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bike counts

This $50 device could change bike planning forever

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015
henderson with chip
Knock Software founder William Henderson with a matchbox-sized device similar to the one he’s developed that could sell for $50, last for two years and count every bike that passes by.
(Photos: M.Andersen and J.Maus/BikePortland)

Do bikes count?

A three-person Portland startup that hit a jackpot with its first mobile app is plowing profits into a new venture: a cheap, tiny device that could reinvent the science of measuring bike traffic — and help see, for the first time, thousands of people that even the bike-friendliest American cities ignore.

Tomorrow, Portland’s city council will consider a proposal to become their first client.


Hawthorne Bridge bike trips up just 0.4% in 2014

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014
Summer bike traffic-8-8
Over 1.7 million trips in 2014.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

As of yesterday, there were 1,712,172 bicycle trips across Portland’s Hawthorne Bridge in 2014. That’s an impressive number — but it represents just a paltry 0.4 percent increase over last year’s total.

‘Day without the bicycle’ follow-up: How to make 1/3 of Portland’s bikers vanish

Thursday, August 7th, 2014
bike count decline

The other day I did a fun post with some back-of-the-envelope math to estimate what it might look like if every Portland bike commuter switched to a car for one day. Here’s a tidbit I didn’t have room to include: massive temporary shifts from bike to other modes already happen regularly.

They happen every time it rains. Rain eliminates about one in three bike trips citywide, to be precise.


2012 PBOT bicycle counts reveal 3.3% annual growth

Friday, May 17th, 2013
Bike traffic on NW Broadway-6
It just keeps growing, and growing, and…
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

In a report released this morning, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) says bicycle traffic counts for 2012 were up 3.3 percent over 2011 levels. These counts, which have been conducted annually since 1991, provide an important barometer for how many people are riding bikes in Portland. In addition to bike traffic volumes, the counts also tally gender and helmet usage. PBOT uses a mix of automated “hose” counts as well as manual counts by staff and volunteers. For the 2012 counts, volunteers manually counted 38,500 daily bicycle trips across a record 216 locations throughout the city — which PBOT says translates into more than 190,000 daily bicycle trips once the two-hour peak period counts are extrapolated out.

Here’s the summary of 2012′s numbers (taken directly from the report): (more…)

PBOT counts show bike trips up 6.4 percent in 2011

Friday, February 17th, 2012
Summer bike traffic-6-6
An average of over 18,000
trips are made by bike over
Portland’s four main downtown
bridges every day.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

PBOT released their 2011 Bicycle Counts Report today (PDF). The numbers show that overall there were 6.4 percent more trips made by bike citywide in 2011 compared to 2010. On new neighborhood greenways, the jump in ridership was even greater. At the 11 newly-developed neighborhood greenways (a.k.a. bike boulevards), PBOT recorded a jump of 61 percent.

The Going Street neighborhood greenway saw a particularly large spike with a daily count of 1,585 bicycle trips at NE Going and 9th last year compared to 1,040 daily bicycle trips in 2010.

Overall, bike traffic in Portland is up 219% since 2001. In addition to trip data, the counts also shed light on the gender split (big news on that below), reported collisions, helmet use, and seasonal averages over time. (more…)

PBOT bike counts show 8 percent increase over last year

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010
Bike traffic - bridge closure-4-2
Traffic through the Rose Quarter.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation released results of their 2010 bike counts today (PDF here). The counts — taken at 153 locations throughout the city — show that bike use climbed in Portland this year after a small dip in 2009. According to the report, the number of bike trips taken in 2010 is up about 8 percent over 2009. Since PBOT began these annual counts in 2000, bicycling has tripled, growing by 190 percent. (more…)

City releases bike count report, explains first decrease since 1995

Friday, January 8th, 2010
BTA New Year's Day Ride-9
Bike traffic on the Hawthorne Bridge.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation has released a full report and analysis on their 2009 bike counts. Last month, an unauthorized and incomplete version of the report leaked to the Willamette Week revealed that bike ridership in Portland had taken its first dip since 1995.

Many theories cropped up to account for this dip and PBOT’s just-released report (which was also partially leaked to the Willamette Week yesterday) explains what they feel are three key factors leading to the decline. (more…)

It’s true: Portland bike counts show first decline in five years

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

“What we want to do is put the bike counts into the context of… Were all trips down? We’re thinking that’s the story.”
— Roger Geller, PBOT bike coordinator

When Willamette Week reporter Beth Slovic broke the story about PBOT’s 2009 bike count numbers yesterday, we were shocked. Our surprise was two-fold: First, although we’d heard speculation that the counts would be down compared to 2008, it was still surprising to learn it had actually happened; and second, we had asked PBOT repeatedly for for the results of the counts (which have historically been released in November) but were told that no numbers would be released until January.

Slovic was called out by Joseph Rose of The Oregonian yesterday because a PBOT staffer told him the report didn’t exist. Today, Slovic produced a PDF of that preliminary report in order to prove she was not making it up. Much of that report includes information from 2008 (PBOT was using it as a template), but we’ve confirmed that the 2009 numbers presented are accurate.

Willamette Week: PBOT bike counts down in 2009 — updated

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

[UPDATE: The Oregonian's Hard Drive blog has an update on this story]

Bike traffic - N. Williams-3
(Photo © J. Maus)

The Willamette Week has gotten their hands on a preliminary report of this year’s bike counts from the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation that shows a decrease in bicycle ridership for 2009.

Here’s a snip from Willamette Week reporter Beth Slovic’s story (emphasis mine):

“That preliminary report, the 2009 “Portland Bicycle Counts,” shows the number of bicycle trips across Portland bridges (and at more than 100 other locations citywide) has fallen a combined average of 6 percent compared with the same time period in 2008.”


Who was that guy with the clipboard? Bike count season is in full swing

Monday, September 14th, 2009
bike count survey
Riders take a trails survey on the Hawthorne Bridge just before rush hour.
(Photo © Elly Blue)

It’s bike counting season again, and for the second year in a row there are two concurrent counts going on in Portland. (more…)

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