From Tuesday to Thursday of this week, 45 volunteers took a few hours out of their day to count bicyclists at various intersections around the city. Their goal was to collect vital data that could be used to better plan cycling infrastructure in the future.
The count organized by the Ada Bike Alliance covered over 50 intersections throughout the city, with some volunteers counting at multiple locations.
"I'm a dreamer. I had notions we'd hit 100 intersections but that wasn't realistic," said Ada Bike Alliance Chairman Rick Overton. "Still we covered more intersections than have ever been covered before."
It will be several weeks before the data is compiled, but once it is, it will then be tailored to fit the needs of assorted local planning organizations like CCDC.
Overton said that ideally, this bike count is something that will be done two or three times a year.
"We're always going to start with intersections we already have data for so we can track trends, and then we'll expand as we're able," said Overton. "We added several locations on the Greenbelt that hadn't ever been counted before but there's always more than can be done."
Overton said that in addition to the data, the group learned a lot about how to more effectively organize themselves for the next count. But he says the biggest takeaway may be the level of enthusiasm for cycling.
"Can you imagine a group of motorists volunteering to count cars in their free time to see how roads could be improved?" said Overton. "There's change coming, and I hope that folks in the position to make the budgets are noticing it."