About Arlington's Automatic Counters

Photo: Counter and Cyclist on Four Mile Run Trail

Arlington County maintains a system of permanent automatic counters to monitor bicycle and pedestrian volumes 24 hours a day at selected locations. Collecting better data on usage and demand is essential to building long-term support for walking and cycling, and improving conditions for those who choose to walk and ride bikes.

The Bicycle & Pedestrian Counter Dashboard on BikeArlington was developed to display counter data and allow the public to consult, download, and help improve it. The dashboard shows the total number of bicyclists and/or pedestrians counted at each location during a time period chosen by the dashboard user. It allows for “filtering” a number of parameters, such as mode (bicycle and/or pedestrian), direction, and day(s) of the week. The number of counts for each device can be graphed over time, and the data can be exported to an Excel file. The Dashboard is a work in progress, and we welcome the public’s help in improving it.

Factors That Can Affect Count Accuracy

Several factors can affect the data displayed on the Counter Dashboard, including machine types, installation dates, and downtime. We are working to make more information available about all factors that may affect the accuracy of counts.

Limitation Due to Type of Device

Arlington's automatic counters come in several varieties. Most of the devices installed on shared-use trails are capable of distinguishing between bicycles and pedestrians, as well as detecting direction of travel. Other counters, such as the ones in on-street bike lanes, only count bicycles, and do not detect direction. If your query includes a factor, such as direction of travel, that a counter is not capable of detecting, the display will read "No Data." Likewise if the counter you select does not distinguish between bicyclists and pedestrians, and your query asks for only bicyclists, or only pedestrians, the display will return "No Data."

Machine Installation Dates

Arlington's automatic counters have been installed over time. If your chosen time period includes dates before a particular counter was installed, the result will not include any bicyclists or pedestrians that passed the location before installation.

Machine Downtime

Counters occasionally go offline for a variety of reasons, including routine maintenance, insect infestation, or damage. If a counter was offline for any reason during the selected time period, the result will not reflect bicyclists and pedestrians who passed the counter location during that period. We may, over time, develop normalized data values to fill such gaps.

Installed Counters, Installation Dates, Models

Trail Counters

  • Custis Rosslyn, October 2009, EcoMulti, bicycles and pedestrians, no direction detection
  • * Four Mile Run, March 2011, PyroBox, bicycles and pedestrians counted without distinction
  • * Four Mile Run, April 2011, MetroCount MC 5720 piezo, bicycles only
  • W&OD East Falls Church, December 2010, EcoCombo, bicycles and pedestrians, with direction detection
  • W&OD Bon Air Park, December 2010, EcoCombo, bicycles and pedestrians, with direction detection
  • Custis Bon Air Park, December 2010, EcoCombo, bicycles and pedestrians, with direction detection
  • Key Bridge West, August 2011, EcoCombo (urban post), bicycles and pedestrians, with direction detection
  • Key Bridge East, August 2011, EcoCombo (urban post), bicycles and pedestrians, with direction detection
  • Mt Vernon Trail Airport South, September 2011, EcoCombo, bicycles and pedestrians, with direction detection
  • Crystal City Connector, September 2011, EcoCombo, bicycles and pedestrians, with direction detection
  • Theodore Roosevelt Island Bridge (to Rosslyn), September 2011, EcoCombo, bicycles and pedestrians, with direction detection
  • W&OD Columbia Pike, October 2011, EcoCombo, bicycles and pedestrians, with direction detection
  • Bluemont Connector, December 2012, EcoCombo, bicycles and pedestrians, with direction detection
  • Ballston Connector, December 2012, EcoCombo, bicycles and pedestrians, with direction detection
  • W&OD Bon Air West, December 2012, EcoCombo, bicycles and pedestrians, with direction detection
  • South Joyce Street, Southbound, December 2012, EcoCombo (urban post), bicycles and pedestrians, with direction detection
  • South Joyce Street, Northbound, December 2012, EcoCombo (urban post), bicycles and pedestrians, with direction detection

*Note: The "piezo" device counts only bicycles. Pedestrian values are calculated by subtracting the "piezo" count from the "pyro" count, which includes both bicycles and pedestrians.

Bike Lanes

  • Wilson in the 2500 block, near Earl's Sandwich Shop, between N Cleveland and N Danville (Westbound)
  • Clarendon at N Danville near the Starbucks (Eastbound)
  • Military Rd in the 2500 block, near 25th Place N (Northbound)
  • Military Rd in the 2500 block, near 25th Place N (Southbound)
  • Quincy in the 1100 block, just N of the Library (Northbound)
  • Quincy in the 1100 block, just N of 11th Street N (Southbound)
  • Fairfax Dr in the 3600 block, near the Bank of America and dance studio (Westbound)
  • Fairfax Dr in the 3700 block, near St. George's Episcopal Church (Eastbound)
  • Crystal Dr, in the 1800 block, just S of 18th Street S (Northbound)
  • Crystal Dr, in the 2200 block, just N of 23rd Street S (Southbound)

Additional Counters

  • Three mobile "Pyrobox" counters used for short-term counts
  • Arlington’s #bikeometer, the first Eco-Totem on the east coast, launched April 1, 2014. Westbound Lee Highway near N Lynn Street, Rosslyn. Bicycle-only detection and display in real time. Shows cumulative daily, monthly, and year-to-date values. Stored information includes direction of bicycle travel

Data for Developers

Data from Arlington's automatic bike-pedestrian counters is available for application developers.

Did You Know?

Running and bicycling are the two most popular outdoor activities in the U.S. by frequency of participation.

Outdoor Recreation Participation Report, 2011

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