Boulder Bike Counting Results and Success

Boulder County is making headlines in their means to measuring bicycle traffic (see Press Release below) and with their new tool it has shown that Lefthand Canyon is the counties more popular bike route

On average, Lefthand Canyon sees 750 cyclists on a weekend and between 360 to 570 on a weekday, depending on how high bikers ride, said Alex Hyde-Wright, the county's assistant transportation planner.

Read about the new findings and how other routes in Boulder County faired in the Colorado Daily

However even though this is the counties most popular route, remember that it is still Closed until May 1st

Related Boulder Bike Counting Presentation

Press Release - Innovative Bicycle Counting Procedure Gains National Attention

Boulder County, Colo. – Thanks to a new technique, Boulder County was able to count bikes on the roadways at over 100 locations in 2013. County staff presented their work at three national conferences over the past several months and the research was just published in February’s Institute of Transportation Engineers Journal which reaches more than 18,000 subscribers.

It is widely recognized that better bicycle data could help prioritize maintenance and capital improvements to enhance bicycle safety and comfort, but counting bicycles on roads with bike lanes and shoulders has historically been too expensive for many agencies to perform. The specialized hardware, software and staff management leaves most city, county and state governments with only anecdotal data on the location, time of day and volume of cyclist on the roads.

For many decades, the Boulder County Transportation Department has had dedicated staff and budget to obtain 24-hour vehicle counts at close to 300 locations throughout the county. The new bicycle research focused on how to accurately collect bicycle data using the existing vehicle counting equipment, thus leveraging a standing investment.

Vehicle counters had been counting some bikes, but the software was incorrectly categorizing them as trucks and/or motorcycles. Through additional research and experimentation, staff was able to make small tweaks to the traditional tubes to get more statistically reliable bike-count data. Initial data has been valuable in determining what days of the week and what times of day cyclists are using the road network. Using before and after data of road segments with recently-added bike shoulders, staff expect to determine the effect that enhanced facilities have on cycling.

“Swapping out the existing tubes with slightly thinner tubes and changing the connections to the counter box now gives us satisfactory level of accuracy for bikes,” said Alex Hyde-Wright, Assistant Transportation Planner.

Staff hopes to continue to develop the counting technique this summer when the counting program starts up again.

To see these results of the bicycle counts, visit and click on the 2013 Bicycle Count volumes maps.

News Item: