A tipster spotted this tube bike counter on the Beargrass Creek bike trail a few weeks ago and wondered what was up. The counter belongs to Bike Louisville, the bike advocacy arm of Metro Louisville. They recently purchased their very own counter and have been placing it around town for three-week intervals to check up on bike traffic.
Dirk Gowin, Transportation Planning Manager with Bike Louisville, says his office will be conducting counts at 25 locations around the city. Part of the plan is to monitor before and after bike traffic conditions as new infrastructure is implemented, keep tabs on turning movements, generally know what parts of town are highly traveled by cyclists.
Bike Louisville has occasionally conducted manual counts with Bicycling for Louisville, but says the mechanical counters have several distinct advantages to the human eye. For example, the spacing of the tubes can determine the directionality and speed of the cyclist and, if placed on a road, can usually determine the difference between a bike and a car. Also, keeping the counters out night and day allows for a larger sample.
This counter is still out counting cyclists somewhere in the city, but once cold weather sets in, it will likely be put into storage as Gowin says Louisville cyclists tend not to ride as much in winter. So get out there and be counted on your bike! Oh, and sorry for the terrible headline, folks.