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The best friend of those who use the car in the city should be the cyclist.

It’s true; the cyclist, apart from not creating pollution, does not create congestion or take up parking space, making life easier for motorists too.

Cities such as Amsterdam or Copenhagen, which are some of the world’s most bike friendly, have the lowest journey times by car.

And yet the tragic news of these days, amplified by the involvement of famous victims, brings us back to a harsh reality: the “tricky” coexistence of cars and bikes, and the daily risk for cyclists. What can be done?

A few months ago we wondered what modest contribution we could make in this regard.

We were unsure of what road to take, so we started by asking you to consider the safety of your bike journey. One star for the most dangerous, five stars for the safest. A Tripadvisor for safety, in short, where instead reviewing a restaurant you review the safety of the roads.

When we began to analyse the data collected, we were impressed by the amount of reviews you’ve been providing, kilometre by kilometre. Reviews that allow you to read the city differently, from the perspective of those who cycle in traffic every day.

So we decided to rank these ratings and make them public.

First of all we created maps of different cities, using a colour scale from red to green to indicate the different levels of danger. We’ve decided to only display streets with at least ten reviews, to prevent a single review having too much influence on the final result.

Then we considered all available reviews to get an average of safety for each city.

Finally, we have taken into account the percentage of coverage, that is, the kilometres of roads mapped compared to the total kilometres.

This is how we have established the Urban Cycling Index, a simple but powerful indicator that gives us immediate information on the safety of a city and allows us to compare it with others.

The Index of Urban Cycling (ICU) has just been launched, but we have big plans for it :-)

We would like to see it go from strength to strength, thanks to targeted and effective action by Local Authorities.

And we want to spread it, thanks to you, thereby increasing the number of cities involved and the percentage of mapped roads. Each week we will publish updates. We think this will start a race between cyclists in different cities!

Soon we’ll make these ratings available directly in the App, to guide you through the city as safely as possible. To do this we need you: keep reviewing your trips by bike, and then download the app. Lets make our views on safety in the city crystal clear!

Maps of various cities can be found here. Are you an Administration or an Enterprise and are interested in collaborating to improve road safety for cyclists? Email us at info@wecity.it or use our Facebook and Twitter profiles.


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