Photographic bicycle counts combines the reliability of the automated processes with the practical and low-cost practice of manual bike counts.
This new method of bicycle counting was developed to respond to the needs of cyclists groups as well as civic organizations as partners in the process of local bikeway planning.
The translation of this manual, originally produced in Portuguese by a non-profit organization in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil by the name of Transporte Ativo (Active Transport), was meant to target the same goals in other countries. Furthermore, it offers a low-cost and efficient way to monitor the flow of bicycle traffic.
Throughout the world, bicycle counts have been incompletely and infrequently performed. Unlike the established methodology for counting motor vehicles, monitoring cycle use is still in its infancy.
In addition, bicycle counts have usually been a difficult, expensive and labor-intensive task for transit authorities.
From an urban policy perspective, growth in bicycle traffic (rather than motor vehicle traffic) is desirable, as the bicycle is the most efficient vehicle in terms of road space, parking space, fuel consumption and emissions. Increased bicycle use can reduce the need for new and expensive road infrastructure, which improves the efficiency of the overall transport system.
Once cycling is supported at a policy level by local, regional and national governments, cost-effective methods of monitoring cycling activity will be needed to monitor the effectiveness of existing and future policies.
The manual’s topics covered include: reasons to monitor bicycle traffic, where and when to do the counts, advantages and disadvantages of both automated and manual bicycle counts. In addition, all you need to know about photographic bicycle counts: equipment, locale, countig method and technical report.