According to the 2014 Alliance for Biking & Walking Benchmarking report and the Seattle Times’ Gene Balk Seattle ranks number for safest for walking and biking within large cities, taken from seattlebikeblog.com.
When walking and biking commute rates per capita are compared to reported fatalities, Seattle places second in walking safety and eighth in biking safety. In fact, Seattle is one of only four cities that makes the top-ten list for both biking and walking safety. When Balk combined the two measures, he determined that Seattle places second overall. Only Boston is safer.
First, some caveats to the data: Because the walking and biking rate information comes from Census surveys, people who mix walking or biking with public transit are likely not counted in the walking and biking columns. Neither are people who walk or bike to work some days, but not always. And, of course, only work trips are counted. So a retired person walking to the grocery store would not be counted, either.
The way the Census question is asked, the data represents the mode of transportation people use for most of their commute trips “last week.” So all those people pouring into a New York subway probably don’t count in the walk column. Neither do all the people walking to a 3rd Ave bus stop in downtown Seattle. But the Census data is probably the closest estimate we have, and it’s definitely the only one that’s universal between cities.
When added together, Seattle has the fourth-highest walk/bike commute rate among large US cities. Yes, Seattle even ranks higher than Portland, which has a higher bike rate but a lower walk rate. As we reported previously, when you include all commute modes measured by the Census, Seattle is one of only five large cities where fewer than half of residents drive alone to work.
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