You Count!

The new bicyle counter on the Spokane Street swing bridge began operating today.

The new bicyle counter on the Spokane Street swing bridge began operating today.

Bicyclists, now you can ride up and be counted on the  South Spokane Street swing bridge.

The new bike counter on the bridge began operating today. This may be the busiest cycling location in South Seattle, and it is a key route that most cyclists from West Seattle use to access downtown, which is why it was chosen as the site for Seattle’s second Eco-Totem counter.

Located along the east approach to the bridge, the totem counts all cyclists using the shared pathway and notes their direction of travel. This counter is essentially the same as the counter that was installed on the Fremont Bridge in 2012 except this one has a two-sided display. A number representing the daily total for bikes crossing the bridge is displayed along with a ‘bar’ showing the running total for each calendar year, a visual reminder to cyclists that their contribution to protecting the environment, reducing traffic congestion, and promoting healthy life styles is being counted.

Data from the new bike counter will begin appearing on SDOT’s website by tomorrow, As with the Fremont counter, the Spokane Street Eco-Totem is a gift to the City of Seattle from the Cascade Bicycle Club with funding from the Mark and Susan Torrance Foundation that covers installation and the first year of operations.

The new counter is an important addition to SDOT’s data collection program and will allow improved estimates of annual volume to be calculated for spot counts and other shorter-term data collections sites. All of these data sources combine to measure the city’s progress toward getting more people to travel by bike and to help determine what additional bike facilities would be most beneficial.

The Spokane Street swing bridge has the highest number of bicycle trips in Seattle south of downtown.

The number of bicyclist trips on the Spokane Street Bridge is among the highest for locations south of downtown Seattle.

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  1. WG says

    I bike past the new counter every day and I’m really curious how it works. Is it a weight sensor? Or something else? How does it tell which direction cyclists are coming from? And how does it distinguish cyclists from pedestrians?

    • SDOT Blog says

      The counter uses in-pavement detector loops to sense bikes. It is calibrated to sense the amount of metal found in bikes so a person walking over it will not activate it.

  2. Kathy Dunn says

    Is the Spokane St. bike counter really working? The counts seem really low compared with manual counts we have done. Except Saturday when it shot up to 859 (usually there are less riders on the weekend)

    • pegNielsen says

      We are still in the process of fine tuning the detectors and will be conducting more validation Thursday afternoon.

  3. nomeato says

    The new Spokane Street bike counter does not appear to be working properly. The counter failed to change from “85” to “86” when I rode over the sensors this morning. I turned around and rode back through, but still no change. I also watched several other cyclists ride over the sensors, but still no change in number.

  4. Aaron says

    The bike counter is not registering my bike. It also didn’t pick up other people that were riding over it.

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