Arlington Bike Counters During SafeTrack

henry dunbar active transportation arlington county
Henry Dunbar Tweet Us @BikeArlington@BikeArlington July 19, 2016
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Henry Dunbar is director of Arlington’s active transportation programs including BikeArlington, WalkArlington and Capital Bikeshare. He is a 26-year resident of Arlington and works to make it easy to get around by whatever mode you choose.

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BIKE TAKEAWAY:

Curious how Metrorail's SafeTrack initiative affected biking in the County? Read below to see the data on the trails.

Updated July 20, 2016: Corrections to table data

With four surges of SafeTrack completed, we are starting to see some patterns emerge when it comes to the effect the Metro maintenance program is having on the bike traffic in Arlington. The bottom line is the numbers are up compared to recent years, but there has been some fluctuation.
Many people on bikes ride through an intersection.

Surge 1 Caused a Big Surge in Bikes

As we reported in an earlier post, during Surge 1, with single tracking on the Orange/Silver line between East Falls Church and Ballston, the work week of June 6-10 saw record ridership, with daily average bike ridership at four select counters ranging from 42%-86% over the June 2015 work week average.  Those ranges slipped slightly in the second week, June 13-17, to a range of 19%-50% over 2015.

Graph 1: Bike Counter Percentage Increase Over June 2015, Surge 1

Graph data

Graph image.

Rates in Surge 2 Start Coming Back to Normal

With the start of Surge 2, which feature SafeTrack’s first complete line closures on the Orange/Silver line between Benning Road and Eastern Market, and on the Blue line between Arlington Cemetery and Rosslyn, much of the attention shifted away from Arlington even though service in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor was to be down 43%. Bike ridership at the four counters dipped to a range of just 7%-26% over 2015 in Week 3 (June 20-24), and was pretty flat in Week 4 (June 27-July 1) with a range increase of 0%-3%.

Graph 2: Bike Counter Percentage Increase Over June 2015, Surge 2

Graph data

Graph image.

Surge 3 Saw a Big Shift toward the Blue/Yellow Line

Following the Independence Day break, Surge 3 with complete closures of the Blue/Yellow line from Braddock Road to National Airport, track work shifted back to Northern Virginia. Bike ridership in Arlington jumped again, though not nearly as high as during Surge 1, with daily average increases over 2015 ranging from 2%-21%. Interestingly for the first time since SafeTrack began, the highest increase in Arlington was along the Mt. Vernon Trail and not the Custis. In fact, on July 6, the first day of Surge 3, the Mt. Vernon Trail-Airport South counter posted 3,350 riders, the most on any work day since SafeTrack began a month earlier, 47% more than the July 2015 work day average of 2,285.

And with Surge 4 shifting the Blue/Yellow track closure north, from National Airport to Pentagon City, bike rates increase significantly at all four counters, with increases in daily averages ranging from 9%-29%.

Graph 3: Bike Counter Percentage Increase Over June 2015, Surges 3 and 4

Graph data

Graph image.

Looking at the six weeks together, the amount of increased bike ridership has definitely slowed, but it remains high and seems to be reactive to SafeTrack work.

Graph 4: Bike Counter Percentage Increase Over June 2015, Weeks 1-6 of SafeTrack

Graph data

Graph image. Click to enlarge. Follow link above graph for data.
Finally, the work week daily averages from each of the first six weeks of SafeTrack have been among the highest totals in the past two years. Looking at the top ten weeks since 2014 (when the Bikeometer was installed), three of the four counters had multiple weeks in during SafeTrack make their lists, including the top three on the Custis and Mt. Vernon trail counters.

Top 10 in Bike Ridership at Select Arlington Trail Counters (since April 2014)

Rosslyn Bikeometer (Custis)

Dates Week Total Daily Avg. % Change Over
Next Highest
1 June 6-10, 2016 (Surge 1) 11,537 2,307 23.89%
2 June 13-17, 2016 (Surge 1) 9,312 1,862 4.99%
3 May 11-15, 2015 8,869 1,774 3.95%
4 July 11-15, 2016 (Surge 4) 8,532 1,706 0.98%
5 June 27-July 1, 2016 (Surge 2) 8,449 1,690 0.06%
6 June 2-6, 2014 8,444 1,689 1.43%
7 May 23-27, 2016 8,325 1,665 2.64%
8 June 23-27, 2014 8,111 1,622 0.90%
9 September 14-18, 2015 8,039 1,608 0.22%
10 August 25-29, 2016 8,021 1,604
June 20-24, 2016 (Surge 2) 7,919 1,584
July 5-8, 2016 (Surge 3)* 6,278 1,570

*Only four days this week

Rosslyn Scott Street (Custis)

Dates Week Total Daily Avg. % Change Over
Next Highest
1 June 6-10, 2016 (Surge 1) 13,117 2,623 23.65%
2 June 13-17, 2016 (Surge 1) 10,608 2,122 11.30%
3 July 11-15, 2016 (Surge 4) 9,775 1,955 2.56%
4 May 11-15, 2016 9,531 1,906 0.85%
5 June 27-July 1, 2016 (Surge 2) 9,451 1,890 0.40%
6 May 23-27, 2016 9,413 1,883 2.72%
7 June 2-6, 2014 9,164 1,833 0.01%
8 September 14-18, 2015 9,163 1,833 2.59%
9 July 28-August 1, 2014 8,932 1,786 0.16%
10 June 20-24, 2016 (Surge 2) 8,918 1,784
July 5-8, 2016 (Surge 3)* 7,118 1,780

*Only four days this week

Airport South (Mt. Vernon)

Dates Week Total Daily Avg. % Change Over
Next Highest
1 June 6-10, 2016 (Surge 1) 14,723 2,945 0.74%
2 July 11-15, 2016 (Surge 4) 14,615 2,923 5.39%
3 July 5-8, 2016 (Surge 3)* 11,094 2,774 1.45%
4 May 11-15, 2015 13,669 2,734 1.86%
5 May 25-29, 2015 13,419 2,684 2.91%
6 June 27-July 1, 2016 (Surge 2) 13,040 2,608 0.99%
7 August 24-28, 2015 12,912 2,582 0.49%
8 August 25-29, 2014 12,849 2,570 0.25%
9 July 20-24, 2015 12,817 2,563 0.37%
10 July 28-August 1, 2014 12,770 2,554
June 13-17, 2016 (Surge 1) 12,357 2,471
June 20-24, 2016 (Surge 2) 11,097 2,219

*Only four days this week

Bon Air West (W&OD)

Dates Week Total Daily Avg. % Change Over
Next Highest
1 June 6-10, 2016 (Surge 1) 11,878 2,376 22.35%
2 May 25-29, 2015 9,708 1,942 0.02%
3 June 2-6, 2014 9,706 1,941 0.42%
4 May 11-15, 2015 9,665 1,933 0.91%
5 June 13-17, 2016 (Surge 1) 9,578 1,916 4.62%
6 May 23-27, 2016 9,155 1,831 0.02%
7 July 28-August 1, 2014 9,153 1,831 1.28%
8 June 23-27, 2014 9,037 1,807 0.07%
9 July 20-24, 2015 9,031 1,806 0.26%
10 August 25-29, 2014 9,008 1,802
June 27-July 1, 2016 (Surge 2) 8,728 1,745
July 11-15, 2016 (Surge 4) 8,654 1,731
July 5-8, 2016 (Surge 3)* 6,442 1,611
June 20-24, 2016 (Surge 2) 7,847 1,569

*Only four days this week

Graph Data

Graph 1: Bike Counter Percentage Increase Over June 2015, Surge 1

Counter Surge 1, Week 1 Surge 1, Week 2
Bikeometer (Lynn & Lee Highway) 73% 39%
Custis Trail (Top of Rosslyn Hill) 86% 50%
Mount Vernon Trail (Airport South) 42% 19%
W&OD (Bon Air West) 63% 31%

Graph 2: Bike Counter Percentage Increase Over June 2015, Surge 2

Counter Surge 2, Week 3 Surge 2, Week 4
Bikeometer (Lynn & Lee Highway) 18% 26%
Custis Trail (Top of Rosslyn Hill) 26% 34%
Mount Vernon Trail (Airport South) 7% 26%
W&OD (Bon Air West) 8% 20%

Graph 3: Bike Counter Percentage Increase Over June 2015, Surges 3 and 4

Counter Surge 3, Week 5 Surges 3-4, Week 6
Bikeometer (Lynn & Lee Highway) 11% 21%
Custis Trail (Top of Rosslyn Hill) 17% 29%
Mount Vernon Trail (Airport South) 21% 28%
W&OD (Bon Air West) 2% 9%

Graph 4: Bike Counter Percentage Increase Over June 2015, Weeks 1-6 of SafeTrack

Counter Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
Bikeometer (Lynn & Lee Highway) 73% 39% 18% 26% 11% 21%
Custis Trail (Top of Rosslyn Hill) 86% 50% 26% 34% 17% 29%
Mount Vernon Trail (Airport South) 42% 19% 7% 26% 21% 28%
W&OD (Bon Air West) 63% 31% 8% 20% 2% 9%

 

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