Follow Up With Ben: Part 1

Posted on Jun 06, 2011

So after some discussion on #BikeTO a consensus was made. We want to evidence to answer the question of whether law-abiding cyclists are in the minority. Since I am comfortable with my “inner grandpa,” I decided I could totally take up the torch. Maybe I would find my observations on bike safety to be suffering from the selection bias Ben had noted afterall. As a patron of truth and science I could not let a challenge go unanswered!

For the rest of this week I will be documenting with as much detail as I can, the quantity of cyclicsts who obey the law at intersections vs. the ones who do not. I am counting each unique incident in a table for each day for my one single route. Where I can I will also record anecdotal observations of various intersections of note. However I have not found a satisfactory system whereby I can record the quantities of each incidence at every intersection along the route without sacrificing too much time or safety. Perhaps another run at this can be made if I can devise one.

For now I am recording my observations with the voice-recording feature of my phone and transcribing them after each run of the route. I am only noting unique incidences. This means for each cyclist I only record one event of each type — if they successfully stop several times along the route for a red light it counts as one successful stop for the whole route. Same goes for all the other events that can happen.

The events I’m recording are:


The route I am recording runs from Broadview and Danforth to Bathurst and Bloor. I’ll be riding it twice a day starting today until Friday. I’ll post my results on Friday and leave it up to the community to decide what it means. I might have a few thoughts myself that I’ll follow up with on the following Tuesday or so.

To the streets!