Hawthorne Bridge bicycle counter
Two months ago, we made an unfortunate error: We ran a post observing that the new Tilikum Crossing was simultaneously boosting bike traffic and reducing bike congestion on the Hawthorne Bridge sidewalks.
Trouble was, the source of our data — the Hawthorne Bridge’s automated bike counter — had been malfunctioning, so the findings were bogus.
Now the better data has arrived … and it shows pretty much the same thing that the fake data had seemed to.
Correction 10/5: Unfortunately, an earlier version of this post was based on inaccurate data. As explained in the comments by Portland Bicycle Planning Coordinator Roger Geller (and first noticed by reader Psyfalcon), the Hawthorne counter failed to capture eastbound bike data from Sept. 9 through the end of the month. This problem wasn’t noted on the city’s website but we should have noticed the east/west discrepancy and checked with the city before running this story.
This means it’s likely that the Tilikum has boosted total bike traffic across the Willamette, but that Hawthorne bike traffic hasn’t dropped by anywhere close to one-third. It’ll take several weeks to learn the truth. In the meantime, we regret the error. The original (incorrect) version of the post follows.
For all the freakishness of the warmest February in Portland history — forget the wildfires and snowpack, think of where housing prices are headed if we turn gradually into San Diego — we’ve all enjoyed the benefits.
At least 37,571 more times than last year, anyway.
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.
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.
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.
(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).