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Hawthorne Bridge bike counter has logged over 1,000,000 trips since August

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
Hawthorne Bridge bike counter hits 1 million
Trip number 1,000,828 at 5:26 pm yesterday.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

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.
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Reader shares story of bike path rage on Hawthorne Bridge

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013
Summer bike traffic-3-3
Traffic on the Hawthorne Bridge
path can get dicey… and nasty.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

We’ve all felt it: You’re riding along on a crowded bikeway and sense someone is coming up fast from behind. Do you speed up? Ignore them? Merge to the right as fast as possible? Just maintain your speed until you can safely get out of the way?

We just heard from a reader who was in this position — and it didn’t turn out well at all. Let’s call him Kevin (he wants to stay anonymous). Kevin says he was biking eastbound on the Hawthorne Bridge path yesterday around 6:00 pm when it happened. I’ll let him share the details:

“A slower bike was in front of me. She stayed in the bike lane and didn’t make room. There were some pedestrians, some of them in the bike lane too [the bridge paths are 10.5 feet wide and shared by walkers and bikers]. I noticed a guy close behind me, so made room by riding on the pedestrian side whenever possible, but he didn’t make an attempt to pass.

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County adds buffer to bike lane on Hawthorne Bridge approach

Monday, October 8th, 2012
new striping on SE Madison-Hawthorne Bridge-2
A new buffer on SE Madison.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The bike lane on SE Madison St. as it approaches the Hawthorne Bridge just got a three-foot buffer this morning. This is one of a trio of projects coming to the east and westbound approaches that we can expect in the next few months as part of a joint effort by Multnomah County (they own/manage the bridge) and the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) to improve bike access.

This first phase has added a three-foot buffer to the existing six-foot wide bikeway on Madison west of SE Grand Ave. According to the County, the new striping, “will provide greater separation for westbound bicyclists and motor vehicles on the popular bike bridge.”
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Portland makes bikes count on the Hawthorne Bridge

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012
Bike counter unveiling-6
Let the counting begin!
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

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…)

Bicycle counter to go live this week on Hawthorne Bridge

Monday, August 6th, 2012
bike counter under wraps
Under wraps now; but it’ll start counting Wednesday.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

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.
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More details on bike counter coming to Hawthorne Bridge

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

“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…)

Electronic bicycle counter coming to Hawthorne Bridge

Monday, May 21st, 2012
A bicycle counter similar to this one
will be installed on the Hawthorne
Bridge later this summer.
(Photo: Eco-Counter)

At long last, Portland is set to install an electronic bicycle counter. The new tool, which will be placed on the Hawthorne Bridge, will provide a daily and annual, ongoing count of the number of people who pass by on a bicycle..

The new counter will be an Eco-Totem made by Eco-Counter, a Montreal-based company. Funding for the project was supplied via a $20,000 grant from Cycle Oregon. The City of Portland, Bureau of Transportation applied for the grant last fall and Cycle Oregon ride director Jerry Norquist says it was approved in February.

According to Norquist, the grants committee of the Cycle Oregon board was “intrigued” by the idea. “It’s like when McDonalds put out signs saying they sold 1 million hamburgers,” Norquist said via phone this morning, “Except this is a much bigger deal, because it will show people they’re making a difference in transportation.” (more…)

Hawthorne Bridge bike traffic inspires epiphany for Oregonian columnist

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011
Summer bike traffic-8-8
Hawthorne Bridge traffic.
(Photo © J. Maus)

In a column published Monday, Steve Duin, a veteran columnist for The Oregonian, says that after decades of watching Portland traffic he has finally come to a realization: “cyclists are part of the solution to the city’s traffic woes, not part of the problem.”

Duin’s piece came after he spent time counting vehicles crossing the Hawthorne Bridge as a follow-up to counts he did a few years ago. Not only did he observe a 20% increase in bikes, but he also noticed a few other key things: 85% of the cars had only single occupancy and motor vehicle traffic came to a complete stop due to gridlock (not bridge lifts) on two separate occasions. (more…)

Cyclocross on the Hawthorne Bridge – Updated

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010
Faced with a long delay on the Hawthorne Bridge this morning, many people decided to treat the gates like cyclocross barriers.
(All photos by Eric Stachon)

(more…)

How bike traffic has saved our city time and money

Friday, April 23rd, 2010
Calm Commute on Hawthorne Bridge-8
Bikes have saved us from expensive
road projects and congestion.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Bikes do a lot of great things for our city. We often hear about the environmental benefits, the health benefits, and so on. But what about the reduced impact on our road network and congestion? What if more Portlanders drove cars into the city instead of bikes? (more…)

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