City installs new high-tech counter on Eastbank Esplanade path

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

It’s up for the count.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

It doesn’t look like much, but the City of Portland has just installed a high-tech new device on the Eastbank Esplanade between the Hawthorne and Morrison bridges (north of SE Salmon). It only stands a few feet tall but its stature in the wonky circles of bicycling and walking mode-share metrics is much larger than that. The device will give the Bureau of Transportation, Metro, and the Portland Parks & Recreation bureau access to more detailed data about how many and what type of users are on the path.

All you can see on the outside of the small pillar is a circular eye that faces the path and a photovalic (solar) panel on the top that provides the power. Over the weekend crews cut a small notch in the path’s pavement and buried sensors under the pavement. The device itself is a HI-TRAC CMU (cycle monitoring unit) model made by Pennsylvania company Jamar Technologies. According to the Bureau of Transportation, it cost about $7,500 but Jamar donated all the equipment and PBOT only paid for the labor to install it.

Here’s more from Jamar about the device:

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How was your ride? Portland mobile startup hopes to gather 5,000 answers every week

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This map of stressful and low-stress rides was built from some of the 12,000 bike trips logged by beta testers of Ride, a forthcoming mobile app from Portland-based Knock Software. The company hopes to scale up and create the nation’s first large user-generated database of bikeway quality.
(Image: Knock Software)

One of Portland’s most interesting tech startups is about to move into its next phase: attempting to recruit thousands of local bike users to become rolling bikeway evaluators.

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Portland bike counts up in eastside grid, down in east and southwest

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Green dots are locations where the 2013-2014 average bike count was more than 10 bikes higher than the 2011-2012 bike count. Red dots are locations with a drop in 10 or more bikes. Yellow dots showed relatively little change.
(Data from Portland Bureau of Transportation, geocoded by SteveLeathers and mapped using Google Fusion Tables)

If the last two years of city bike counts tell any coherent story about biking in Portland, it’s this: Biking keeps rising in Portland’s bike-friendliest neighborhoods, but not fast enough to make up for declines in the parts of Portland where biking is often unpleasant.

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Portland’s first-ever 24-hour bike count shows bike traffic on Ankeny never stops

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

The city’s hour-by-hour count sheet.
(Photo courtesy PBOT)

Portland: the city of bikeways that never sleep.

A 24-hour count of bike traffic at the corner of Southeast Ankeny and 28th Avenue observed 2,231 bike trips from noon on Thursday, May 14 to noon on Friday, May 15. In the busiest hour, 5 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, 325 bikes went past; in the least busy, 3 a.m. to 4 a.m. on Saturday, six bikes did.

“I think one of our event volunteers said it best,” Taylor Sutton, a city worker who helped organize the first 24-hour count, said in an email Tuesday. “There’s never not a bike on Ankeny.”

Portland’s 10 years of peak-hour bike count data at dozens of locations around the city would be the envy of almost any city in the world. But those counts neglect the many commuters who don’t work traditional office hours, not to mention many of the non-work trips that account for more than 80 percent of our transportation. Sutton said the 24-hour bike count was intended as a way to enrich the city’s understanding of other hours of the day.

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This $50 device could change bike planning forever

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.

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Hawthorne Bridge bike trips up just 0.4% in 2014

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
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.

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2012 PBOT bicycle counts reveal 3.3% annual growth

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
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):

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PBOT counts show bike trips up 6.4 percent in 2011

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
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.

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PBOT bike counts show 8 percent increase over last year

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
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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.

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City releases bike count report, explains first decrease since 1995

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
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.

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