NYC DOT Now Using Automated Counters to Measure Bike Trips

There’s some neat news in NYC DOT’s 2014 bike count announcement that I missed in my haste to post about it yesterday. Last April, the agency began to use loop induction counters to measure bike trips on the East River bridges. The automated counters enable DOT to collect data more often, so we can have greater confidence in the accuracy of the numbers.

Here’s what DOT says about the counters [PDF]:

Starting in April 2014, automated loop induction counters were used on the East River Bridges replacing manual counts by human enumerators. Automated counts have the benefit of providing continuous and more robust data throughout the year. To best equate the automated count data with historical data, each monthly count consists of average daily volume for every non-holiday weekday without precipitation. A typical monthly count now consists of between 11 and 17 days of data, versus 1 to 2 days of data in the previous system.

All told, during the peak months of April through October, DOT collected bike counts on 93 days last year, compared to 10 days in previous years. DOT periodically tests the accuracy of the automated counters by comparing the tallies against hand counts of cyclists.

  • BBnet3000

    I noticed hose counters being used on the Manhattan Bridge last year (not sure if that was for this or another purpose). As always, thrilled to support the cause especially on some days when I ended up going into Manhattan twice. Would be cool if these were linked to a display on the bridge like they have in some cities.

  • J

    Cool! Now they need one of those display thingies that shows how many bikes have passed.

    Also, NYCDOT just put out the 2015 bike map:

  • Steve O’Neill

    Or even if they can’t/won’t do a display, they could just release the raw data. I asked for that in September, but DOT declined.

    I don’t see what the point is of keeping the numbers secret.

  • BBnet3000

    Is it just me or is this map a lot harder to read than the previous maps? The new color scheme is probably color-blind friendly which is a good thing but the map also seems a lot more crowded.

    Splitting the previous “shared lane” designation into separate “shared lane” and “signed route” designations seems pointless to me and also adds more complication to the map. Worse, it’s actually implying that sharrows are infrastructure rather than just additional wayfinding for a signed route. If the city had bike boulevards that would be a reason for a separate marking, but they don’t.

  • Mike

    The new color scheme is OK under bright light, but absolutely indistinguishable under poor lighting conditions.


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