May 20th, 2013

Velometer asks: “Why count bikes?  Because we want bikes to count.”

As part of this year’s San Francisco Bike to Work Day, the city debuted its first digital bicycle counter on Market Street, one of the city’s busiest transportation corridors.  Watch this stop motion video here.

On Bike to Work Day alone, bicycles accounted for 76% of traffic on sections of Market Street during peak commuter times.

There are digital bicycle counters in several European cities, including many in Copenhagen.  We reported on this a few years back in our blog post, Quantifying Civilization.

Copenhagen Bicycle Counter from PUBLIC Bikes on Vimeo.

We wrote: “The stream of cyclists felt like the very definition of freedom and self-reliance. And people looked happy and alive as they pedaled along on their way to work or school—it was a collective experience of a high order.  I submit that this bike counter is as good a “civilization meter” as anything that history has provided.”  Watch a video capturing the bicycle counter in Copenhagen here.

You’ll count more people riding bikes in Copenhagen than in San Francisco on most days. But we’re making serious progress.  Kudos to San Francisco, Kongregate, SFMTA, SF Bicycle Coalition and all the good folks who helped to make this happen.

Another great thing to count on Market Street everyday are the numbers of people riding PUBLIC bikes.  Thanks to all of you for being part of this transformation.