New Bike Barometer Won't Be Counting All Market Street Cyclists

Folks who want to keep track of stats from San Francisco’s new Market Street bike barometer don’t even have to go to Market and Ninth to gaze upon its digital display — the SFMTA is regularly posting (sadly, not real-time) the data the device is capturing. However, the way the meter registers riders means that only a fraction of Market Street cyclists will be counted.

Streetsblog pointed us toward the MTA’s bike barometer data page, which at publication time had counted 7917 cyclists.

The 7.5-foot-tall and 1.5-foot-wide bike counter was erected last week on the south side of Market Street between Ninth and 10th streets in front of the SF Mart building that houses social media giant Twitter and other tech companies, Muni spokesman Paul Rose said.

Last month, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board of directors unanimously supported the roughly $70,000 project, which includes building and installation costs.

The SF Bicycle Coalition gave $20,000 toward the barometer project.

The device aims to tally bicycle use in the city and encourage the behavior, especially during commute hours.

As many as 1 million eastbound bicyclists are expected to cycle down the Market Street thoroughfare in the next year, according to transit officials.

However, not all of them will be noted by the new meter: cyclists are counted using an embedded register built underneath the bike lane. But according to Streetsblog, “many bike riders on that block choose to ride outside the bike lane where the ground sensors were installed. Many riders seem to prefer to ride in the adjacent traffic lane, which was closed to cars in 2009.”

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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  • Donkey

    They should install these bike counters at red lights to show how many bicyclist run them and how much revenue the city is missing out on from the traffic violations. If the revenue was then captured, we could then install these on every block of the city!

    • Yeah, then let’s install counters at SF General’s ER and see how many bicyclists and pedestrians are sent there by cars and how many are sent there by other bicyclists and pedestrians.

      • Logic

        Red Herring

      • Logic

        Red Herring

      • jennypocket

        Funny: right below this comment under, “Also On The San Francisco Appeal,” the top story is now, “Pedestrian Seriously Injured When Struck By Bicyclist On Sidewalk.”

  • Donkey

    They should install these bike counters at red lights to show how many bicyclist run them and how much revenue the city is missing out on from the traffic violations. If the revenue was then captured, we could then install these on every block of the city!

    • Yeah, then let’s install counters at SF General’s ER and see how many bicyclists and pedestrians are sent there by cars and how many are sent there by other bicyclists and pedestrians.

      • Logic

        Red Herring

      • Logic

        Red Herring

      • jennypocket

        Funny: right below this comment under, “Also On The San Francisco Appeal,” the top story is now, “Pedestrian Seriously Injured When Struck By Bicyclist On Sidewalk.”