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Downtown Cordon Survey – Bike Count

This topic contains 25 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  StuInMcCandless 10 mos, 3 weeks.

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Swalfoort

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May 28 2013 at 10:24am #

In an earlier post, I solicited volunteers for a new type of bike count we plan to implement this summer. It’s called a cordon survey, and it will count any cyclist crossing from outside to inside the cordoned area – in this case downtown. It will give us a one day snapshot of how many cyclist’s enter downtown on what is presumed to be an average morning.

I think I know downtown well enough to identify the key cycling routes into downtown, but you guys constantly surprise me with your routing preferences, so I thought I would tell you the roads that I plan to cover on June 5th, and you can tell me what I might be missing. Deal?

Starting at the Point and working clockwise:

Fort Duquesne Walkway
Sixth Street Bridge
Seventh Street Bridge
Ninth Street Bridge

(Users of the Millvale Trail will have to cross into downtown at one of the locations above, but we will probably count here anyway)

(Sixteenth Street Bridge – no count, will pick up cyclists using 16th closer to downtown)

Strip District Trail wherever they leave the trail – 11th, 9th, 7th, etc

River Avenue where it T’s at 11th

Smallman Street where it T’s at 11th

Penn Avenue at 11th

Liberty Avenue at 11th

(Not Bigelow inbound)

(Not Bedford inbound)

Center at Washington Place

Fifth Avenue at Washington Place or ?

(Not Forbes, as one way outbound)

(Not Blvd. of the Allies)

Second Avenue at Ross (or is it better at Armstrong Tunnel?)

Eliza Furnace Trail (probably at Hot Metal Bridge to get direction of origin information, but could be at downtown end)

Downtown end of Smithfield Street Bridge.

(Do I need to monitor the Mon Wharf separately? The only users of the Wharf that I think I might miss are the folks who take the Strip District Trail in, then swing through the Point way out at the fountain, then head back along the Mon and never pass Smithfield Street at surface level, if that makes sense.)

Fort Pitt Walkway

Please, please pick these locations apart. Tell me what I have missed, and why. Have I included anything that I should not have?

Your input is greatly appreciated.

And yes, Joe F., this should give you the list that you were seeking!


joeframbach

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May 28 2013 at 10:40am #

I think this alleycat is definitely do-able. :)


edmonds59

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May 28 2013 at 10:58am #

The Cordon blew alleycat.


Marko82

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May 28 2013 at 11:16am #

I imagine there might be some leakage near 2nd ave due to students from the apartments on 1st street and by people using that T station.

Likewise students from Duquesne or others coming through the Armstrong tunnel may use Forbes Ave since it’s two way at that point. Also the numbers are probably small, but some might come across the Liberty Bridge sidewalk from Mt. Washington.

It might help to define the Eastern edge of your net: Is it Cross Town Blvd., Ross Street, or Grant Street?


ieverhart

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May 28 2013 at 3:12pm #

Eliza Furnace Trail (probably at Hot Metal Bridge to get direction of origin information, but could be at downtown end)

There is at least one access point (right before Bates Street) and possibly other “unofficial” access points off the Jail Trail between the downtown end and the Hot Metal Bridge. I can’t say that you’ll get many people peeling off, but it’s a possibility. Also, a counter at the Hazelwood end of the trail would (potentially) count people who come to the parking lot, ride down the trail and back again, turning around at some point before downtown and never crossing into downtown itself.


StuInMcCandless

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May 28 2013 at 3:57pm #

Fifth inbound, count just before the Diamond split.
Forbes inbound, count just at the Diamond merge.

You missed the T.

I think one well placed, observant person in Point State Park could count both Ft Pitt and Ft Duq riders and keep them separately.

11th Street and: Trail, Smallman/Mulberry, Penn, Liberty.


Swalfoort

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May 28 2013 at 4:13pm #

Thanks, and keep those comments rolling in. We’ve already thought of some of them, others are new. We hope to maximize coverage with a minimum number of counters, so things like using a single person at Point State Park to capture incoming cyclists from both the Fort Pitt and Fort Duquesne walkways is already anticipated.

Marko – the thought of bikes on the Liberty bridge never occurred to me. Thanks.

The eastern edge of the cordon will be somewhat ragged. I was thinking that a person at Second Avenue and the 10th Street Bridge could collect information on incoming cyclists from both the east and the south. Along the Fifth and Forbes corridors, and even at Center, I sort of see Washington Place/Chatham Sq. as the point at which they MAY make a turn towards a final destination, so I was sort of focusing on that area as my eastern boundary, which correlates pretty closely to the Armstong Tunnel/10th Street bridge alignment (although I agree with Stu that Fifth at Diamond makes a compelling location.) I am less certain about the need to count Forbes. Yes, it is two way, there is no way to get on to Forbes in an inbound direction that isn’t covered at one of the other locations, or at least I think that is right. I don’t care so much about cyclists who are LEAVING downtown for the purposes of this count. (I do, but it is a secondary priority.) I want to be sure to count the people ENTERING downtown though.

I think Ian makes a good case for the counter on the Eliza Furnace Trail to be closer to downtown than at the HMB.

Keep the comments coming. It’s giving me good things to think about.


Marko82

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May 28 2013 at 4:35pm #

For accuracy, you also don’t want to double count cyclists either (sorry Joe). So a cyclist being counted at the 10th street bridge should not be recounted if they cut through the tunnel and down 5th for instance. I need to pull out a map and do some looking.


StuInMcCandless

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May 28 2013 at 4:49pm #

My thinking about the two Diamond positions is that you’d count those on Fifth NOT going down Diamond, since those cyclists would be picked up by the counter at Forbes and Diamond. The Forbes and Diamond counter would pick up the cyclists coming down off the back of the hill behind Duq U, plus those coming through the Armstrong Tunnel, plus anyone who managed to get across the Liberty Bridge.

One more thought: Do you care about counting cyclists who originate at the edge of town, for example the Art Institute dormitory by the First Avenue T station?


Marko82

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May 28 2013 at 5:31pm #

I added a person under the Convention center, which brings the number of volunteers to 14. I think that makes it air tight with no double counts.

see map http://goo.gl/maps/5gQjJ


WillB

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May 28 2013 at 5:33pm #

Second what Marko82 said. For example, I ride down railroad, take the trail to the point and then come into downtown through the park. Would I be counted twice (once by the bridge path and once coming down Railroad)?


Mikhail

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May 29 2013 at 4:50pm #

Marko82 wrote:I added a person under the Convention center, which brings the number of volunteers to 14. I think that makes it air tight with no double counts.

see map http://goo.gl/maps/5gQjJ

I think volunteer at 6, 7, and 9 street bridges should be closer to end of bridges sine there are entrances/exits to/from trail.


J Z

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May 30 2013 at 3:09pm #

Saw individuals today wearing reflective vests marked “Traffic Survey” camped out at the corner of Bates & Blvd.


Swalfoort

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May 30 2013 at 3:33pm #

It is definitely traffic count season!

Hope to see a big crowd of cyclists coming into downtown on Wednesday morning!


helen s

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May 30 2013 at 4:41pm #

Do we count ourselves? Or only if we were going to come downtown anyway? What about cyclist exiting downtown during this time period- I would normally ride through town at that time during my normal commute.


edmonds59

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Jun 3 2013 at 4:31pm #

The number of bikes commuting this morning was nuts. There were 2 other riders coming through the West End Circle when I went through. And there were 2 riders with bikes getting in the elevators in my building. Crazy. This count is going to be interesting.


Swalfoort

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Jun 3 2013 at 6:09pm #

I hope this count is VERY interesting. I agree with you that the numbers seem to be up over last year. Nothing I can put my finger on (yet) but I seem to be seeing many more bikes on my commutes into and out of town.


StuInMcCandless

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Jun 3 2013 at 6:18pm #

Stupid question, I don’t know why I didn’t think of it earlier: Are you taking into account bikes on the front of buses? I came in by bus/bike this morning, and my bike tires hit pavement at the corner of 7th Street and Penn Avenue.

An astute watcher on the 7th St Bridge might actually have noticed there were two bikes on that particular 8 Perrysville.

btw, sorry to say, I’m maybe a 3 in 10 chance of being able to help on Wednesday.


Swalfoort

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Jun 3 2013 at 7:45pm #

We ARE counting bikes on buses! Or at least trying to.

We will even have people stationed at the east busway and the Fort Pitt ramps to Liberty Avenue to catch concentrations of inbound buses that might otherwise be missed becuase they travel non-bikeable routes.

I don’t know that we’ll be able to get the route number of the buses in question, but the Port Authority is hoping that we do.

As for your availability on Wednesday, relax. We have enough bodies (assuming no one oversleeps or gets sick) for this count. We’ll be doing more later in the summer, so there is still plenty of time to help out!


byogman

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Jun 4 2013 at 9:26am #

Too bad it wasn’t yesterday or today. Weather was so gorgeous. Forecast is still good though. I’ll be very interested to hear the numbers.

Do we know roughly how many people come in through the cordoned area in total so we can get a ratio?


Swalfoort

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Jun 4 2013 at 9:39am #

@Ben, I am not sure I understand your question. Our goal is to cover every possible route into downtown. So, if you cross the cordon (identified as the rivers, crosstown boulevard or 11th Street, on a bicycle you will be counted.

In my interpretation, weather for tomorrow promises to be even better than today. Since we have to plan for these things weeks in advance, we really got lucky!


Swalfoort

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Jun 4 2013 at 9:40am #

Hey, Boostuv – if you are following this thread, could you send me an email at swalfoort(at)spcregion(dot)org?

I am trying to get the information to you that you need to do your count tomorrow! Please don’t leave me with a hole, please!


Mikhail

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Jun 4 2013 at 10:03am #

Swalfoort wrote:@Ben, I am not sure I understand your question.

Ben wants to know total number of people coming to/from downtown and number of people biking to/from downtown so he could calculated ratio of people bicycling.


StuInMcCandless

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Jun 4 2013 at 11:58am #

Sara – On the other thread, I said I still don’t know if I can help. PM or text me by 9pm with a location, and if I can be there, I will.


Swalfoort

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Jun 4 2013 at 3:29pm #

Thanks for the interpretation, Mikhail!

We probably have downtown commuter numbers somewhere. I’ll see if I can dig them up, and develop a “bicycle mode share” number.


StuInMcCandless

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Jun 4 2013 at 5:26pm #

Nope, I’m out. Sorry.

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