Bike traffic counter on Beargrass Creek trail (Courtesy tipster)
Bike traffic counter on Beargrass Creek trail (Courtesy tipster)
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Bike traffic counter on Beargrass Creek trail (Courtesy tipster)
Bike traffic counter on Beargrass Creek trail. (Courtesy tipster)

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.

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Branden Klayko

2 COMMENTS

  1. Will the data that they collect be made public? This particular section of bike path along Beargrass Creek is one of my favorite parts of my ride into work and I am hoping that the numbers show that it is well used so that maybe some day we can find places to implement more stretches of scenic bike paths separated from motor vehicles. I know that there aren’t a whole lot of places that this could happen, but it seems that there are a lot more than have been explored. I think more people would ride their bikes for commuting if they had options like this that not only are very safe and pleasant to cruise, but offer the added benefit of being a very calming environment to refresh the mind before work, or decompress after a long day.

  2. Patrick, I spoke with folks at Bike Louisville today and they said they would be glad to share the counting data when it’s complete.

    What do you think of trails like this being widened slightly with a dashed yellow line down the middle? I have seen those in New York and Portland and they seem to really help out when there are high volumes of cyclists using the path and going two directions – everyone knows to stay on the right side of the line unless passing.

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