BikePGH!

Can you help count bikes for two hours sometime in October?

This topic contains 22 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  RustyRed 1 yr.

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Swalfoort

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Sep 25 2013 at 9:23am #

It is time, once again, for the regional bike counts.

We use the bike count data we collect to demonstrate to local elected officials and other decision makers that there ARE bicyclists on our local roadways, and that we need to consider those users when transportation decisions are being made.

We rely heavily on volunteers for the completion of these bike counts. We want to count at as many locations as possible, and there are only so many good biking days left in the season…..

Can you help?

What I need is a commitment that you can devote two hours to this effort. We need the help either in the morning or the afternoon. The morning shift is 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. The afternoon shift is 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. You can pick the day that works best for you, and I will work with you to find a bike count location that is convenient to your home or work. All I need is two hours on one day…..

The work is easy. You sit there listening to music, or chatting with a friend, while you watch for cyclists. You count each cyclist you see, noting helmet use (y/n) and gender (if readily apparent). Most count volunteers find the task so engaging they add all sorts of other anecdotal information to their reports — broad observations of age groupings, spandex vs. road clothes, illegal riding behavior, etc.

I provide a page or so of general instructions, and some ideas on how to record the data. Beyond sitting in a cool location counting cyclists for two hours, your only responsibility is to then get the data to me, via email, fax, snail mail, whatever, so we can incorporate it into the regional total.

I’ve got locations to cover downtown, in squirrel hill, shadyside, lawrenceville, north side, south side and of course in Oakland.

You can count on any weekday between now and the end of October. You pick the day that works best for you.

Let me know if you can help.

My email address is my boardname here at spcregion(dot)org. Or you can PM me here.

Thanks!


Marko82

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Sep 25 2013 at 10:32am #

^ any thought of doing the entrances to the downtown count all at the same time like we did last time? I think the data from that would be much more useful, even if the coordination is much more involved.


Swalfoort

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Sep 25 2013 at 10:37am #

Marko, we are committed to collecting data at about a dozen location each spring and fall. We want to try to establish trendline data, if possible.

The cordon study of downtown was useful, and we were hoping to pull one off in Oakland this month. However, we were unable to complete the coordination effort required. So, we will have to delay that one until next year. We’ll try to do another cordon count downtown next year as well.


Mikhail

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Sep 25 2013 at 12:15pm #

I can do from 7-9 am near HMB. :) Could set my bike recorder and record everything. :) And use regular camera to take pictures.


StuInMcCandless

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Sep 25 2013 at 1:11pm #

I’m in. Mornings preferred. Something North-Shore-ish. In the past, I’ve done by Heinz Lofts and the Ft Duquesne Bridge ramp.


Swalfoort

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Sep 25 2013 at 1:38pm #

Mikhail; That’d be great. The camera approach yielded some interesting results last time around. You pick the morning that works for you.

Stu; I’ve got the three Northside locations you can choose from:

Point State Park Pedestrian Bridge to North Side
Millvale Trail at Heinz Lofts (includes scan of River Avenue)
Federal at East General Robinson (intersection location, but most traffic is going north-south on Federal)

Let me know which one you prefer, and I’ll send you a reminder on the process, forms, etc.


Mikhail

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Sep 25 2013 at 2:05pm #

Swalfoort wrote:Mikhail; That’d be great. The camera approach yielded some interesting results last time around. You pick the morning that works for you.

Any morning is good.

PS What kind of results?


Swalfoort

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Sep 25 2013 at 2:18pm #

Mikhail; Nothing too outrageous, but it was the first time we had full visual corroboration on the counts. And, since it was a cordon count and we had folks all over the City, it was funny to see fellow staff people and interns here say things like “oh, I saw that guy at my position” (which might have been quite a distance away). On at least two occasions a cyclist can be seen in a photo and then again in another photo a fair time later. In one case, it appears to be an out and back sort of trip. In another the rider appears twice, some time apart, heading in the same direction each time. He does not appear to be dressed in the sort of clothing that I would normally associate with a “training” ride…..just normal street clothes.


pbeaves

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Sep 25 2013 at 3:00pm #

i can do a friday morning (7-9) in Oakland.
Having done this before, its not too bad a gig, grab a coffee & enjoy the sunrise.


RustyRed

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Sep 25 2013 at 3:37pm #

I’d love to help! I’m perfectly suited for a North Side post.


edmonds59

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Sep 25 2013 at 3:57pm #

What locations are you looking for downtown?


helen s

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Sep 25 2013 at 4:24pm #

I would love to do this again- morning shift, and north side is best, but depending on circumstances, I might be able to do other locations also.


Swalfoort

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Sep 25 2013 at 6:07pm #

Wow, great response already, thanks!

Dave; Since you work over near the Science Center, do you want to do a count along the trail heading out towards Chateau? We have a tube counter down there now (as noted by RustyRed), but we’ve been meaning to do a calibration of it to determine it’s overall accuracy by pairing it with a two hour manual count. You could do the count anywhere between the Heinz Field the start of the trail on the far side of the Science Center. If you think that is too boring, we could put you at Point State Park again. Let me know your preference.

Stu, do you want to do an intersection count this time? Corner of Federal and East General Robinson is pretty lively, and shows a lot of activity. Otherwise I could use you again at the Heinz Loft location again.

RustyRed; could you do a count at the base of the ramp next to Del Monte (the bridge that heads to Point State Park).

Paul, the intersection of Forbes and Craig is one of our “never miss” locations. It’s busy, and sort of chaotic, so I don’t like to put total newcomers there. Would that work for you?

Edmonds, this would be a great time to take you up on your suggestion that a count be done at the intersection of the Station Square driveway and West Carson Street. It would be a new location for us, but I think the timing is great for us to make this a new primary count location. Other downtown locations include the north end of the Smithfield Street Bridge, the Point State Park location (monitoring cyclists heading north and south from there), the vicinity of Golden Triangle Bike Rental, and the north end of the 10th Street bridge. (there are more downtown, but I know where you come in from…..)

If I’ve mentioned you by name here, confirm that you read this please, so I know those locations are assigned. If I have offered you a choice of locations, let me know which one you plan to fill, so I don’t miss any of our key locations.

Thanks, all!


pbeaves

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Sep 25 2013 at 8:12pm #

Sure I can do that corner, the last couple times i did Fifth & Bigelo, but Forbes & Craig will be fine.


Swalfoort

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Sep 25 2013 at 8:16pm #

Paul, No, no! Go back to Fifth and Bigelow! It is also an important location in Oakland. Some people prefer to go to the same spots over and over, some like variety. You have the Fifth and Bigelow spot down cold. Count there, please!


TeamDecaf

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Sep 25 2013 at 8:24pm #

I can do the Millvale Park location, same as before. I’ll decide on a good date, let you know.


Swalfoort

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Sep 25 2013 at 9:29pm #

Thanks, Dan!


pbeaves

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Sep 25 2013 at 10:24pm #

ok, ok. i’ll go back to 5th & bigs :d


edmonds59

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Sep 26 2013 at 5:20am #

Sarah, I can do that.


Swalfoort

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Sep 26 2013 at 8:05am #

Thanks, Bill!
You’ve not counted before, so I’ll send you a copy of the general instructions, which consist primarily of comfort and safety recommendations, and some ideas as to how to compile the data.


edmonds59

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Sep 26 2013 at 8:35am #

In terms of comfort I’ll just need to keep a lookout for a nice armchair/ottoman set to curbsnatch on garbage night.


Swalfoort

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Sep 26 2013 at 9:49am #

Hey, if you had a bus pass you could just ride the Incline for a couple of hours…up and down, down and up. You can see that stretch of road the entire length of the ride, except the station dwell time, which might be considerable, so I guess this is not a great strategy. But it sure beats lugging an easy chair in from Robinson!


RustyRed

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Oct 12 2013 at 11:28am #

I had an interesting/heartwarming observation on my bike count that I should share.

I noted a man in a manual wheelchair going up the ramp, and before he made it up the second part of the switchback, he was having issues. I hadn’t noticed as my attention was all over the place, but a jogger who went up the ramp after him, noted he was having a little trouble and insisted on pushing him up the remainder of the ramp.

I smiled broadly for quite a few minutes. Made my morning. :D

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