Via the Twitter feed of Juan Melli, a resident of New Jersey, here is a chart showing the kinetic energy (i.e. energy generated because of motion) of a bicycle going 20 miles per hour versus a car going 30 miles per hour.
It’s a pretty one-sided chart:
Melli writes that:
Kinetic energy that would hit a person by a 20 mph bike () vs 30 mph car () and why ‘equal’ enforcement of cars, bikes, and peds is an allocation of resources that ignores the risk profile & doesn’t maximize safety/minimize the death rate (Chart credit:
Of course, most cars are not traveling at 30 miles per hour much of the time, and people riding bicycles travel slower than 20 most of the time, so this chart is most often even more imbalanced.
The point, for me, is that narrative “equivalence” of bicycles and automobiles as dangers, threats, or causes of safety problems in our cities is not an accurate picture of the physical reality of the vast majority of situations.