Good Things Coming: County Wide Automated Bike/Ped Counters

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Originally published on CommuterPageBlog

The Arlington County Bicycle and Pedestrian Planners have some really fun things in store for 2011. Over the course of the next couple of months more than a dozen automated counters, similar to those already in place, will be installed throughout Arlington. Many of these will go on multi-use trails like the Custis Trail, but there will even be some placed in-street to track bike lane usage.

While already popular in Europe, Arlington joins the ranks of a select few jurisdictions in North America who have such a comprehensive counter system. The new counters and database are from the French Company Eco Counter, who specializes in bike and pedestrian counter systems deployed all around the world. One of the special features that set this system apart is that the counters have modems through which they upload data to a database that can be accessed online. Older systems had to be checked regularly and the data downloaded manually.

Screenshot: Counter software

The above screenshot, displaying bike usage at sections of the Custis and W&OD Trails during the past two days, shows the web software that allows staff to easily break down data over various time periods and output it in a number of different graphs and display modes. While this screenshot shows only two of the counters that have been set up, the system appears to be robust and responsive and will certainly make for creating a more far-reaching picture of cycling and pedestrian use throughout Arlington County. Once the system is up and running, results of the data analysis will be made available to the public.

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