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.