Medford, Grants Pass rank top 10 for bicycle/vehicle collisions in the state

MEDFORD, Ore.– Several southern Oregon cities ranked among the most dangerous cities in the state for bicyclists.

In a recent study, The Oregonian looked at numbers provided by the Oregon Department of Transportation of bicycle/vehicle collisions and calculated that Medford, Ashland, and Grants Pass were all ranked in the top 10.

By comparing the number of accidents in each city between 2007 and 2015 to the number of residents in a given city during 2015, Medford ranked number six on the list with about 3.45 crashes per 1,000 residents.

For cyclists in the city, the numbers weren’t surprising and showcased how difficult it can sometimes be to be cycling around.

“There certainly are other parts of town where you’re kind of maybe taking your life into your own hands,” said Jake Sawyer, a cyclist and manager at Medford Cycle Sport.

Sawyer said not all of the city is bad for cyclists and there is a fair share of terrible decisions made by cyclists who run stop signs.

Harlan Bittner a local cyclist and president of the Siskiyou Velo Club in Talent said he also took a look at the data and would have liked to see a different comparison in the data set. He says it would have been more pertinent to compare bicycle accidents to the number of bicyclists in a city.

“That’s a better measure of safety,” he said. “Medford does not have many cyclists compared to many other Oregon cities, so bicycle safety is probably worse in Medford than depicted in the study.”

Portland still ranked number one for the most collisions in any city but Ashland ranked number four on the list with 77 accidents only to be surpassed by Grants Pass who ranked third at 147 accidents with three of them being fatal.

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