Last month, with the help of local volunteers, Baltimore City Department of Transportation documented morning and afternoon bike commuter traffic at four locations around the city. From 7:30 – 9:30 am and 4 – 6 pm, bikes were counted at Falls Road & Maryland Avenue, Guilford Avenue & Mt. Royal Avenue, Pratt Street & Market Place and Aliceanna Street & Boston Street. Parked bikes were also counted at Penn Station. In addition to overall bike traffic numbers, volunteers tracked direction of travel, helmet use and gender of cyclist.
- 3,025 bikes were counted at the above locations
- 29% of cyclists were women
- 63% of riders used helmets
- Highest count took place at Pratt & Market on Thursday, September 26 from 4-6pm with 264 cyclists
How does this compare to counts in the past?
This September’s weather conditions could not have been more perfect for biking. 60-70 degree temperatures in the morning were optimal for post-summer: cool enough not to sweat, warm enough not to need extra layers. The dry weather forecast for the week held true and no rain, snow or heavy fog occurred. Bike counts for May 2013 and September 2012 featured heavy rain, hail and thunderstorms which made for lower than average bike traffic. As the bike counts proved: Cyclists do not like to ride in inclement weather. Near perfect weather conditions occurred in September 2010, which provides a good basis for comparison to September 2013. When comparing these counts:
- Baltimore showed a 65% increase in bike traffic!
- Women ridership is up 45%
- Helmet use stayed flat at 63%. Helmet use has fluctuated between 63 and 65%. That’s not much of a fluctuation given the steady increase in overall traffic and varied weather conditions.
- Bicycle traffic has doubled at Guilford Avenue & Mt. Royal where the Jones Falls Trail and bike boulevard meet.