Cascade is pretty sure that Fremont’s bike counter will be the first such counter in the nation when it is unveiled this summer. The 7.5-foot-tall counter by Eco-Totem will tick away counting the number of people biking on either side of the Fremont Bridge, keeping daily and annual tallies updated live for everyone to see. It will be donated to the city by Cascade with funding from the Mark & Susan Torrance Foundation.
“This counter says that bicycling counts, that you count and that investing in cycling infrastructure counts,” said Cascade’s John Mauro at the Bike to Work rally at City Hall. “An investment in bicycling is an investment in the city of the future,” Mauro said, echoing points Mayor Mike McGinn made during his speech.
“It’s not about flying cars and jet packs any more,” McGinn said, referring to the vision of the future presented 50 years ago during the Seattle World’s Fair. Rather, the city of future is more sustainable and enjoyable to live in, and it has a lot of bicycles, the mayor said.
Bemoaning media reports that focus on “cars vs bikes” conflict, McGinn said the people of Seattle are better than that.
“We believe in something different,” he said. “We don’t believe in fighting each other, we want to build the city of the future.”
Kay Smith-Blum from Seattle Public Schools also took to the podium during the rally, and she brought some ambitious ideas about increasing biking and walking to school both as a way for kids to stay healthy and attentive and as a way for the district to save money on transportation.
“More students walking and biking to school puts more money in our classrooms,” she said. Half a century ago, 50 percent of American elementary students walked or biked to school. That number has dropped to 13 percent today.
To help encourage more walking and biking, SPS released a map of safe walking routes at the start of this school year. Next year, they are working on biking.
“Every one of our K-8s will have a bike train route next year,” Smith-Blum announced at the rally. She credited active parents for getting the walking and biking movement going.
“More and more parents like yourselves are getting involved,” she said, “and they are really changing the conversation.”
Some of those parents were not at the rally because they were busy holding Bike to School Day events in their neighborhoods. Anne and Tim at Car Free Days have some great photos from a police-escorted Bike to School Day train in NE Seattle:
Bike to School/Bike to Work heartwarming photo of the day! Thx @SeattlePD #bike2school #seabike #walkbikeschools #fb flic.kr/p/c1d8U5
— Tim K (@oninformation) May 18, 2012
Just imagine a city where our elementary kids could just bike to school without anyone even suggesting the need for a police escort. With neighborhood greenways and modern protected cycle tracks, we can get there.
Bike-cop radio crackles as we reach our tough crossing “In place at 65th … OK, let’s shut it down.” Cars halted & 180 kid bikes sail thru!
— Tim K (@oninformation) May 18, 2012
Bike to Work Day celebrations are not over yet. There is a street party Friday evening in Ballard with KEXP. There will be a bike fashion show, live music and beer. Schedule:
- Ballard Street Party 4-7 p.m.
- KEXP’s Hood to Hood Challenge, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
- “Share Your Style” Bike Fashion Show, 6:15-7 p.m.
- Music and New Belgium beer specials at the Balmar, 5-8 p.m.
Here are some more photos from the Bike to Work Day ride with Mayor McGinn and the rally. How was your Bike to Work/School day? Got any fun photos from the day? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!
A number of more observant folks than I watched that danish cycle counter and noted that it missed about 1/3 of the cyclists that rode by. I’m hoping that the one the city installs does a better job of getting the count right.
It doesn’t have the display, but Tucson just installed a permanent bike counter and purchased two portable counters.
I love the bike counter! I saw the same idea in Oslo last fall and was very impressed. Theirs also included temp and time options, but seeing the display of daily/annual numbers was a great way to visualize the number of people riding. I hope Seattle’s is located in a way that maximizes it’s visibility. Good job Cascade and everyone else who made this happen!
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Yes, I love the bike counters in Fremont! I ride across the bridge every day and it’s good to know someone is keeping track…err…wait, whatever happened to those?
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