Cascade Avenue is even safer than we thought.

In our note “Kathleen Krager: Doubling Down Despite Data” we cited data showing that pedestrian safety issues on Cascade Avenue are exaggerated. Specifically, we said there were 15 pedestrian-vehicle collisions out of 1.6 million pedestrian crossings.

We got the 1.6M number as follows:

  1. Colorado College (CC) did an analysis showing at least 900 pedestrians cross Cascade Avenue during the lunch rush. To be conservative we didn’t account for pedestrian crossings at other times of day.
  2. We assumed a (low) estimate of 150 school days per year. To be conservative we didn’t account for pedestrian crossing on non-school days.
  3. 900 pedestrian crossings per day x 150 school days per year = 135,000 pedestrian crossings per year.
  4. The CC analysis was for the years 2000 – 2012. 135,000 crossings per year x 12 years = 1,620,000 crossings.
  5. According to CC’s Accident Summary, there were 15 pedestrian-vehicle collisions on Cascade in that time frame.

That’s how we got 15 pedestrian-vehicle collisions out of 1.6M pedestrian crossings.

However, one resident helpfully pointed out that the CC analysis gives more precise data about pedestrian crossings. Specifically, Figure 2-6 shows pedestrian volumes during the peak times in the morning, midday, and evening.

2013 CC analysis Figure 2-6 mid-block ped counts  2013 CC analysis Figure 2-6 legend.2

According to Figure 2-6 (above), Cascade Avenue actually sees 2,150 pedestrian crossings per day. Using the same method as above, this would bring us to 15 pedestrian-vehicle collisions out of 3,870,000 pedestrian crossings.In other words, 0.0004% of pedestrian crossings on Cascade resulted in a collision. Also note most of these collisions involved minor injuries or no injuries at all.

Despite the relative rarity of collisions on Cascade, Krager claims she must narrow Cascade before CC students return in August because “We’re having an increasing number of pedestrian accidents, and it’s just a matter of time.”

But we don’t know why she thinks so. As we just explained, the CC analysis cites 15 pedestrian-vehicle collisions on Cascade over a 12 year period. That’s 1.25 collisions per year. In the 3.5 years since then, according to data from CSPD (see the file called “Fuller letter”), Cascade has seen 3 pedestrian-vehicle collisions on Cascade. That’s 0.86 collisions per year. We don’t know what data Krager is looking at (if any) to suggest pedestrian accidents are increasing, but the data we’ve been able to find suggests collisions are actually the opposite.

From 2000-2012, 0.0004% of pedestrain crossings on Cascade resulted in a pedestrian-vehicle collision. That’s 1.25 collisions per year. Since then it’s gone down to 0.86 collisions per year.

Where is the urgency?


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