Boulder County bicycle count
Among the data collected from the cyclist road traffic survey in Boulder County, the following areas are most frequented by cyclists:
Lefthand Canyon: 750 (average on weekend) 360- 570 (average on weekday)
73rd Street north of the Diagonal Highway: 610 (weekend)
Jay Road just west of the Diagonal Highway: 590 (weekend) 460 (weekday)
Flagstaff Road: 320 (weekend) and 380 (weekday)
More information: bouldercounty.org
Source: Boulder County
A new approach to existing technologies allowed Boulder County to keep tabs on the number of bicycles on the roads at more than 100 locations in 2013.
Those findings show that Lefthand Canyon saw the most cyclist traffic in Boulder County, followed by 73rd Street just north of the Diagonal Highway, Jay Road and Flagstaff Road, respectively.
On average, Lefthand Canyon sees 750 cyclists on a weekend and between 360 to 570 on a weekday, depending on how high bikers ride, said Alex Hyde-Wright, the county's assistant transportation planner.
Lefthand Canyon is closed to cyclists between U.S. 36 and Peak to Peak Highway until May 1 while crews remove flood debris from the area and continue road re-construction.
Hyde-Wright said none of the numbers for the county's high-traffic areas were out of the ordinary, considering Boulder's cyclist-friendly community.
But the sheer volume was somewhat unforeseen.
"We knew there were a lot, but we were surprised by how many cyclists we actually counted," Hyde-Wright said.
The counting is a result of a tweaking of the existing tube system used to count vehicles on the roads.
Hyde-Wright said the tubes, which are anchored and stretched across the roads, used to count a few bicycles, but often would incorrectly categorize them as trucks. By making the tubes slightly thinner and changing algorithms within the counting system, the counter now produces an accurate report of cyclist traffic as well as cars.
The new counting mechanism is receiving national attention after Boulder County presented its work at three national conventions over the last several months. The research also received a publication in February's edition of the Institute of Transportation Engineers Journal.
Hyde-Wright said another round of bike counting will take place this summer.
Boulder County officials hope to use the new data to improve bicycle infrastructure around the county.
"One of the things we're doing with the data now is that, as we're looking at rebuilding all the roads damaged in the flood, we're having conversations about where it makes sense to improve bicycle infrastructure," Hyde-Wright said.
Because 2013 was the first year accurate bike data was collected, it's difficult to say whether these numbers show an increase or decrease among road cyclist traffic, officials said.
Local cyclist Brian Hannon, a bike mechanic at Elevations Cycles, said he has noticed a slight increase every year he has lived in Boulder, since 2003. The increase in bike traffic hasn't bothered Hannon a bit.
"Cycling is my life. More people cycling means more cycling infrastructure and more motorist awareness," Hannon said.
Cyclist Dave Mastroianni, a sales associate at Elevation Cycles, said that while he's never been bothered by cyclist traffic, he has noticed an increase in vehicular traffic.
"Of course, as a cyclist, I'm not going to be bothered by more bikers on the roads. If anything, I'm bothered by an increase of cars," Mastroianni said.