$70,000 Digital Counter Expected To Tally Number Of Market Street Cyclists

A bicycle barometer is slated to go up on San Francisco’s Market Street next month to count the number of bicycles that travel through the city’s arterial boulevard.

The measuring device will be built on the south side of Market Street between Ninth and 10th streets after the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board of directors unanimously approved a $20,000 donation from the SF Bicycle Coalition at Tuesday’s board meeting.

The donated funds will go toward the roughly $70,000 total project cost for the building and installation of the machine.

The counter aims to encourage commuters and others to use bicycles as a mode of transportation by keeping track of ridership and noticeably displaying the number of riders.

The barometer would be the city’s first and is estimated to tally as many as 1 million eastbound bicyclists that are projected to increasingly traverse on Market Street each year, according to Muni officials.

The latest annual bicycle volumes on the Market Street thoroughfare are recorded at about 600,000 riders, Muni officials said.

Elsewhere

Bicycle Traffic Counter Could Come to Market Street by Bike to Work Day [Streetsblog]

The barometer will stand 7.5 feet tall and 1.5 feet wide with a digital display counter that will tally the number of passing bicyclists through an embedded counter underneath the bike lane.

To build and install the counter, transit staff is working with the city’s Department of Technology and the Department of Public Works.

Muni spokesman Paul Rose said the barometer is scheduled to be up and running by the end of May, however Muni officials are hoping the counter will be up before Bike to Work Day on May 9.

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News

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  • A complete waste of money. Another terrible decisions by SFMTA. They some how think that telling us how many bikes pass that specific spot each minute will encourage people to start riding bikes? I can’t wait to see what the next truly stupid idea SFMTA is going to come up with when it comes to bikes. The Board of Supervisors really need to step in and get this agency under control.

    • Joe V

      The initial money was donated, fool. Even if it is a waste of money, it ain’t your money.

      • The intial Money was 20k – it’s up to 70k now and that money ain’t donated…

    • SuperQ

      You know what’s a waste of money? There’s something like 300-400 million square feet of road surface in SF. And around 80-100 million of that is street parking. (based on rough guess of 1200 miles of road 50 feet wide with 17 feet of that for street parking)

      So 20-25% of the road repair budget is going toward pavement under parked cars.

      • Forthright

        That is some funky “guessing” you have dreamed up

      • Well – Drivers pay road TAXES for that – something cyclisty use and feel very entitled to yet don’t pay for…

        • Cyclists pay taxes, too. I pay over $6000 a year in property taxes, more than my share for the small amount of road I use on my bike.

          • Yeah… it’s not just the road’s you’re paying for their mister.. there’s lot else it goes to pay for…
            Just like with parking and muni… they could double or triple that amount and it wouldn’t be nearly enough….However, with parking meters and tickets… THEY actually have double the tax in the last several years… have you noticed any improvement? That’s cause there isn’t any..
            FYI muni’s budget is 133mm more now than in 2007 and they’re still crying broke…

        • Ryan Brady

          Costs of driving are not fully paid by ‘road taxes’, and are in fact subsidized by people who do not drive (such as cyclists).

    • SuperQ

      As to your comment about how much the display will get people to ride bikes? You’d be surprised at how much a little knowledge will change behavior.

      For example, if you’re trying to save gas because it’s $4/gallon or whatever. If your car has a visible display of MPG, you’re far more likely to slow down and accelerate less hard. You get an instant feedback that you’re using more gas.

    • DemboSays

      This measure will help the city and other agencies understand the needs of the biking community AND of cars/ pedestrians better by having a metric for usage. It won’t be used to encourage biking, it will be used to better tailor policies and plans in the future!

      • eveb

        I am not sure, DemboSays, that “It won’t be used to encourage biking.”

        According to the second line of press release on the barometer sent by the SFMTA, “the bicycle barometer will help promote bike riding as an everyday means of transport in San Francisco.”

        In the second paragraph then again say “The purpose of the barometer is to encourage more people to ride their bikes.”

        In the third graf, they say that such monitors are successful in the “promotion of bicycling.”

        In the fourth graf they again say “This high-visibility bicycle barometer on one of San Francisco’s most heavily traveled corridors will help with the agency’s continued promotion and encouragement of traveling by bicycle.”

        It appears that the SFMTA’s messaging, at least, is indeed that the device is intended to encourage biking. If you know otherwise, please do let us know!

  • A complete waste of money. Another terrible decisions by SFMTA. They some how think that telling us how many bikes pass that specific spot each minute will encourage people to start riding bikes? I can’t wait to see what the next truly stupid idea SFMTA is going to come up with when it comes to bikes. The Board of Supervisors really need to step in and get this agency under control.

    • Joe V

      The initial money was donated, fool. Even if it is a waste of money, it ain’t your money.

      • The intial Money was 20k – it’s up to 70k now and that money ain’t donated…

    • SuperQ

      You know what’s a waste of money? There’s something like 300-400 million square feet of road surface in SF. And around 80-100 million of that is street parking. (based on rough guess of 1200 miles of road 50 feet wide with 17 feet of that for street parking)

      So 20-25% of the road repair budget is going toward pavement under parked cars.

      • Forthright

        That is some funky “guessing” you have dreamed up

      • Well – Drivers pay road TAXES for that – something cyclisty use and feel very entitled to yet don’t pay for…

        • Cyclists pay taxes, too. I pay over $6000 a year in property taxes, more than my share for the small amount of road I use on my bike.

          • Yeah… it’s not just the road’s you’re paying for their mister.. there’s lot else it goes to pay for…
            Just like with parking and muni… they could double or triple that amount and it wouldn’t be nearly enough….However, with parking meters and tickets… THEY actually have double the tax in the last several years… have you noticed any improvement? That’s cause there isn’t any..
            FYI muni’s budget is 133mm more now than in 2007 and they’re still crying broke…

        • Ryan Brady

          Costs of driving are not fully paid by ‘road taxes’, and are in fact subsidized by people who do not drive (such as cyclists).

    • SuperQ

      As to your comment about how much the display will get people to ride bikes? You’d be surprised at how much a little knowledge will change behavior.

      For example, if you’re trying to save gas because it’s $4/gallon or whatever. If your car has a visible display of MPG, you’re far more likely to slow down and accelerate less hard. You get an instant feedback that you’re using more gas.

    • DemboSays

      This measure will help the city and other agencies understand the needs of the biking community AND of cars/ pedestrians better by having a metric for usage. It won’t be used to encourage biking, it will be used to better tailor policies and plans in the future!

      • eveb

        I am not sure, DemboSays, that “It won’t be used to encourage biking.”

        According to the second line of press release on the barometer sent by the SFMTA, “the bicycle barometer will help promote bike riding as an everyday means of transport in San Francisco.”

        In the second paragraph then again say “The purpose of the barometer is to encourage more people to ride their bikes.”

        In the third graf, they say that such monitors are successful in the “promotion of bicycling.”

        In the fourth graf they again say “This high-visibility bicycle barometer on one of San Francisco’s most heavily traveled corridors will help with the agency’s continued promotion and encouragement of traveling by bicycle.”

        It appears that the SFMTA’s messaging, at least, is indeed that the device is intended to encourage biking. If you know otherwise, please do let us know!

  • There are already a bunch of counters in the ground: http://public.visio-tools.com/?ECO07111540 Though they haven’t shared a website interface for all of them.

  • There are already a bunch of counters in the ground: http://public.visio-tools.com/?ECO07111540 Though they haven’t shared a website interface for all of them.

  • Forthright

    You have to rig the sidewalks too to get the full number of cy-chos

  • Forthright

    You have to rig the sidewalks too to get the full number of cy-chos

  • $70K dollars. This started as a $20K gift and now it is costing $70K? Some gift. Send it back. We don’t want or need it. This is not going to win friends and influence people who are already ready to throw the bicycle coalition controlled MTA board under the bus.

  • $70K dollars. This started as a $20K gift and now it is costing $70K? Some gift. Send it back. We don’t want or need it. This is not going to win friends and influence people who are already ready to throw the bicycle coalition controlled MTA board under the bus.

  • sfparkripoff

    The SFMTA Board is stacked with “bike people”. Cheryl Brinkman came from Livable City and Joel Ramos came from Transform. These two spend all of their time trying to push people on to bikes (and a lifestyle) that is not of their choosing. Both of these “transit advocates” should be removed from the SFMTA Board and replaced with qualified people who will prioritize the task of fixing the problems with the MUNI transit system.

    The SFMTA has recently laid out 200 Million dollars in deficit spending to build bicycle lanes that less than 3% of the population is using. Why is this? Is City Hall paying back political favors to special interest groups in exchange for free PR and political endorsements again?

    The MTA needs to quit using public funds for these “exotic” purchases and get back to the job that they were hired to do and FIX THE MUNI FIRST! Buses are rolling through the city with wires wrapped in plastic, the bumpers are secured with duct tape, and components held in place with rubber bands.

    San Francisco will never be a world class city while its under the control of the SFMTA Board.

    • jennypocket

      “the MUNI” heh

    • Vegemite Taliban

      Lighten up, Francis.

  • sfparkripoff

    The SFMTA Board is stacked with “bike people”. Cheryl Brinkman came from Livable City and Joel Ramos came from Transform. These two spend all of their time trying to push people on to bikes (and a lifestyle) that is not of their choosing. Both of these “transit advocates” should be removed from the SFMTA Board and replaced with qualified people who will prioritize the task of fixing the problems with the MUNI transit system.

    The SFMTA has recently laid out 200 Million dollars in deficit spending to build bicycle lanes that less than 3% of the population is using. Why is this? Is City Hall paying back political favors to special interest groups in exchange for free PR and political endorsements again?

    The MTA needs to quit using public funds for these “exotic” purchases and get back to the job that they were hired to do and FIX THE MUNI FIRST! Buses are rolling through the city with wires wrapped in plastic, the bumpers are secured with duct tape, and components held in place with rubber bands.

    San Francisco will never be a world class city while its under the control of the SFMTA Board.

    • jennypocket

      “the MUNI” heh