An interactive map by Kate Rabinowitz of data-mapping site DataLens gives residents a look at the prevalence of collisions involving cyclists in the District between 2006 and 2013.
But the takeaway from the map shouldn’t be that biking has become more dangerous in D.C., Rabinowitz says, even though tiny blue dots indicating each incident increase dramatically over the years. The map doesn’t account for increases in ridership, though Rabinowitz is working on a companion piece to track ridership gains.
“Without a companion ridership, it’s easy to see, oh my god, this is so deadly,” Rabinowitz says. “That’s a little scary, and of course, not true.”
The map does, however, give viewers an idea of where and when D.C. riders cluster.
Incidents on the map contract during winter months and expand again in the spring and summer, reflecting the seasonality of ridership. The interactive also tracks how biking has spread across a wide range of the city over time, though the map shows a steady concentration downtown and up 14th Street.
The data for the map—which was the idea of Justin Grimes, a co-organizer of Code for D.C.—comes from the District Department of Transportation as part of a FOIA request made by the organization. (City Paper did something similar for 2014.)
The map is just one product of the city’s first HackShop event Thursday night, where local hackers met with DDOT officials to hack open data sets that relate to D.C.’s Vision Zero initiative.
“We came up with the idea of local data hacked locally,” Rabinowitz says. “To kind of push the conversation forward and push it down to everyday citizens who don’t necessarily have data skills.”