities and plots out the living experience of its residents. So far, those residents seems to be limited to post-college hipsters as they've only mapped out coffee shops and bike accidents in areas like San Francisco, Portland, and Brooklyn. The Los Angeles map shows all reported 2,043 bike accidents in 2012 as glowing dots over a city map.
However, the project does have an ultimately broader scope and hopefully one that has a worldwide reach if the global map on the homepage is any indication. The ultimate goal of the project is to inform and enlighten communities about their homes.
One of the project creators, Sep Kamvar, told Boston Magazine: "The purpose is to make the invisible, visible in a way that makes it clear to people how to improve their city."
The data was culled from LAPD police reports collected in 2012. Not every bike crash that occurs gets reported, so there could very well be more crashes unaccounted for.
A pull-out menu on the side of the map shows a bar graph that charts streets that have the most accidents and also shows the Google Street View of an accident site when you hover over each data point. The top 5 streets with the most accidents are your usual suspects: Olympic, Venice, Sunset, Van Nuys, and Pico.
Folks in L.A. have differing opinions on how safe it is to bike out here. An L.A. Times reporter wrote an article about the dangers of biking in L.A. back in February. He wrote that "the reality is that danger is always lurking—car doors, distracted drivers, drunk drivers, pedestrians, scooters … it's just really congested and the bike culture hasn't totally caught on yet."
However, Ted Rogers of Biking In L.A. blog, who although regularly reports on bike crashes in L.A. would rather bike than drive. "Personally, I feel far safer on my bike than in my car, where I can count on riding skills to avoid most dangerous situations, whereas in my car, I'm a sitting duck," he wrote in a blog post.