Mapping Bicycle Accidents in Greater Vancouver

About three years ago I obtained an open data file from ICBC with the intersection coordinates for every cycling accident that involved a motor vehicle in Metro Vancouver between 2006-2010. This was an era before any separated cycle tracks. It is amazing to think how far we have come! For example many cyclists who travel north over the burrard bridge now ride north on the separated bike lane on Hornby instead of staying on Burrard, so I expect there will be a large drop in the number of accidents on burrard between pacific and Davie streets where there used to be the highest accident density in the City. I am very interested in producing a comparative map showing data for the past year or two sicne ICBC now has an actual open data portal, check back soon or subscribe to this blog for an updated comparative analysis.

For the cartographers out there, this map is is created using the kernal density function of ArcMap. I encourage you to zoom into the image below where I have posted a 110" x 85" map canvas using that allows for deep-zoom map so that you can view the whole city but also zoom in to see streets with labels...I hope you enjoy playing with this! Double-click on the map to zoom in and click the home icon in the bottom right corner to zoom back to the original extent.

I also created a more detailed view of the accidents in Kitsilano, to help support approval of the new intersection at Burrard and Cornwall and seaside greenway to Jericho Beach. This project was approved last year and the construction work at Burrard intersection is now almost complete. I have included one picture below to show the beautiful new intersection at Burrard and Cornwall that I expect will reduce the number of crashes in this area. I ride through here every day and love the new route.

I believe proportional symbols as shown above are a more effective and honest way of representing the data since they display the real value instead of a kernal-based visual representation. However, when looking at the data for all of metro Vancouver, proportional symbols were more challenging to use effectively. What do you like better?

Please leave a comment below or send me a message on twitter to let me know what you think about this maps design, the accident data itself or using as a map viewing platform. Let's have a conversation about what has been done over the past five years and what still needs to be done to make Vancouver a safer city for cyclists like you, your mom and your children.