Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on May 23rd, 2012 at 10:08 am
“This counter will raise awareness among all travelers of the significant role bicycles play in Portland’s transportation system.”
— PBOT spokesman Dan Anderson
As we shared on Monday, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is all set to install the city’s first automated bicycle counter on the Hawthorne Bridge. The new counter, purchased from a Canadian company thanks to a $20,000 grant from the Cycle Oregon Fund, will provide a daily and ongoing tally of the number of bicycles that pass by it.
After our post, many of you wondered where exactly the counter would go. We followed-up with PBOT and this morning we heard more details from bureau spokesman Dan Anderson and PBOT bike coordinator Roger Geller.
Anderson says the counter — or in PBOT’s words, the “bicycle barometer” (which is coincidentally the same term citizen Michael Downes used when he talked about bringing one to Portland back in 2007) — will be installed at the west end of the north side of the bridge. Specifically, it will go where the path splits off to Waterfront Park/Naito Blvd and SW Main Street. PBOT provided this graphic of the location and the counter:
And here’s a closer look at the counter itself:
PBOT also shared this overview of where the loops will be placed:
PBOT says they plan to have it installed by early August.
I asked PBOT what their main motivation was in doing this project. Here’s what they said (the second part isn’t something I had considered yet):
“The main reason PBOT is installing a bike counter is that it contributes to making bicycling — and the impact of bicycling — more visible. There is significant number of people riding bicycles across the Hawthorne Bridge and this counter will raise awareness among all travelers of the significant role bicycles play in Portland’s transportation system.
Also, the counter will provide high-quality data. We’ll better understand bicycle counts relevant to time-of-day and temperature. Having data collected every hour of the year will help us better understand how different elements affect ridership and also give us a better sense of the seasonal variation in bicycling.”
It’s worth noting that while the counter itself will be placed on only one side of the bridge, PBOT will have pneumatic hose counters placed on both sides of the bridge and data will be sent wirelessly to the display.
Right now, PBOT is working out some technical elements of the installation, and they’re hoping to have everything ironed out by the time the counter arrives in July.