The bike counts for the summer of 2013 show an increase over last summer in two locations, and a decrease in five locations. Bike Michiana Coalition officials are scratching their heads, wondering what caused the decrease in those five. Road and trail construction was surely a factor, but not at all five count sites. One would think traffic would be up, considering that gasoline was a record $4.25 per gallon in 2013. The numbers seem incongruous.
The disparity is easily explained, according to a study published by Indiana University at South Bend. The paper analyzed multiple counts, including many not shown in the above graph.
The paper states:
“The best way to ensure accurate models for bicyclists is by taking additional counts. By taking more counts, we have a larger sample size to see how our data and projections vary. For each day where a count is taken there may be a factor that is unique for that particular day.”
The study, by J. Navarro and Dr. H.P. Scott is being taken to heart by the counters, and plans are firmed up to continue taking quarterly counts in the future to increase the level of accuracy.
The Michiana counts are part of a national study, the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project, whose goal is to provide a consistent model of data collection and ongoing data for use by planners, governments, and bicycle and pedestrian professionals.