West Seattle’s new bicycle counter finally unwrapped

June 20, 2013 at 12:01 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 26 Comments

Notice something new at the east end of the low bridge? West Seattle Bike Connections president Don Brubeck shares the photo and update:

An SDOT crew was at the east end of the bridge this morning pulling wire to the new bike counter. Not yet operational, but they said “maybe today.” … This is the first I’ve seen it unwrapped. It looks like the one at the Fremont Bridge. I was bike 3,375 for the day over that one at about 7 pm yesterday. Maybe in a few years after some intersections and East Marginal Way are improved, we’ll reach that kind of total.

After the note from Don, we drove over the low bridge to check it out, and it seems to be operational – or, at least, its number display was illuminated. The bike counter is privately funded, as noted earlier this month by Seattle Bike Blog.

(UPDATE: We received two new photos late today – including this one from Don:)

(back to original story) P.S. The city’s first round of meetings on the draft Bicycle Master Plan update are over, but comments are still being accepted. Here’s what it envisions, eventually, for our part of the city. The plan is on the agenda for the next WS Bike Connections meeting, to which you’re invited, bicyclist or not, 6:30 pm July 2nd at Highland Park Improvement Club (12th/Holden).

26 Comments

  1. This is really neat! Can’t wait to add to the count soon!

    Comment by jns — 12:14 pm June 20, 2013 #

  2. Cool. I went by the one in Fremont the other day.

    Comment by Person — 12:46 pm June 20, 2013 #

  3. Super exciting! I barely figured out what it was as I went by this morning.
    .
    Does it count bikes going in both directions?
    How will the data be used?
    Can real-time data be seen online anywhere?

    Comment by Kelly — 1:05 pm June 20, 2013 #

  4. Good questions! Here’s the page for the Fremont counter that Don mentioned. Seems you can get something close to real-time data online:
    .
    http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/bikecounter.htm

    Comment by WSB — 1:16 pm June 20, 2013 #

  5. Pleased to see that data collection is part of the draft Bike Master plan. It seems rather folly to go forth and spend a lot of money when there is no data. Occasional witness counts do not cut it. Year round numbers are needed, this is a good step towards that goal.

    Comment by D I D — 2:15 pm June 20, 2013 #

  6. hopefully high numbers on the bike counters will encourage further investment for bike safety at those deadly intersections between ws and downtown. we can only hope.

    Comment by themightyrabbit — 2:46 pm June 20, 2013 #

  7. How can I avoid the counter if I don’t wish to be counted?

    Comment by mpento — 3:13 pm June 20, 2013 #

  8. mpento, why would you possibly care if you were counted??

    Comment by peeb — 4:15 pm June 20, 2013 #

  9. mpento – a few thoughts:
    1) I believe bicycle traffic is permitted in the vehicle lanes of the low bridge.
    2) The South Park Bridge is expected to open Spring 2014.
    3) There are some excellent instructional videos posted to YouTube on “bunny hopping”, a technical cycling maneuver.

    This is how we roll. Buh-bump.

    Comment by Scooter — 4:36 pm June 20, 2013 #

  10. There’s also the 1st Avenue bridge, which is well north of South Park.

    Comment by datamuse — 5:16 pm June 20, 2013 #

  11. You can use the street over the bridge instead of the path. Be warned however, some of the truck drivers are very aggressive and will drive very close to you and blast their horn at you even if you’re over the white line out of the lane and well out if their way. Found this out when a maintenance truck was blocking the path and i had to use the street instead.

    Comment by Rob — 6:37 pm June 20, 2013 #

  12. This is awesome! Sure wish there was a huge display on the upper bridge showing the count as people sit (I mean drive pleasurably) in their cars. ;-)
    .
    I’ll have to put some metal in my shoes now as I run past the inductive loop sensor…no need to be left out of the count going in/out of West Seattle as I commute car-free!
    .
    Lots of transportation options in and out of West Seattle…be sure to send me a message if you want help figuring out how to do it without a car.
    .
    *** jeff [at] jnsadventures [dot] com ***

    Comment by Jeff H — 10:16 pm June 20, 2013 #

  13. Just noticed via FB that the “SDOT Blog” has a story up about this, and says data should be online starting tomorrow.
    .
    http://sdotblog.seattle.gov/2013/06/20/you-count/

    Comment by WSB — 10:55 pm June 20, 2013 #

  14. COOL!

    Comment by AJP — 11:04 pm June 20, 2013 #

  15. This is it: the shameful truth of the depth of the NSA scandal. The proof positive the super intelligent human hybrid-coyotes of West Seattle have wrested control fully from their animatronic puppet mayor McBeard! The Seafair Pirates and the plan of Ultimate EVIL* are coagulating into a grand Orwellian tumor of tyranny! Their first beach head into the sharpened sticks of mind slavery was the insidious yoke of oppression that is : THE ELECTRONIC READER BOARD AT MADISON MIDDLE SCHOOL! The cursed mind control device would garishly in Las Vegas style congratulate members of the so called “Jazz” band and remind the weary proletariat of their obligation to serve at “Pancake” breakfasts! This cruel and really shabby expression of filth is rightly opposed by the righteous local land holders whose investment in pottery barn tranquility would be jeopardized. Now the Seafair Cultists with their ruffles and eye patches have gone too far: counting BICYCLISTS. It claims to be privately funded. Privately funded by NORTH KOREA maybe. I for one shall continue to hide in my laundry room. Would some one please get my mail for me?

    * When reading this post aloud to your small children as a clarion call to action (as you will) please pronounce “evil” as “EE-Vile”, and for added effect I suggest dropping you voice a full octave. This is most effective. For added gravitas, I would suggest hiring an Actor versed in Shakespeare or at least a relative or acquaintance who resembles Orson Welles to read it to your children. Hold a flashlight under your chin as well. Good luck.

    Comment by Cranky Westie — 9:44 am June 21, 2013 #

  16. Thank you, Cascade Bicycle Club and the Mark & Susan Torrance Foundation!

    Comment by Yardvark — 9:55 am June 21, 2013 #

  17. that digital sign is a huge waste of money by the city no wonder we are broke

    Comment by w.s. maverick — 6:18 pm June 21, 2013 #

  18. Read the story. PRIVATELY FUNDED.

    Comment by WSB — 6:23 pm June 21, 2013 #

  19. hey don’t worry even if it were publically funded, it would have come out of the money they are saving by not replacing street lights that get downed by drunk drivers in the middle of the night.

    the light across from us was taken out and 6 months later? nothing.

    Comment by themightyrabbit — 8:45 pm June 21, 2013 #

  20. Not sure how accurate it is , Friday morning it remained at 38 when the biker ahead of me went over it, and when I went over it. Friday night coming back it counted me twice.

    Comment by Patrick — 7:32 am June 22, 2013 #

  21. ( Read the story. PRIVATELY FUNDED. WSB )
    So does that mean they paid for the SDOT workers to install and maintain along with SDOT engineering ? just curious when you make a statement like that you or did they just pay for the counter ? big difference.

    Comment by wetone — 3:06 pm June 22, 2013 #

  22. 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.

    Comment by patrick — 12:41 pm June 23, 2013 #

  23. either their counter is messed up or somebody is messing with numbers. At 2pm on Friday the counter online showed 12 riders, today it shows 486 for Friday. Today ‘right now’ shows 3 riders for Monday the 24th.

    Comment by Mike — 1:18 pm June 24, 2013 #

  24. Mike, Don had told me in e-mail that it seemed likely this would go through a shakedown period before there was a formal announcement (there hasn’t been yet – everything we’ve reported has been courtesy of Don and passersby) that the bike counter was up and running.

    Comment by WSB — 1:28 pm June 24, 2013 #

  25. I am pretty sure most of the daily counts now showing on the website are very low compared to manual counts done periodically in the past. Except maybe Saturday June 22nd when the count of 859 seems more realistic. Normally weekends have a lower count than weekdays, if the Fremont counter is typical of ridership. SDOT is still working on calibration.

    Comment by Kathy — 9:16 am June 26, 2013 #

  26. On the SDOT bike counter website all the data for the Spokane St counter is cleared out today except for Wednesday 26 June which shows a count of 728. That seems like a more realistic number than what was shown previously.

    Comment by Kathy — 8:22 pm June 27, 2013 #

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