Friday, in a lull between the storms.
(Photo by Roger Geller.)
Mother Nature finally found a way to keep Portlanders off their bikes on Sunday: a foot of fresh snow followed by a dangerous ice storm.
The Hawthorne Bridge bike counter (which was donated by Cycle Oregon) detected only 32 pairs of wheels crossing in both directions during the entire day. It’s by far the lowest total recorded since the counter was installed in August 2012.
On Friday, the counter picked up 308 bikers, the second-lowest weekday traffic to date after Christmas Day, 2013. On Thursday, when the storm hit midday, 1,773 people made it across the bridge westbound.
On a more normal midwinter day, like last Monday, the counter usually finishes the day with totals in the 4,000s and low 5,000s. In summer, daily totals are usually in the high 6,000s and 7,000s.
The bike counter isn’t perfectly precise, and it’s likely that a layer of snow and ice on the bridge dampened the bridge counts a bit. But it’s safe to say that Sunday was not a great day to cross a bridge on your bike.
Update 6:20 pm: City data collection specialist Tom Jensen writes to add: “I would think the hoses would be fine for counting unless they were in solid ice or in a couple of inches of packed snow. This morning it looked like the path had been more or less clear of snow but I don’t know when or by who (probably MultCo).”
Michael Andersen was news editor of BikePortland.org from 2013 to 2016 and still pops up occasionally.