READER REPORT: New bicycle counter for east end of West Seattle low bridge

Thanks to Joe Laubach for the photos and report:

The old bike counter on the East end of the Spokane Street bridge has been out of order for several years. I’m pleased to see SDOT has installed a new bike counter and it is up and operational!

On a related note, I’m happy to see so many people biking around West Seattle now that the weather has warmed up. Motorists – please drive carefully and be attentive. Thank you.

This is near the site where Robb Mason was hit and killed last July (his accused killer‘s case continues making its way through the court system, with another hearing next month). We have an inquiry out to SDOT for more information about the new counter and will add whatever we hear back. (The stats page is here.)

ADDED WEDNESDAY: SDOT spokesperson Mariam Ali responded to our inquiry: “We have replaced the bike counter on the Spokane St Swing Bridge (West Seattle Low Bridge) to address inconsistencies with the data from the old counter. The previous bike counter was experiencing intermittent issues storing and transmitting data which has led to periodic gaps in our historical data beginning in May 2021, despite multiple repair attempts.”

4 Replies to "READER REPORT: New bicycle counter for east end of West Seattle low bridge"

  • K March 21, 2023 (2:56 pm)

    Perhaps this counter will be more accurate….but the one by Fairmount Park is so wrong it’s hilarious.  It states a bicyclist is detected anytime the light flashes, and yet the light flashes every time the walk button at the intersection is hit.  The elementary kids hit the button over and over to see it flash….AND I see it flash when the button is not hit, nor is there a bicyclist anywhere in sight.  If they are using that data to make infrastructure decisions, it is severely flawed.  

    • skeeter March 21, 2023 (5:22 pm)

      K it sounds like two different things.  This blog post is about a counter that counts cyclists who cross a threshold.  It sounds like the sensor you are talking about by Fairmount Park is a piece of equipment that helps cyclists and pedestrians cross the street by triggering a traffic light change.  

    • WestSeattleBadTakes March 21, 2023 (5:32 pm)

      There are some that are bike only and some that are bike and pedestrian. The city doesn’t list that one on the site and I haven’t seen it, but you can see the different types here:

      That said, it may have an issue. It looks like the one at Chief Sealth Trail was changed to bike only due to some technical issues. I’d suggest reporting the problem so it gets corrected.

    • CAM March 22, 2023 (8:02 am)

      K – I don’t believe what you are referring to is a counter. If my observations of it in passing are correct it is a warning light to drivers to announce cyclists approaching the intersection before they get there. I’m not sure of the sensitivity or how exactly it works otherwise but I’ve never noticed any signs indicating it is counting. 

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