In recent weeks, Berkeleyside has been crunching the numbers for 11 months of injury-crash data from the Berkeley Police Department. Continuing an effort we began last year to shed more light on pedestrian and cyclist crashes, we’ve reviewed the stats to see what trends emerged.

We’ve also mapped the data, which BPD ultimately made available after numerous inquiries over many months. We’ve cleaned it up and are providing it now to the public for the first time.

From January through November 2019, there were three fatal collisions involving pedestrians or cyclists, compared to one the prior year. There were 230 people injured across 220 crashes in 2019, down slightly from the 252 people hurt across 248 crashes the prior year. As part of this project, Berkeleyside also analyzed vehicle-only crashes that resulted in injuries, but this report considers just those that involved cyclists or pedestrians.

For pedestrian injury crashes, failure to yield was the most common reason for the collision that was identified by BPD, while unsafe speed was the biggest factor in crashes involving cyclists. BPD found the driver at fault in 81% of the crashes involving pedestrians, while pedestrians were deemed at fault in 18%. In crashes involving cyclists, BPD found that fault was evenly split, with drivers and cyclists each responsible 47% of the time.

In crashes involving cyclists, BPD found that fault was evenly split, with drivers and cyclists each responsible 47% of the time

The map above shows injury crashes that involved pedestrians between January and November 2019. A map below shows the injury collisions that involved cyclists. The color of the icon indicates who was at fault, according to BPDt: If the marker is yellow, the driver was at fault. A blue marker means the pedestrian or cyclist was at fault.

Each marker also includes what BPD determined to have been the primary collision factor, or the main reason for the crash. Berkeleyside had to translate all of the vehicle code numbers into plain language, so we focused on the most common issues. (If an issue only cropped up once or twice, you may still see the vehicle code section listed for that incident.)

Each marker includes information about the collision type (e.g. hit-and-run injury crash, fatality or DUI injury), how many people were injured or killed, and where and when the incident took place. The markers also have the case number and a link to Berkeleyside coverage if we wrote about the crash.

A closer look at injury crashes involving pedestrians

Berkeley had 125 injury crashes involving pedestrians from January through November of 2019. They left 131 people injured and two dead.

The vast majority of the collisions (63%) resulted from a failure to yield, while jaywalking was the main factor in 10% of the incidents and unsafe speed in 8%. Drilling down a bit farther, when the driver was found to be at fault, failure to yield and unsafe speed were the biggest issues. When the pedestrian was found at fault, jaywalking and walk-sign violations were.

The bulk of these injury crashes (42%) took place between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m., followed by 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with 29%.

January (18%) and February (14%) saw the bulk of the crashes, while October, April and May each had 10%. (December was not part of the analysis.)

Fourteen percent of the collisions were hit-and-runs causing injury.

Police Beat 6 — the Southside neighborhood near UC Berkeley — had 18 injury collisions involving pedestrians, followed by Beat 4, which is downtown Berkeley, with 14. Those areas also have high concentrations of pedestrian traffic. It appears from the map that those neighborhoods also have the most collisions where BPD found pedestrians to be at fault.

A closer look at injury crashes involving cyclists

Berkeley had 98 injury crashes involving cyclists from January through November 2019. They left 99 people injured and one dead.

Unsafe speed (27%) and unsafe lane changes (18%) were the main primary collision factors, followed by stop sign violations (8%).

When the driver was found to be at fault, unsafe lane changes (28%), failure to yield when turning left (15%), unsafe speed (15%) and failing to yield at a stop sign (11%) were the biggest issues. When the cyclist was deemed responsible, unsafe speed was the issue 41% of the time, followed by stop sign violations and unsafe lane changes (both 11%), and right-of-way violations (9%).

The bulk of these injury crashes took place between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. (40%) and from 3-9 p.m. (39%).

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February had 12% of the injury collisions involving cyclists, followed by October, November and January, which each had 11%. (Again, December was not part of the analysis.)

Eight percent of these collisions were hit-and-runs causing injury.

Police Beat 3 — which is bordered by Hopkins Street and University Avenue to the north and south, and Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Sacramento Street to the east and west (approximately) — had 12 injury collisions involving cyclists, followed by Beat 6 with 11.

Officer Byron White of the Berkeley Police Department said it would be good for everyone on the road — motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike — to slow down and pay attention to their surroundings.

“You look at these accidents, what do they have in common?” he asked. “It’s poor decisionmaking.”

Reviewing the Berkeleyside data briefly, he said drivers must yield to pedestrians and pedestrians need to stop jaywalking.

“We want people to be safe,” he said. “So slow down and obey all laws.”

He said it can be a challenge for BPD to analyze data internally in a deep way because it is already required to collect significant amounts of data, both locally and by the state, in addition to doing police work.

“Law enforcement is trained to do law enforcement,” he said. “At what point do we start to stray from law enforcement to data collection?”

A number of readers have pointed out repeatedly that people walk and bike in Berkeley at much higher rates than in many other cities, meaning it’s actually safer to get around in Berkeley even if raw numbers for injury crashes may sometimes be higher than those elsewhere.

See both types of injury collisions together on the map below.

More resources

Want to dig deeper into traffic safety data? Check out these resources.

Emilie Raguso

Emilie Raguso (senior editor, news) joined the Berkeleyside team in 2012. She covers politics, public safety and development. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist...

Join the Conversation


  1. Why aren’t there laws against injured egos and hurt feelings? A lot of drivers are reckless because they’re frustrated for some reason. This should be a consideration when they are or aren’t cited when driving into a pedestrian or bicyclist.

  2. Bike registration is about establishing ownership to assist in recovering stolen bikes. If a bicyclist gets stopped for a traffic violation, the officer doesn’t ask for registration. The officer responding to my wife’s call didn’t ask her about registration. (Both of us have registered our bikes.)

  3. Years ago, in a conversation with an BPD officer, who was parked at a four-way stop sign in North Berkeley, who spent the entire shift writing “failure to stop at a stop sign” tickets, I was told it was a economic loss for the city as the ticket fees fell short of the officer costs… primarily because California has the fees split between a number of different agencies… I assume to keep California cities from using traffic tickets as a revenue stream.

  4. In 2000 a bicyclist hit and killed an elderly man using the crosswalk on Van Ness in SF. The bicyclist, moving at a high rate of speed, timed the light and inadvertently hit the pedestrian as the light turned green. The law says one must proceed only when the way is clear. In that case the bicyclist broke the law. The SFPD said at the time they could recall no other similar case.

  5. Please note the car drivers were predominantly cited in all cases:
    “BPD found the driver at fault in 81% of the crashes involving pedestrians, while pedestrians were deemed at fault in 18%. In crashes involving cyclists, BPD found that fault was evenly split, with drivers and cyclists each
    responsible 47% of the time.”

  6. It seems as if the city would more than recoup the costs of enforcement by the revenue generated. Might even begin to make a dent in the employee/retiree benefit deficit!
    Most importantly, if the red light running by cars and stop sign ignoring by cyclists was decreased by targeted enforcement the streets would be safer for all, particularly pedestrians. And don’t let cyclists off the hook with “community service.”

  7. Yes! I broke both my arms last year due to poorly maintained paving. My bicycle slide out from under me because the pothole I dodged had spilled gravel across the pavement. Yet the map shows my accident is classified as “cyclist error” since there was no car involved.

  8. Speeding often accompanies the behaviors you’ve listed and is certainly part of the problem when it comes to pedestrian safety.

  9. In the pdf from swtrs, there are 121 pedestrian injury crashes. 120 involve cars. Only 1 involves a bicycle.

    As far as I can understand from the details, the 18 year old bicyclist was riding down a driveway at 6am on Warring near campus and collided with a 38 year old pedestrian who was using the sidewalk. The injury is listed as minor.

    In contrast, the 120 car ped crashes included 2 fatalities, and 4 cases of severe injuries. Of those 6 serious cases, the driver was listed as at fault in 5 of them. In all 6 cases, the pedestrian was at least 63 years old.

  10. While I haven’t been able to find any news articles about that crash, it seems likely you are referring to something that happened more than 40 years ago?

  11. Is there data on bicycles vs pedestrians? I feel I can manage cars as a pedestrian by extra caution, but I fear bicycles because they move in unpredictable and silent ways, and often in contradiction to traffic laws.

  12. So, help me out here. The thought exercise makes assumptions you agree are unreasonable…and therefore, you conclude we should rely on the conclusions based on those unreasonable assumption?

    If you want to fix unsafe streets, you need to know which ones are unsafe. And you can’t do that without knowing traffic volume.

    Fixing broken things is more effective than fixing things that aren’t broken. Fixing unsafe streets is more effective than fixing streets that are already relatively safe.

  13. You can easily see the bike with the *legally required* headlight & rear reflector. My bike has reflectors, Scotchlite tape, a really bright headlight, bright flashing tailllight, & a headlamp on my helmet to aim directly into a driver’s eyes when necessary. Some are so oblivious or intoxicated that they still don’t notice.

  14. Speeding by 10-15mph isn’t nearly as dangerous as many other violations, especially on main streets where it’s the regular pattern. Try red-light running, zooming thru occupied crosswalks, turning fast in an intersection without even looking at the crosswalk, other right-of-way violations, etc. Turning the existing red-light cameras back on would pay for itself & save lots of injuries.

  15. European drivers are far safer around cyclists & pedestrians because the licensing standards are much stricter. In a German test, if you don’t signal, check your right mirror & over your shoulder before *every* right turn, you flunk on the spot. Likewise for menacing pedestrians in any way, especially failing to stop at a crosswalk. It helps that far more Europeans get around their cities by walking, cycling & transit, so drivers are used to seeing them everywhere.

  16. That’s a factor, but the #1 cause is definitely the gross lack of traffic enforcement for everyone–drivers, cyclists & pedestrians. This isn’t PD’s fault; it’s been grossly underfunded by majority anti-police City Councils for decades now. The latest felony has to be a higher priority. Just sit an any major intersection for 10min & count the violations by all parties. Many are truly dangerous, like red-light running.

  17. Another thing you can see from this data is that the majority of the pedestrian injuries are during the day time.

    While not every crash has the lighting field filled out, it is roughly Dark 39, Dusk/Dawn 8, Daylight 65.

  18. The thought experiment shows that we should not focus on risk at individual intersections (which you mistakenly call “safety”) and instead we should focus on reducing absolute number of deaths and injuries. That is the way to make the biggest gains in safety.

  19. “ First of all, traffic should include all people moving, not just cars.”

    How many injury accidents are the result of pedestrians colliding with other pedestrians?

    When looking at injury accidents, we need to be looking at vehicle traffic volume. This will actually bias toward improvements in areas where pedestrian traffic is high relative to vehicle traffic.

    If you wanted, we could count every intersection crossing (bike, pedestrian, and motor vehicle) and divide the number of accidents by that value. There’s an argument that this better reflects the safety of the intersection, and I agree with that. The main problem is that pedestrians are hard to count, so this data isn’t readily available and very expensive to collect . This will also have the opposite impact that you intend.

    Intersections near Cal are an example where the number of accidents may be relatively high even if the intersections are relatively safe simply because the volume of pedestrian traffic is so high. I agree that the ideal study would take this into account, and not make major reconfigurations of streets that are already much safer than others just because pedestrian traffic is unusually high at that intersection.

  20. “ Meanwhile, in the real world of Berkeley, we are so far from perfect safety that we can reduce the number of crashes dramatically by improving the safety of streets where most crashes occur.”

    So do you believe your thought experiment or not? If the safety of an intersection and the most efficient places we can make improvements is NOT revealed by the number of injury accidents, then why would we focus on the number of injury accidents to determine where to make changes.

    Again, the quantity of crashes tells us nothing about relative safety without adjusting for traffic volume. It guarantees that you will always try to reconfigure arterials (the goal of the activists) whether or not they are unsafe and whether or not that will cause any significant reduction in accidents or injuries.

  21. Just curious why there is an event from California at Allston that’s geocoded in the middle of BHS.

  22. Rufus’ point was:
    “when there’s a crash that does not result in injury or property damage, the police won’t (even if called to the scene) issue a police report.”
    That has nothing to do with the bike being registered.

    If it were really true that they don’t record bike crashes unless the bikes are registered, we would have close to zero bike crashes recorded in Berkeley. Do you seriously believe that all the bikes crashes listed here involved bikes that were registered? What percent of the bikes in Berkeley do you think are registered?

  23. “Sure. Except that not one of those assumptions is reasonable.”
    Which is why I said, “So let’s assume, as a thought experiment.” A thought experiment sets conditions that are not realistically possible but clarify the issues involved.

    The thought experiment makes the point that we should concentrate on reducing the absolute number of deaths and injuries, not on the intersections with the highest rate of deaths and injuries.

    “In a real world system, it becomes increasingly difficult to improve a system as you approach perfect safety.”
    If we ever approach perfect safety, I will remember that. Meanwhile, in the real world of Berkeley, we are so far from perfect safety that we can reduce the number of crashes dramatically by improving the safety of streets where most crashes occur.

  24. That is because Berkeley has more bikes and peds than other California city. Looking at the rate of collisions rather than the absolute numbers, we are a bit safer than average.

  25. Some of 2019 Berkeley crashes are now in switrs.

    Here are two curious ones —

    1) a bicyclist at fault for a head on collision at Domingo and Ashby —

    The car appears to have done an illegal uturn on Domingo. You can’t do a uturn there since it is a business district, and they were within 200 feet of other traffic, namely the bike

    The bike appears to have turned onto Domingo and collided with the car.
    The primary cause is listed as unsafe speed, with the bike at fault.

    Not sure why the driver got a free pass for a commercial district uturn close to another vehicle.

    2) a car rear ended a bicycle at a stop sign on a bike blvd. I offer this as evidence, that bicyclists do at least sometimes stop at stop signs. Note that this is northbound. It is the stop sign that has been there for years, not the new one on Allston. At least the driver was at marked at fault!

  26. One reason the lab is safer in traffic is that they have a lower speed limit than most all of Berkeley.
    LBL has a 15mph speed limit.

    For those who don’t believe the numbers on the signs matter, consider the recent experience of Michigan, which raised the numbers on the signs, only to see deaths increase.
    “a 17.2 percent rise in crashes and an 18.9 percent rise in injuries”

    Berkeley should appeal to the state to lower the speed limit on all neighborhood roads and high pedestrian zones to 20mph.

  27. Your interpretation of the word traffic is oddly skewed, and it skews your notion of safety.

    First of all, traffic should include all people moving, not just cars. In this town thousands of people move around without using cars. They too are traffic and they are not primarily on arterials. Just look at the swarms of people walking to and from BART or around UC campus. They are traffic.

    Secondly, if you were to restrict the word traffic to cars, the most traffic in Berkeley would not be on arterials. It would be on I-80.

    The goal of the traffic network is to move people and goods, not just move cars and trucks.

  28. One of the amazing things in this data is the chart of car crashes. Not bike or ped, just car. You can see it in the last map by deselecting ped and bike, and selecting car.

    There is a nearly solid line of crashes on MLK from University south to the Oakland border — add up the injuries, about 32 people in cars were injured on MLK.

    Read through the violations — speed, dangerous lane change, entering MLK without stopping at the side street stop sign.

    MLK is not just dangerous for pedestrians, it is dangerous for everyone.

    The city should put in some traffic calming or a road diet, even just for the sake of motorists.

  29. Packing in more people means more traffic and more congestion and more delays and more very frustrated drivers doing crazy things. It also means that google maps sends more people into residential streets that used to be quiet and safe.

  30. “So let’s assume…”

    Sure. Except that not one of those assumptions is reasonable.

    In a real world system, it becomes increasingly difficult to improve a system as you approach perfect safety.

    In both analyses, however, we are both shifting the question from “where are the most injury accidents happening” to “where can we make the biggest impact” which is a better way to approach the problem.

    And it’s an important distinction, otherwise you’ll never fix major safety issues unless they occur on arterials, even if it’s a simple and cheap fix, and you’ll spend a lot of time reconfiguring arterials even if the changes will only have minimal effect at extreme cost.

  31. “…enforcement should be our option of last resort.” It obviously is the option of last resort in Berkeley and how’s that working out? We’re the most dangerous mid-sized city in California for pedestrians and cyclists. By the way, do accusations of racism have to be raised for every issue facing society?

  32. Berkeley is tops in California Crash Rankings! At least we’re tops in our CA Office of Traffic Safety group of cities: Group B – Population 100,001-250,000. We’re #1 out of 58 in pedestrian victims killed or injured and 1/58 in bicyclists killed or injured. We’ve slipped a little and we’re only 4/58 in Hit & Run fatal and injury crashes. City Council should pat themselves on the back. Want to stay safe? Stay in your house or take a car. More here:

  33. Cal’s SafeTREC has a list of the 63 “California Bicycle Friendly Communities.” University towns like Davis and Chico received a “Platinum” rating. San Mateo and Santa Cruz were ranked as “Gold.” Even Oakland got a “Silver.” Berkeley, of course, doesn’t make the list. We’ve got other priorities, apparently.

  34. “If you have an intersection that has 10 cars passing through it a day and 10 injury accidents In a year, and another that has 10000 cars passing through it a day, and 20 injury accidents in a year, which Is more unsafe?”

    So let’s assume, as a thought experiment, that it would cost the same amount to fix both intersections, that the injuries at both are equally serious, that the fix would reduce both to zero, and that we are only able to fix one intersection.

    Fixing the first would eliminate 10 crashes per year, and fixing the second would eliminate 20 crashes per year.

    The first intersection is more risky, and I would avoid it. The second is less risky and I wouldn’t avoid it. Nevertheless, it is a better use of limited money to fix the second and eliminate twice as many crashes.

    That is the meaning of the commenter’s response: “The stat tells you where most people are getting killed and seriously injured – not about risk.”

  35. Whoops, I wanted to think of the three bad crossings on California and I guess I meant Alcatraz, Ashby, and Dwight.

  36. Yes, it actually does. That is exactly why you do not have accurate statistics about this. That was Rufus’ point. It is also California law that you are supposed to register your bikes.
    It is exactly why you see absolutely no statistics anywhere about bikes hitting pedestrians. They are not kept because the cyclists, even though they are registered for the sake of their private property, will not identify their vehicles for the sake of pedestrians.

  37. “Your comments seem to imply that we should accept severe and fatal collisions as an inevitable consequence of moving people on city streets.”

    No they don’t. Not even a little. They imply that we should use the data correctly.

    The city should invest where it will have the greatest impact. That is not necessarily where the greatest number of accidents occur.

    If you run a factory, and you have one machine that is used 10 times a year and causes 5 injuries and another machine that is used 1 million times a year and causes 11 injuries, which machine is more unsafe?

  38. There were a number of issues with it and things I had to discuss directly with BPD to make sense of and fix, remove duplicates, etc. But if you email me, I am happy to email it to you. I recommend making a copy of the spreadsheet though because I think it is more accurate. //

  39. The stat tells you where most people are getting killed and seriously injured – not about risk. Your comments seem to imply that we should accept severe and fatal collisions as an inevitable consequence of moving people on city streets. I don’t.

  40. Agreed, and the consequences of hitting a pedestrian are potentially life ending/ruining for both the driver and the pedestrian.

  41. I agree with your point but will nitpick: there is a traffic light at University and California.

  42. We do have statistics about bicycles involved in crashes, as you can see by reading the article. The fact that bikes are not registered has nothing to do with it.

  43. Because bikes are not registered. That is why they cannot make it into statistics. And cyclists are not pedestrians.

  44. The fine for passing a car stopped for a pedestrian is about $500.00. They would only have to ticket a few people for the message to get through. It is really scary how many drivers and cyclists don’t know or don’t care that that is the law.

  45. ”The city’s analysis shows that 91% of the city’s severe and fatal collisions occur on just 16% of streets (largely arterials) (see attached draft map). This knowledge helps the community prioritize our street safety efforts more so than mapping by party at fault.”

    This stat is often repeated, but the implied conclusion is wrong.

    Most of the traffic in Berkeley will inevitably be on the arterials, so any stat you cite will be extremely high on arterials relative to streets which have almost no traffic…even if those are the safest streets in the city.

    If you have an intersection that has 10 cars passing through it a day and 10 injury accidents In a year, and another that has 10000 cars passing through it a day, and 20 injury accidents in a year, which Is more unsafe? One is 50x more dangerous than the other, but the analysis chooses the wrong one unless you incorporate traffic volume into the analysis.

    90% of everything happens on the streets that have 90% of the traffic volume. It doesn’t tell you anything about safety.

  46. All the bike boulevards are like that. No way to cross Sacramento on Virginia, no way to cross Ashby, Dwight, or University on California, no way to cross San Pablo on Channing.

  47. There were a number of issues with it and things I had to discuss directly with BPD to make sense of and fix, remove duplicates, etc. But if you email me, I am happy to email it to you. I recommend making a copy of the spreadsheet though because I think it is more accurate. //

  48. Low density housing means everyone has to drive, and longer distances at higher speeds. Higher density housing supports more mass transit use and makes cars less appealing because of traffic/parking issues. We should be building more of it, not less.

  49. One would think the same analysis could still apply though. Identical speeds can be considered normal for both cars and bikes on many Berkeley streets, but because of the way drivers interpret cyclist speed, the cyclist’s speed could be considered “unsafe” by a driver at a much lower threshold, since they assume bikes go slowly. The reality is, in stop and go traffic, as much of Berkeley is, bikes can easily keep up with cars on all but the major thoroughfares through town.

  50. In my experience, the dense cities in Europe are generally very safe places to walk (with some exceptions, such as the parts of Rome near the Victor Emmanuel monument). The least safe places to walk are American suburbs.

    Likewise, in Berkeley, I find it is relatively safe to walk in downtown and less safe to cross San Pablo Ave or 6th St, where the density is much lower. When I talk about safety, of course, I am talking about the collision rate, not about the absolute number of collisions.

  51. High density housing will only make things worse. Packing in more people and expecting a different outcome is, well a sign of insanity.

  52. There is essentially no traffic enforcement in Berkeley, which leads the average speed of traffic on most arteries to be 10 – 15 mph above the speed limit. Consistent enforcement has to be part of the plan to fix things given the fact that Berkeley’s overall driving culture needs to change, it’s a relatively easy thing to implement (as opposed to re-engineering streets), and it will serve to calm traffic on the major arteries. We can, at the same time, also continue to re-engineer the streets to make them safer.

  53. I totally agree. Sacramento is a hotbed of this behavior from the Oakland border to Hopkins Street. Just this morning I saw two women walking a dog who were almost hit just south of Ashby when the cars in the curb lane stopped per the law and the ones in the left lane continued through the occupied crosswalk at speed.

    BPD should stick patrol vehicles at some of these cross streets and ticket every morning and evening for a few weeks and see if that improves things. There are also obviously major problems on Shattuck and that should also be a site of patrolling/ticketing.

  54. I was thinking the same thing. Maybe I’m just slow on my bike, but I can’t really get up enough speed to the point where I can’t stop in time if I need to.

    I should add that my cycling in Berkeley is pretty much limited to the flats, so maybe things would be different if I was barreling down Marin Ave.

  55. Strange that the PD would complain about their data collection job — they can use this data to figure out where to apply their enforcement activities to maximize the improvement to public safety.

    The clear winner is something they do not do — focus on driver who fail to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.

    That would mean —

    1) stings for drivers who roll through the crosswalk before stopping
    2) stings for drivers who roll right on reds through crosswalks
    3) stings for drivers who drive through occupied crosswalks

  56. There is a bicycle crash on the list at Cedar and 9th 7 16 AM, that is blamed on the cyclist.

    This is a clear example of an intersection that needs an engineering fix.

    9th is a bike blvd. Cedar is an arterial with heavy flow.

    There is currently no mechanism in place to interrupt the car traffic on Cedar to safely cross.

    The bike plan has called for improved crossings for years – either with 4 way stops or illuminated traffic signals.

    Blaming this one on “user error” misses the point.

  57. I’ve been pushing the city forward on street safety for years, so I very much appreciate this reporting. But, in future reporting, I suggest differentiating collisions by the severity of injuries rather than party at fault. A couple reasons:

    1. The City’s Vision Zero goals and its draft Action Plan focus on eliminating severe injuries and fatalities. The city’s analysis shows that 91% of the city’s severe and fatal collisions occur on just 16% of streets (largely arterials) (see attached draft map). This knowledge helps the community prioritize our street safety efforts more so than mapping by party at fault.

    2. Focusing on party at fault leads to an enforcement mindset. However, given the history of systemic racism in American policing, our knowledge of Berkeley Police Department enforcement activities, and problems with Vision Zero enforcement in other cities, enforcement should be our option of last resort when it comes to street safety. Engineering and education come first.

    I encourage Berkeleyside to ask City transportation planners and pedestrian and bicycle advocates to comment on future collision analyses. The Police quotes only tell part of the story.

  58. A couple of days ago I headed up Acton to get some bread at Acme on my bicycle.

    I stopped at Addison. The car on my left stopped. From my right came an SUV which only stopped after make 45 degrees of the turn. The driver then turned fully around to face the rear seat to attend to some children, leaving me to decide whether to cross in front of an “unpiloted” Honda Pilot.

    At Delaware, there was a car waiting to cross. I stopped since it was their turn, and they started to go. The Honda Pilot caught up to me there, and ran the stop sign to turn left front of the moving car on Delaware, which had to make an emergency stop.

    I thought I was done with this clearly dangerous driver and their large SUV.

    But when I got out of Acme with my bread, I heard a honk on Cedar and a screech. I looked up to see the Honda Pilot careening out of the parking lot, diagonally over several feet of the parking strip, and cutting off a car on Cedar.

  59. How any accidents are due to bad light, no light on the bicycle, or obstructed visibility due to plants etc…?

  60. Why is Berkeley always off the mark with these things. Aren’t there tried and true standard street lights in cities worldwide?

  61. Ben, I absolutely agree that this would have been better but BPD does not track this information. I was trying to get it for months. Apparently, when the state assesses the data they review all the reports and classify by injury at that time. But that data is years behind. So there’s no way to share that information in a timely way.

  62. I am surprised no one who has been injured in one of these accidents has thought to sue the city for refusing to fix the defective street lights even after they have acknowledged that there is a problem. Where the hell is all our tax money going? How is it we have the funds to build free campgrounds for vagabonds if we can’t even afford to fix broken lights?

  63. i thought the city was supposed to replace all the lights since the LEDs were dimmer than the vendor claimed they’d be.

  64. Will we EVER get our inadequate, dim, overpriced, badly-made streetlights replaced or repaired? We haven’t heard a word about this scandal in months and months. I’m surprised more people haven’t been hurt because it is next to impossible to see a pedestrian or bicyclist at night if they’re wearing dark or non-reflective clothing. PLEASE follow up on this, dear Berkeleyside!

  65. Police reports are notoriously unreliable when assigning fault for a crash. There are many reasons why, but a major issue is that they only assign blame to the road users, and not the city’s traffic department. Many collisions could be prevented with better street design, lower speed limits, etc. But if a police report blames the infrastructure, it would open the city to lawsuits.

  66. Aha. That does help! Still, the crash I highlighted….pretty funny that the hit & run is listed as “pedestrian fault”!

  67. I believe the explanation is there. What can I help you with? The top map shows pedestrian injury crashes. The lower map shows cyclist injury crashes. In both maps, the yellow icons show where drivers were found to be at fault while the blue ones were the other party.

  68. Note to person who posted this map: In the future, please put the actual symbol on the legend or in the explanation. Very nice map but exasperating.

  69. How many of these accidents are people under the influence of marijuana or some other substance since Berkeley is known for its drugged culture.

  70. Great maps. On the first one, I idly checked out about 10 blue pedestrian injuries. Almost all were the ‘fault’ of the pedestrian! It must be that unless you are in the crosswalk, it’s “your fault.” This reasoning even applies to hit & run “accidents”!

    Note to self; since I jaywalk a lot, if I ever get hit and the bad guy roars away, it’s MY FAULT.




    Hit-and-run injury














    Ashby Avenue and King Street


    Berkeley, California

    CASE #


  71. I question whether 41% of cyclists were really doing an “unsafe speed” at the time of a crash. I could accept that 41% of opposing drivers weren’t expecting them to be going that fast. Almost half of Berkeley streets have at least a slight downhill, making it easy for any quality bike to get up to speed. But I seldom see a bike exceeding the speed limit. Bikes just don’t look visually menacing enough from head-on (the way a big truck does), so drivers immediately ignore them, make no effort to observe their speed, & turn just in front of them. Then they tell the cop “he just came real fast outta nowhere.” My usual retort is “try looking in my direction next time.”

    The police tend to be car-centric on these matters.

  72. I’ve recently had occasion to navigate around downtown using a wheelchair (briefly), crutches, & knee scooter. Doing that, while you have no chance to quickly get out of the way of a threatening driver, really brings home how much bad driving goes unpunished here. I’ve had several every day start to do something dangerous from inattention, & one per day on average who used the car to let me know he really resented my taking a few extra seconds to cross.

    Also, the condition of Berkeley’s sidewalks is a real menace to those who have to get around using wheels. There are so many cracks and craters, many big enough to bring small wheels to an instant halt & threatening to spill you sideways. Even fairly large wheelchair wheels.

  73. As a driver and a pedestrian, I always follow the advice I got from my parents to obey ALL stop signals and to ALWAYS look both ways before crossing an intersection even if no stop signals are there. I’ve seen far too many cyclists, car drivers and pedestrians cross streets and ignore stop signals without even glancing to see if it’s safe. Pedestrians especially are too often looking at their phones instead of traffic. Our streets are so crowded and some people seem to be in such a hurry, it’s scary to out there at all. I hope these accidents/injuries can somehow be greatly reduced. I wish no one harm in any way.

  74. Thank you, Emilie & Berkeleyside, for the time & effort that you put into this report. As the article makes clear, these figures are incidents that led to injury. While it would be impossible, of course, to track all serious transgressions, it’s worth noting that when there’s a crash that does not result in injury or property damage, the police won’t (even if called to the scene) issue a police report. It’s safe to say that there are scads of collisions that are serious but unreported, so the public-safety situation is even worse than the article suggests.

    Case in point: my wife was bicycling slowly and lawfully through a side-street intersection in broad daylight and was struck by a driver who failed to stop at a stop sign. Had she not sped up at the last moment, she would have taken a direct hit. Instead, the driver hit her back wheel and sent her and her bike sprawling. But because she (somehow) escaped any injury and her bike was barely damaged, the police did nothing (and the driver wasn’t cited). But this was a very, very serious close call of a kind that must be fairly common on our streets — and that isn’t reflected in the “official” numbers. Be careful, everyone.

  75. It’s interesting that the same percent of driver at fault and cyclist at fault accidents were caused by failing to yield at a stop sign.

  76. The blue ones are all the fault of either the pedestrian or cyclist, according to the data. The yellow ones are the fault of the driver. Hope that helps.