As council debates the Pandora and Johnson protected bike lane project (options for which I analyzed already), I figured I would see where people go when they bike off the Johnson Street Bridge into downtown. Yesterday was a cold but clear day, and the numbers showed it:
First: This is a one-day, two hour count in the morning. Margin of error with short-term counts is high. Numbers are certainly higher when it is warmer and we have more tourists out.
Second: Patterns of biking shift as infrastructure changes. People don’t usually pick the fastest route to their destination, most trade-off of distance for comfort (how much distance for how much comfort is a subject of a great deal of studies, including this great one [PDF] by Jennifer Dill at PSU). So building the new protected bike lanes on Pandora and possibly Johnson will shift biking patterns considerably, as I pointed out the other day with Dill’s later research on the new protected bike lanes in various US cities. See the large percentage of riders in blue below: