(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)
Hawthorne Bridge bicycle counter
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)
The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) plans on making some noise about the success of cycling on the Hawthorne Bridge. To toast the upcoming one-year anniversary of the automated bicycle counter and the 1 millionth trip of 2013, PBOT is hosting a special "Breakfast on the Bridges" event this Friday (7/26).
When the counter reached 1 million trips back in April, we wondered why there wasn't any fanfare. It seemed like a perfect opportunity to tout cycling, but the City didn't make a peep. Perhaps now that the bureau seems to be finally settling in with two new faces at the helm (Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick and new Director Leah Treat), they are ready to get their cycling groove back.
On Saturday, June 8th the bicycle counter on the Hawthorne Bridge set a new record with 9,834 recorded trips. The previous record, 8,305 trips, was set on Tuesday, September 25th of last year. That huge daily total on June 8th led to the week of June 3rd being the highest number of recorded trips for a week with 54,118. It's very likely that June will be a record month for bike trips on the bridge with over 100,000 trips already recorded.
While June is typically one of the busiest months for bicycling in Portland, it's worth noting that the June 8th trip total was inflated by the World Naked Bike Ride (which set a record of its own with over 8,150 participants).
Yesterday at about 4:00 pm the bicycle counter on the Hawthorne Bridge logged its 1,000,000th trip.
The counter went live on August 8th and reached 500,000 trips just three months later. Yesterday was a fitting day to break the 1 million mark as the daily total was 6,214 — the largest amount of trips since way back in October (the huge spike threw off my projections and I arrived at the bridge 629 trips too late to see number 1 million).
This $20,000 counter (which despite what you might have read was donated to PBOT) stands as an important reminder of the impact bicycling has on Portland. For the past eight months, the Hawthorne Bridge alone carried an average of 4,973 bicycle trips in and out of downtown. That's about 2,500 vehicles entering downtown that don't take up parking spaces, or add to the daily gridlock, or spew toxic fumes into the air, or create dangerous public spaces.
This weekend will mark one month since the "bicycle barometer" was installed on the Hawthorne Bridge. According to data posted online by the manufacturer of the counter, there have been 180,556 bicycle trips over the bridge since August 7th — or an average of about 6,000 bike trips per day (including weekends).
Yesterday, the counter — which counts bike traffic in both directions — tallied its highest mark ever with 7,680 trips. That's 195 more trips than the 7,485 recorded on the Bridge Pedal Sunday of August 12th, and 248 more trips than the third highest tally of 7,432 that was recording on opening day. (more...)
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePorltand)
Portland's new bike counter had its first full day of operation yesterday and it logged 7,432 bike trips across the Hawthorne Bridge. That number is relatively close to 8,044, which is the average daily number of trips PBOT tallied in their official 2011 counts.
As the counter rolls out, I'm still learning more about it and clarifying some confusion surrounding it.
First, I want to share that contrary to what I understood from PBOT staff, the daily and annual bike trip data is available online. The company we purchased the counter from, Montreal-based Eco-Counter, has a website up for the Hawthorne Bridge counter which displays the data in a few different formats. (UPDATE: According to PBOT bike coordinator Roger Geller, the website is updated once a day at 2:00 am.)
From now on, people crossing the Hawthorne Bridge by bike will count. Literally. A new bike counter (a.k.a. the bicycle barometer) — the first of its kind in the United States — went live at midnight last night and at this morning's press conference the number was already well over 2,000.
The event was a chance for the City of Portland to unveil the new counter; but the moment really belonged to Cycle Oregon, the local non-profit that gave the City $20,000 to make it a reality. (The idea for the counter came from PBOT Bike Coordinator Roger Geller. Read more background in our archives.)
Jonathan Nicholas, the former columnist for The Oregonian who co-founded Cycle Oregon, was on hand this morning. As usual, his words cut through the clutter and I think they're worth sharing verbatim: (more...)
Right on schedule, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has installed a bicycle counter on the Hawthorne Bridge. The device stands at the western end of the north side of the bridge, where the path splits down to Waterfront Park. It's currently under wraps and not operational, but sources at PBOT tell me a press conference is planned for this Wednesday and the counter will be fully operational at that time.
Once up and running, this will be the first bicycle counter of its kind installed in
a U.S. city in North America. Seattle announced a counter back in May, but to my knowledge, it has not yet been installed.
The counter not only gives Mayor and Transportation Commissioner Sam Adams a chance to proclaim another bicycle innovation "first" (at least for the U.S.), he can also tout that the counter was privately funded. The $20,000 piece of equipment purchased from Montreal-based firm Eco-Counter, was bought for the city by Cycle Oregon. The counter will also give Adams and PBOT staffers a way to demonstrate very publicly just how many people ride bicycles over the Hawthorne Bridge.
"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. (more...)