"Bikes Count" Project Tallies Cyclists Countywide

Cyclists ride past an installed bicycle counter on Fifth Avenue just south of Laurel Street.
December 14, 2012 | 4:13pm

Bikes Count, the largest regional bicycle-counting project in the nation, was introduced today at a press conference and cyclist event in Balboa Park.

The project involves installed bicycle counters in streets and along bike paths throughout the County that tally the number of cyclists and, in some locations, pedestrians. It is sponsored by the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, in partnership with San Diego State University and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG.)

 Planners, engineers, and cycling advocates are looking for accurate counts of bicyclists so they can encourage the creation of facilities such as bike lanes and paths. If residents bicycle more, including commuting to work, they may see their health improve.  There are 28 bicycle-counter locations in 14 cities throughout the County mostly in urban settings, with more counters to be installed.

“Bicycling and walking are easy ways to increase daily physical activity to stay healthy and reduce the chances of getting a chronic disease,” said Dr. Dean Sidelinger, Child Health Medical Officer for the County of San Diego. “Collecting this information helps promote bicycle riding, and increases choices for everyone to include biking and walking in their routines.”

Bicycling and pedestrian counts offer essential information leading to a more balanced and healthy transportation system that supports active living.

“This project moves us closer to integrating cycling into mainstream planning, and transforming San Diego County into a cycling region,” said Dr. Sherry Ryan, professor at San Diego State University’s School of Public Affairs, and Bikes Count project Principal Investigator.

Bikes Count is funded by Healthy Works, which began in 2010 as a $16 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, administered by the County, with a focus on obesity prevention. Healthy Works is part of Live Well, San Diego!, the County’s ongoing vision for healthy, safe, and thriving individuals, neighborhoods and communities.