There are between 2,000 to 4,000 cyclists in Seattle on any given day. I think. Depending on what count I look at. How do we get a consistent, accurate count of cyclists in a city? This is essential in order to understand where cyclists are riding from, what the destinations are, what infrastructure is needed to support them, what maintenance needs to be done and how to get more people cycling.
Right now there is little consistency between count locations from year to year (if the counts are even conducted on a yearly basis). Perhaps one group needs to step up – SDOT I’m looking at you – and conduct multiple counts per year, say spring, summer, winter and fall. Consistent locations need to be chosen in areas that cyclists use which may include multiple locations in areas with challenging terrain. We need better volunteer outreach which starts by giving volunteers enough lead time to arrange schedules and the count organizers should contact local community news sources to promote the need for volunteers. And finally, bike count reports and charts should be complete, easily searchable and located in one place. SDOT should also post historical bike counts on the site, not just the most recent count. If the Bicycle Master Plan implementation is to continue, shouldn’t we really know exactly how many cyclists travel the streets?
2009 SDOT Downtown Count: http://www.seattle.gov/Transportation/bikeinfo.htm
2008 & 2009 WSDOT Bicycle & Pedestrian Documentation Reports: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/bike/count.htm