Cycling in Sydney Australia
Whose counting this year?
I registered to do a spot on my current commute to Parramatta and today got a call saying that they need more counters in and around the Parramatta LGA. Last year all the spots were taken by the time I registered but they only had 4-5 spots this year they have expanded and seem to bitten off more than they can chew. There 15 spots remaining in, around and on the main routes towards Parra. Use the link below to register. Bicycle Network will donate $50 to the BUG/advocacy group of your choice.
If someone were to do their own count, what methodology would be required? I had a discussion with one engineer and considered doing a local count of a 5 road + 4 path (only half of one legal) intersection to see if the ideas we'd had in discussion were meaningful. Obviously that's a single point, rather than a multi point analysis, but what times of day are significant to the engineer? Is only getting a morning count useful? Which day of the week? Does the day having adverse weather conditions or adverse season conditions (holiday, winter, summer, etc.) have an effect on the use of the count?
If you are trying to establish that there is need for more counts, then doing 2 counts, am peak, pm peak is reasonable on a Wednesday, for an hour during each peak. (just discover tidal effects and general estimate of the traffic volume). One easy way to do this is take your bike there with a camera on the bars, let it run for an hour, then do the count on your computer later.
Trying to make changes to a traffic control system for an intersection would require probably a couple of weeks of am, pm, and midday samples - not during school holidays, or some automated count system with months of history.
A lot of bicycle infrastructure struggles with performing as badly during offpeak as it does during peak because of the poor percentage of intersection occupation time provided. Its easier to investigate such things with a camera (or even 2 cams), because the real issue with cycle infrastructure here is intersection delays that are not really appropriate to rolling traffic.
My intersection was more "is a pre-existing but minor desire line develop." Given that I can see the intersection from my house, video might be one solution.
I agree, cycling budget should be spend on cycling infrastructure.
Although useful in the past, I am not sure that counts should be considered prerequisite for infrastructure.
Build it and they will come tells us a lot.
The Bay Run is becoming an example: money spent there because there's evidence that it is popular. However at this stage it probably makes sense to spend on access to the Bay Run which is a bit ordinary from some directions.
A count on Lyons Road might tell us that not many ride there. Well yes, it is scaryshit riding.
Does this mean Lyons Road needs some safe infrastructure? Actually it does.
Yes it is true that there are aspects that can make the data less than perfect. But no sampling data is perfect. The weather would likely make more difference.
The claim the data is pretty much useless is wrong. The data is USED by transport planners.
And the other deficiency is that the council transport planners tell BN which roads and then the tally points in the suburbs they want bikes counted. So, any good info and answers coming in? Nope,like walking into a barber and asking if you need a haircut.
I kinda feel the very first count was the most useful and that was done just in the COS. ( could be wrong, was a while ago). Was even kinda exciting to count n log n tally up riders. Now it is just a money making exercise and I would much prefer the $ go direct from council to the bugs by working with the bugs to sort out routes which people use. No doubt bugs benefit and members of Manly Mosman Bug are pretty keen on the income it brings in for the year!