Mia Birk asks Greenlick to withdraw bill says he «misinterpreted» …

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Mia Birk asks Greenlick to bill, says he misinterpreted injury study

Posted by Maus (Publisher/Editor) on January 2011 at 12:43 pm

I appreciate your intentions were but the facts do not support this Please withdraw it.

— Mia Birk, in a to Rep. Greenlick about HB

Let the education continue.

Below is a written to Rep. Mitch from Mia Birk. Birk is the bicycle coordinator at the City of CEO of Alta Planning and Design, and spends much of her time around the country about to promote her new book, Joyride.

Dear Rep. Greenlick,

I you have misinterpreted the OHSU commute study .

First, is nothing in that study relates to the transportation of small by bicycle. In fact, there is no evidence to support the notion transporting a child by bike to injuries.

Second, the leading of death in children is car crashes. Web-based Injury Statistics and Reporting System [online]. Center for Injury Prevention and Centers for Disease Control and (producer).

Available from www.cdc.gov/ncipc/wisqars. [2008 May 5].

So we’d do far to outlaw the transportation of children by

Third, the report in reality that the risk of serious being incurred while commuting is very small. The “traumatic event” actually “minor injury.” The author in an interview with Sarah of the Portland Mercury:

MERC: Your study that over 20 percent of experience a “traumatic or serious” What qualified as traumatic?

DR. You had to actually be injured. It could be skinning your knee or your ankle, but it couldn’t be a near miss.

So we’re about bumps and scrapes, not injuries.

Fourth, according to the if we commute by bike to work six miles a day, we’ll a minor mishap once four years. That perfectly reasonable and shouldn’t anyone from riding a for transportation. Shoot, I get injured few months playing tennis.

My son comes home from practice with a scrape or pretty much daily. My who isn’t into sports, manages to injure herself on the or in the house.

I wish the researchers had their results in comparison to physical or accident-inducing activities, than in a vacuum. Quick reveals common injury-inducing include cooking (slicing a or burning a hand), swimming, and in any and all sports.

I conducted a survey in my of 21 regular bike commuters. The

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69% suffered a minor injury in the year NOT related to bike

19% had a minor injury related to commuting;

15% suffered a major (requiring medical attention) in the year NOT related to bike


5% had a major injury (requiring attention) related to bike

In other words, people physically active lives injuries, with bicycle no worse an activity than else. And, as confirmed by a Dutch study, the benefits far the risks.

The use of the emotion-laden word and context-lacking statistics contribute to a of fear about bicycling as a activity. This fear suppresses bike use, a shame considering the extremely level of individual and societal and the fact that bicycling is getting safer. This we from Portland’s extensive analysis of reported bike-motor which clearly show the number of crashes is holding while the crash rate is precipitously. [See p. 9 of PBOT’s study ].

In sum, the OHSU study confirm that the risk of is small and far outweighed by the individual and health and environmental benefits of commuting.

I appreciate that intentions were good, but the do not support this bill. withdraw it.

Mia Birk

President, Planning + Design

Read background on this and on Greenlick’s bill here .

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