Mapping NYC Bike Accidents

Not me. I'm not that dapper
Not me. I’m not that dapper

I was riding my bike through downtown Brooklyn, at the intersection of Jay and Tillary, when a large SUV made a right turn into me. Due to the angle of impact and maybe just luck, I came away with just some minor bruises. It was the first time I had been hit by a car while riding in NYC, though, and it changed the way I moved through the city streets. I am more cautious and a little paranoid now, especially since the SUV driver decided to be an asshole and just drive away.

About a month later I pulled up to the same intersection and saw a guy on the ground, his bike next to him, front wheel still spinning, and people gathering around to help him. He had been hit literally in the same exact spot I had. As I rode away, I thought that it would be great to see a map of dangerous biking zones in the city.

Fortunately, NYC OpenData has a dataset from the NYPD on motor vehicle collisions. I hooked it up to Google Maps and voila! Check it out here.

My goal for this was to provide a way for people to evaluate their daily commutes and maybe find safer routes. Data can be weird, though, and what I see a lot on the map are crashes along the common bike paths, which is probably because that’s where the bikers are (duh). I’m not sure if taking alternate routes that are off the bike paths is any safer. Maybe there is still some valuable info in there though.

I’d like to expand on this map and add functionality. It’s on GitHub, if you’re interested in helping.


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