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Last week was the busiest ever recorded by the Fremont Bike Counter – Can we top 1M trips in 2013?

Screen Shot 2013-04-29 at 10.25.24 AMLast week, 22,052 people cycled across the Fremont Bridge, the highest number recorded since the electronic counter was installed in October.

The count makes it clear that Seattle has a chance to break 1 million trips across the bridge in 2013, but it’s going to be close. To get there, we have to average 19,231 per week. So if every week saw the same volumes as last week, we would get there easily. But sluggish winter-riding levels (OK, 10,000 trips during the coldest and rainiest weeks of the year is pretty damn impressive) have put us behind. For every 10,000-trip week, we need a 30,000-trip week to offset it.

And we can do it.

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So, why 1 million trips? Well, aside from it being a nice round (and impressive) number, it is also the top limit on the annual bike trip thermometer on the counter’s display. How cool would it be to burst the seams on that thing in the first year?

Yours truly posing on opening day for the Fremont bike counter. Photo by Anne-Marije Rook
Yours truly posing on opening day for the Fremont bike counter. Notice the max line is 1M. Photo by Anne-Marije Rook

With Bike Month starting Wednesday and warm weather ahead of us, we have a chance to grow the numbers dramatically. Politely invite your friends, family and coworkers to bike with you. Start or join a Commute Challenge Team. Help your neighborhood school encourage cycling to school. Or just hop your bike to run more of your regular, everyday errands. The more bikes locked up outside your neighborhood grocery/church/library/etc, the more inviting biking appears to all your neighbors.

The Fremont bike counter is only the first in a series of planned counters across the city. A detector in the sidewalk counts bicycles on both sides of the bridge, providing our first ever look at 24/7 bicycle ridership data. We dove into some of the data (like the effect of weather on cycling) here.

So what do you say? Can we top 1 million trips across the Fremont Bridge this year?

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15 responses to “Last week was the busiest ever recorded by the Fremont Bike Counter – Can we top 1M trips in 2013?”

  1. Ellie P.

    I commute from north Seattle to Fremont every day, 10k rainy winter weeks included, and it’s always a bit sad that I don’t get counted just because I don’t need to go over the bridge. Maybe I should go out of my way a bit in the morning, trigger the counter and immediately turn around to get counted for my evening commute. Is that cheating or is that standing up and getting counted for a real commute that is happening? ;-)

  2. no traffic lights

    I ride across the bridge once in a while when I’m just going to PCC. I figure it counts because I have to ride back up to the top of Fremont and that aint easy.

  3. Ballard Biker

    The Mystery closing of the BG trail over by 36th “until further notice” will probably make 1M a non-starter on that counter if it lasts for very long. I know lots of us from farther west will just deal with the Ballard Bridge or the walk through the Locks if we have to deal with a Leary ride.

    Too bad they don’t have these counters in more places.

  4. Matthew

    I don’t have any details about the BG detour, but based on where the signs are located, my guess is that they’ll try to run the detour through some of the parking lots/alleys that run on either side of the trail in that area. It doesn’t seem like it will be a huge issue, and likely no worse than the existing detour at the west end of the UW campus (which, for the record, was scheduled to be completed tomorrow, although that seems rather unlikely given the current progress).

    I could be wrong, of course. Any detour that puts BG cyclists out onto Leary and doesn’t involve the creation of a temporary, physically separated cycletrack on Leary would be unacceptable and should be immediately rejected.

  5. Mike

    Does anyone know why they are closing the trail “until further notice?”

  6. As I understand it the closure is so the city can work on some very old electrical equipment around where the power lines land after crossing the ship canal around 3rd Ave W.

    I could be wrong (I haven’t heard much about this) but I think the work area is pretty small, and so the detour might be pretty short (in distance). The level of communication has been pretty disappointing. Any time a road even has capacity temporarily reduced the relevant department of transportation at least has a web page about the project and a time estimate. The Burke-Gilman passes through property owned by several different entities, but ultimately it’s transportation infrastructure in Seattle, so SDOT needs to communicate about its closures and set standards for things like lighting and intersections.

  7. […] state has dropped in the League of American Bicyclists’ ranking of bike-friendly states. And Seattle Bike Blog establishes a goal for the city: 1 million trips over the Fremont Bridge and its new electronic […]

  8. Shawn

    I believe it’s closed to accommodate construction of the Fremont Siphon Replacement Project. Details here: http://www.kingcounty.gov/environment/wtd/Construction/Seattle/FremontSiphon.aspx

  9. According to that page, the siphon project isn’t even through design yet, is planned to start construction in 2014. So we’ll have another fun season of closures next year.

  10. Ballard Biker

    I received a response back from SPD.

    I apologize that the reader boards that went out before our public notification was sent out. We are upgrading the ramps to meet national ADA guidelines. This means adding truncated domes and widening the ramps to match the width of the trail. The work will be happening at the intersections of NW 36th St, Nw39th St and NW Bowdoin Pl. As the crews work at each location, there will be a detour route or a small side path that you may have to dismount and walk through before hopping back on your bike. The work is expected to start at May 6th and be completed on May 23rd.

  11. Clark in Vancouver

    There’s a bike counter here in Vancouver and it can get up pretty high on a sunny day but I notice that many people bike along the same route near it on two parallel roads so don’t trigger the counter. I wonder what the real count would be for that corridor.

  12. […] often announced that they were on a bike “once,” and tend to insist, in the face of the thousands of cyclists actually doing it, that Seattle’s climate and geography prevent bike commuting, and so everyone must drive. In […]

  13. […] break 1 million trips across the bridge in 2013,” wrote, Tom Fucoloro, editor and writer for the Seattle Bike Blog, “[Which] is also the top limit on the annual bike trip thermometer. How cool would it be to […]

  14. […] Last week’s Fremont Bridge bike count: 28,414. Another record-breaking week, but we need to do better if we want to top one million trips in 2013. […]

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