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Any bicycle death is one too many. Even so, the total numbers are relatively low on a national basis, which helps explain the annual fluctuations.

Perhaps the increasing shift toward multimodal transportation (including cycling, walking and transit) will help spur more investment in bike/pedestrian infrastructure. In turn, that could help lower bicycle injuries and fatalities.

I think the most important number is the 32,367 number. It highlights the continuing danger of fast automobiles and the way that many people drive (recklessly, distracted, too fast). People get upset when a cyclist causes an injury or death. That happens a handful of times a year, I think. But on an average day, car drivers contribute to and cause the death of almost 90 Americans. Every single day of the year. Now that's scary.

Besides the health problems from inactivity, pollution emitted by cars and vast areas taken over by highways, there's the ongoing death toll from an overreliance on cars. Cars are necessary for some purposes, but not for a large percentage of trips.

I don't need to go to WashPost to see comments about helmets, stop signs, bikes don't belong etc

The detailed data for 2011 (by mode by state) don't seem to be up yet. Overall, fatalities were up 3% in VA, down 2% in MD, and up 13% in DC (but on a very small base number, from 24 deaths to 27).

Based on data through September, total VMT nationwide continues to drive down slightly, which is really interesting.

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