Counting bikes

ps's picture

By ps - Posted on 16 January 2015

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

Being an IT techie working in this sort of area I found this article interesting. Should be applicable to MTB metrics for legal and illegal trails.

hawkeye's picture

Yeah it came up on my FB feed last night. Looks interesting. Very clever concept.

The other interesting thing is that companies like Strava have begun selling de-identified heatmap data to governments to help with researching cycling routed and infrastructure demand.

Pants's picture

I've seen a counter installed on the Epping Rd bike lane near the intersection with Delhi
Road in North Ryde.

It's pretty much the same counters they use for cars where black tubes are laid across the road/path and the pressure that a tyre exerts onto the black tube counts the passing truck/car/bike.

This new invention seems like a pretty awesome idea though!

fairy1's picture

If you have to use an app why not just throw an RFID thingy on the bike? They can be read from close to 10m away and would allow you to find a stolen bike easier.

I have a plan if they pop up on illegal trails, buy a Windows phone, there will never be an app for it.

Also in cities surely some sort of software could be used on the security cams to spot and count bikes? If they can read a numberplate they should be able to work out what a bike rider looks like.

hawkeye's picture

The app is for reading count numbers off the device and sending them off to the cloud. YOu don;t need an app for it to recognise you as a bike rider.

The device itself needs no rubber tubes or other hardware, hence the attraction. It's a pretty neat idea in my opinion, so long as the heuristics to determine what kind of road user you are are acceptably accurate.

fairy1's picture

Ahhh that makes sense, Comprehension wasn't a strong point for me at school.

What do people do with the stats though? Once a city is up and running it is pretty difficult to modify roadways to make them more cycle friendly.

Newcastle has loads of suggested routes off the main roads but in most places there is enough room on the shoulder for bikes. I think we are pretty lucky here but loads of people still enjoy having a good whine.

hawkeye's picture

One of the major problems for planners and local councils is to decide where to put bike infrastructure so that what is built meets demand and gets used.

Too often there has been poor guesswork and speculation or the process has been hijacked by special interest groups and money has been spent putting facilities in where noone wants to go. And then they complain about us not wanting to use it, as though we had some obligation to use it just because they built it. Businesses that insist on trying to sell products that don't meet the needs of teh market don't stay in business long.

This kind of data enables the retro-fitting of infrastructure to be evidence-based.

For example, Duncan Gay wanted to rip out the bike lanes. However, the RMS's own counts countered his ignorant politicisation of cycling by demonstrating that the bike lanes averaged 90-110% of the flow of *people* per day than the rest of the motor vehicle traffic lanes combined.

Of course, he wasn't going to release that data on his own. It took somebody in his department leaking the documents to The Sydney Morning Herald for it to get out.

And again, he has been forced to back away from his hare-brained idea of part time bike lanes and the new lanes that are about to go in will be full-time and dedicated. Evidence saved the day yet again.

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