Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bike trips in Somerville

We’ve looked at walking and jogging counts, so now it’s time for the cyclist data. As discussed in an earlier post, the City, with the help of many volunteers, collects AM and PM counts at 36 locations around the city annually. These anecdotal counts help the City track activity and trends from year to year, with the resulting data giving insight into how, for example, newly improved roadways may have impacted patterns, or supplying count numbers important to securing funding for future projects.  

Whether due to increased infrastructure investment, good weather, a combination of the two, or some other mysterious reason we haven’t considered, bicycle counts showed a massive increase from 2011 to 2012.

 The snapshot provided by these counts show 46% more cyclists than 2011’s count and 56% more than 2010’s count. While higher numbers of cyclists were apparent throughout the city, there were obvious hotspots around Union Square and Beacon Street.

It is also interesting to note where the numbers decreased. The number of cyclists generally decreased at streets without bike lanes and on the Community Path. It is possible that cyclists changed their route to streets with bike lanes and are not choosing the Community Path as much since it is a slower route shared with pedestrians.

Cycling counts, similar to pedestrian counts, show hotspots of activity around squares, particularly Davis and Union, but also Teele. There are also a few key corridors connecting those squares and beyond that see a lot of bike traffic. Counts at Elm/Porter and Medford Street indicate a number of cyclists heading to or from Cambridge. But most notably, the Beacon Street corridor shows again a huge number of cyclists, reaching rates of over 300 per hour during peak times during these counts. These numbers show how strong a choice cycling is in Somerville.

TOP PM LOCATIONS FOR CYCLISTS
Intersection
Bikers/Hour
Beacon Street
Concord Avenue
357
Beacon Street
Washington Street
343
Beacon Street
Somerville Avenue
303
Prospect Street
Somerville Avenue
241
Mossland Street
Somerville Avenue
221
Somerville Avenue
Washington Street
200
Elm Street
Willow Avenue
192
Prospect Street
Webster Avenue
168
Somerville Avenue
Elm Street
142
Dane Street
Somerville Avenue
117


If you’re a cyclist, how do you choose your routes? Are you biking more this year than last? Do you commute via bike? Take local trips? If you don’t bike, what obstacles do you think are in your way? 

12 comments:

  1. It would be good if the next round of this survey tried specifically identifying Hubway bikes, as I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they accounted for most if not all of the increased ridership. Seeing figures & maps with general ridership, and with Hubway & non-Hubway ridership, seems like it would be illuminating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would be interesting to look at too, Chris. I'll share the suggestion with our counters.

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    2. Would it not be possible to mine the Hubway data for trip starts & stops proximate to the count locations, and at count time? Sort of retrospective way to estimate what portion was Hubway?

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  2. Is there an explanation why East Somerville, all of Winter Hill and all of Ward 5 were not included in this study?

    I understand that City Hall is obsessed with Union Square and in glomming onto to Cambridge as much as possible. But can the results of such a survey be taken very seriously when it excludes such huge swathes of the city?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry if this wasn't clear in the post: Counts were done all over Somerville (see a map of all count locations here: http://ow.ly/mpHW0). The maps on this post show areas where there were significant increases or decreases in cycle traffic.

      Delete
  3. I started biking last July to get from my home near Davis Square to my job just east of Inman Square because it's a route not covered well by mass transit. My route has evolved over the past year; I originally started riding down the Beacon corridor, but then switched to Somerville Ave through Union Square because Somerville Ave is much better-paved, is flatter, and going through Union avoids that ugly left turn at Hampshire/Cambridge.

    ReplyDelete
  4. A major consideration I hope the city takes into its planning is how do cyclists choose their routes with respect to railroad crossings. Many cyclists from the Union Square/Spring Hill/Winter Hill area might know that accessing Central Square and points east is more direct by crossing the Fitchburg rail lines at Union Square or Medford Street by Twin City Plaza, but they dislike those routes because the roadway is so unfriendly to cyclists. A reason for the higher number of cyclists using Beacon Street is because it is a straight shot with a committed lane and navigable intersections. You would see high cycle traffic at the Medford Street Bridge if there was a way to reach it that did not involve praying a rosary.

    On a related note, I broke my arm falling off my bike coming into Union Square on Prospect Street last month (potholes, not drivers) but would have much preferred to have a spill in a bike lane rather than hoping cars didn't hit me in the sharrow while I limped to the sidewalk.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Where are the counts for the illegal sidewalk cyclists in the business districts?

    ReplyDelete
  6. "We see bike safety outreach as critical...." ResiStat, Nov. 1, 2011.

    OK, so where's the public safety campaign?

    A little slow to get off the dime, wouldn't you say?

    Or maybe, just not any kind of priority?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Cùng với thuê xe máy đà nẵng cảng Sông Hàn, cảng Tiên thuê xe máy ở đà nẵng Sa có vị trí trọng yếu trong hệ thuê xe máy ở đà nẵng thống cảng Đà Nẵng, góp phần quan trọng thuê xe máy tại đà nẵng trong việc phát triển kinh tế thuê xe máy tại đà nẵng du lịch tàu biển của thành phố thuê xe máy tại đà nẵng và khu vực miền Trung kể Cho thuê xe máy đà nẵng cả hiện tại lẫn về lâu dài. Cảng Tiên Sa Cho thuê xe máy đà nẵng là cảng nước thue xe may da nang sâu tự nhiên, cầu bến khá dài, có khả năng tiếp thue xe may da nang nhận tàu bè khá lớn thue xe may o da nang và có nhiều tiềm năng thue xe may o da nang phát triển. Vị trí địa lý khá thuận lợi, đã thue xe may tai da nang giúp cho Cảng biển Tiên Sa không chỉ phát triển mạnh về kinh tế tàu biển, mà còn góp phần không nhỏ cho du lịch. Ngoài việc thuê xe máy đà nẵng tiếp nhận các chuyến tàu biển du lịch quốc tế đến Đà Nẵng, chính Cảng biển Tiên Sa cũng là một cảnh quan tuyệt vời để du khách thưởng ngoạn

    ReplyDelete

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