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Of 9 cities, Chicago behind only New York as dangerous for cyclists

Updated: October 4, 2012 6:03AM

Chicago has built a reputation as one of North America’s most bike-friendly cities, but it’s also among the most dangerous.

“New York and Chicago, the largest cities, have . . . by far, the most dangerous cycling,” according to a Rutgers and Virginia Tech study last year of nine big cities that rated Chicago the second-most dangerous, behind New York.

The study compared the number of deaths per 10,000 cyclists to the percentage of commuters who bike daily to work in the nine cities.

In New York, fewer than 1 percent of people bike to work, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In Chicago, it’s 1.2 percent.

But New York’s bike-fatality rate — more than eight deaths for every 10,000 riders — is double that of Chicago, where the rate is four in 10,000.

The safest cities for cycling in the survey were the three smallest in terms of population — Vancouver, Portland and Minneapolis.

Chris Fusco

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