Progress reports send mixed signals to Georgia’s cyclists

| Feb 26, 2020 | Personal injury |

A nonprofit group that has advocated for the needs of bicyclists for 140 years has released its annual state-by-state report card. The report card has Georgia remaining reasonably friendly to the interests of cyclists.

However, the report does not track measures like bicyclist fatalities. Other state-by-state numbers show we might be heading in the wrong direction.

Georgia holding steady on “Bicycle Friendly” report card

The annual report card from the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) looks at how well states work toward the goal of a “Bicycle Friendly America.”

We rose into America’s top 20 in 2017 and have remained there every year since. We also do well in our region. If you rode your bicycle due west, you would not ride through a state with a higher ranking until you reached California.

Georgia and the nation both seeing more cyclist deaths

Mostly, U.S. traffic deaths are down, dropping by 2.4% from the year before. Georgia’s numbers match this national average almost exactly. And that drop is despite there being more vehicles on the road, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

But the story for cyclists is a much sadder story. In the most recent year of data, 30 cyclists died in Georgia. That was the largest number in a decade and a startling leap from the 15 who died only the year before.

Nationally, cyclist deaths increased by 6.3% over the previous year. Disturbingly, that increase hides a spike in women killed while cycling of 29.2%. Compare that with the 3.2% increase in the deaths of male cyclists. Debate continues about the causes of this gender difference.