Volunteers still needed for Wednesday Seattle bike count, statewide counts in late Sept

As of Monday, the city still needed seven volunteers to help with the final volunteer-run citywide bike count. The city is moving to a more modern, camera-based counting system that will provide more data and won’t require big volunteer call-outs (can you imagine if the city asked motor vehicle users to sit outside in the rain to count car numbers?).

That said, the bike count is pretty fun if you have the time. Below is a list of spots the city needs filled Wednesday morning from 6:30 – 9 a.m. If you are available, email Doug Cox at [email protected] or call him at (206) 684-8264.

1 Ave NE & NE 92 St
Beacon Ave S & Chief Sealth Trail
Swift Ave S & S Albro Pl
Highland Park Way SW & 2nd Ave SW (West side of 1st Ave Bridge)
34th Ave SW & SW Webster St (Maybe Holden)
Lakeside Ave S & Lake Washington Blvd S
Rainier & S Edmunds St

The state and Cascade Bicycle Club will also need volunteers September 25–27 for the state’s annual biking and walking counts. Details from the Cascade blog:

We are excited to announce the fifth year of the Washington State Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project. Since 2008, Cascade Bicycle Club, on contract through the Washington State Department of Transportation, has enlisted hundreds of volunteers each September and October to count bicyclists and pedestrians in dozens of communities around the state. This year, we are recruiting volunteers to conduct counts in 40 communities around Washington.

Sign up for a two-hour count shift here!

Collecting data about bicycling and walking is critical to improving transportation systems to support these modes. Compared to other transportation modes, bicycling and walking have historically received little attention when it comes to data collection and analysis. The count data that volunteers will collect on September 25, 26, and 27 will play a valuable role in planning, designing and funding bicycle and pedestrian projects, while helping us to better understand the factors that influence the levels of bicycling and walking in our communities.

The 2012 statewide bicycle and pedestrian counts will be held on September 25, 26 and 27, during morning and afternoon peak periods (7 – 9 a.m. and 4 – 6 p.m.). We are looking for volunteers to conduct counts in the following cities: Bellevue, Bothell, Bremerton, Burien, Ellensburg, Federal Way, Ferndale, Gig Harbor, Issaquah, Kelso, Kent, Kirkland, Lakewood, Longview, Lynden, Mercer Island, Milton, Mountlake Terrace, Oak Harbor, Olympia, Orting, Parkland, Puyallup, Renton, Richland, Seattle, Shoreline, Spokane, Snoqualmie, Tacoma, University Place, Vancouver, Walla Walla, Wenatchee, and Yakima. The success of this project relies on our volunteers, and we thank those who have been involved in past years. If you are available for a 2-hour shift to count the number of bicyclists and pedestrians in one of the communities listed above, please sign up for a shift (or three), here.

We will follow up with each of the volunteers as we get closer to the count dates with instructions and count materials.

Please note: The following cities will be coordinating their own volunteers and counts.  If you would like to volunteer in one of these cities, please e-mail the person listed as the city contact.

For information on the state bicycle and pedestrian counts, contact Tessa Greegor.

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6 Responses to Volunteers still needed for Wednesday Seattle bike count, statewide counts in late Sept

  1. Matthew says:

    I’m signed up for the Ballard Bridge count. Feel free to say hi if you commute that way tomorrow morning.

    A few weeks back, I had asked about whether the city was collecting data on helmet use. The official bike count form does have a place to record helmet use, although the emailed instructions I received said that recording helmet use was optional. Hopefully the bike counters will in fact collect this info and the city will make these data available.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      I believe that data already exists, and Seattle’s use is very high (80%?). I don’t have a link handy, anyone know?

    • Al Dimond says:

      What are you trying to find out through helmet usage statistics?

      • Matthew says:

        There’s nothing specific I’m trying to find out through helmet usage statistics, but I do think that they will be particularly relevant to any discussion of repealing or modifying the helmet law for bike share users.

        I think it’s fairly clear that the proportion of helmeted riders depends on the location where the count is done. I expected nearly everyone riding on the Ballard Bridge (ugh) would be helmeted, and that was in fact the case. On the other hand, near UW, where bike share is likely to be particularly useful and successful, the proportion of helmeted riders is much lower, at least by my (daily but informal) study. I would wager that a sizable chunk of UW students don’t even realize there is a helmet law in King County, especially because there’s hardly ever any enforcement. My point is that holding up a bike share system in that area on the helmet issue just isn’t supported by (my informal survey of) current helmet usage data.

        But I’ll be interested to see the counts from the UW area when they’re available. Maybe I’m wrong (or maybe it’s just that the students aren’t all back yet).

    • Matthew says:

      By the way, in case anyone’s interested, I counted 161 bikes on the Ballard Bridge this morning (6:30am – 9:00am), almost all headed southbound, and almost all helmeted. The few non-helmeted bikers were, for the most part, guys on BMX bikes.

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