RIding across the Fremont Bridge (photo by Malcom Griffes)
This post was produced as part of the UW Comm Department’s undergraduate Entrepreneurial Journalism course.
By Malcom Griffes
Crossing the Fremont Bridge you are greeted by a sign that reads, “Welcome to Fremont, center of the universe.” This sentiment is not far from the truth for bike commuters. They heavily use the Fremont Bridge, and as for being the center of the cycling universe here in Seattle, that idea is being empirically tested by Seattle’s first bike counter.
The simplistically named Fremont Bridge Bike Counter was installed October 2012. This will be the first summer the Bike Counter will be in effect. Already the counter has recorded high numbers. May 1st saw roughly 5,000 bike commuters pass over the bridge.
May was bike month and with the weather warming up more people are out on their bikes. Since Seattle continues to have some of the worst traffic in the country, commuting by bicycle is increasingly more appealing.
“Seattle has a chance to break 1 million trips across the bridge in 2013,” wrote, Tom Fucoloro, editor and writer for the Seattle Bike Blog, “[Which] is also the top limit on the annual bike trip thermometer. How cool would it be to burst the seams on that thing in the first year?”
Portland’s bike counter on the Hawthorne Bridge, which was installed in August 2012, is nearing the 1 million mark. San Francisco is also jumping onboard, having just installed a counter on May 9th, 2013.
Using sensors, the bike counter records the number of cyclists that cross the bridge in both directions. This data is then displayed in real-time on a seven-foot totem and the data is logged on the city’s swanky bike counter website. Continue reading