Bike ridership in the city has been rising steadily, but by just how much? If you count Market Street cyclists as an indicator, you'll soon have hard numbers. On Wednesday the SFMTA approved the installation of the city's first automated bike counter (also known as a bicycle barometer) on the south side of Market Street between 9th and 10th Streets. The counter will record all bikes heading eastbound and display a real-time tally of daily and annual bikes.
The project is supported by a $20K sponsorship from Kongregate, facilitated by the SF Bicycle Coalition, with the remaining $50K coming out of the SFMTA's operating budget. The point of the new transit doodad? "The purpose of the barometer is to encourage more people to ride their bikes by showing how many bicycle riders have been counted, and to also capture data on bicycle usage" stated the SFMTA in a press release.
"The installation of this innovative bicycle barometer comes at a critical moment in San Francisco,” said Ed Reiskin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. “As more and more San Franciscans are using a bicycle as part of their everyday commute, this visual bike counter will raise awareness of the positive impact bicycling has on traffic congestion, air quality and personal health."
The SFMTA hopes to have the barometer in place in time for Bike to Work day on May 9.