City: Bike Counter Data Shows More than 24,000 Trips in May on Penn Avenue Protected Bike Lanes

penn map

The long awaited counts are in!

From the The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership (PDP):
The PDP is pleased to announce our first report from three automatic bike counters installed on the Penn Avenue protected bike lane in mid-April. In total, the counters tallied over 24,000 trips on the bike lane in the month of May.

“We’ve been looking forward to collecting and reviewing the data as there has been a lot of interest regarding the lanes’ utility,” said Jeremy Waldrup, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. “It’s clear that the bike lanes are getting substantial use and we anticipate this trend only to increase with the onset of warmer weather and the recent introduction of the Healthy Ride bike share system.”

penn per hourA typical weekday saw approximately 740 bike trips in the lane with a distinct commuter pattern. While the data showed an average of 41 trips per hour from 6:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., there were significant trip increases during peak hours. The weekday morning rush saw an average of 73 trips per hour. The weekday evening rush saw an average of 81 trips per hour.

“With business, residential and retail life booming in Downtown Pittsburgh, we are seeing increases in every type of commuter, including those on bikes. The lanes on Penn Avenue are successful because they provide safety and convenience for all,” said Mayor William Peduto.

At 875 trips per day, the weekend average is slightly higher than the weekday, though the difference is partially attributable to big events like Marathon Sunday and Open Streets. In contrast to the distinct commuting patterns seen during the work week, however, the weekends show a positive recreational trend with ridership peaking in the late morning at roughly 100 per hour.

While the numbers dip due to the cold and rain, hearty Pittsburgh cyclists are still using the bike lane in the worst of weather. The coldest /rainiest day in May – a rainy, upper-40s degree day on May 21 – still showed 467 bike trips on Penn Avenue.

penn weather

The three counters are thin, rubber tubes stretched across the width of the bike lane and are located on the 600, 900, and 1200 blocks of Penn Avenue and were installed by the PDP. They work by recording each time a bicyclist rides over and depresses the tubes. Overall, the counter on the 1200 block counted the highest number of trips, while the counter on the 600 block counted the fewest.
The protected bike lanes were installed on Penn Avenue by the City of Pittsburgh in September of 2014, as part of their complete streets initiative, designed and operated to enable safe access for all users. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and public transportation users of all ages and abilities are able to safely move along and across a complete street.

For context, on Friday, May 15, Bike to Work Day, counts on Penn Ave and 10th St revealed that people on bicycles accounted for 26% of all vehicular traffic during the morning rush hours of 7:00am-9:30am.

Check out this article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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