By the numbers – long-sought-after cycle counter data now online…

Feb 17, 2016
By the numbers – long-sought-after cycle counter data now online…

Bike Auckland

Some more refined data is also available, like this morning peak (i.e. commuter-focussed) longer-term graph. This however is still focussed on the 9 older counters only, as obviously most of the newer counters didn't exist before late 2015.
Some more refined data is also available, like this longer-term graph of the morning peak, i.e. largely bike commuters. (NB this one is based on the 9 original bike counters only, as obviously most of the newer counters didn’t exist before late 2015.)

We’ve been waiting literally ages for this: Auckland Transport have finally released the monthly data from ALL their cycle counters, in detail. This is something we, and our friends over at TransportBlog, have been asking about for a long time!

Previously, the only data provided publicly was the aggregate count from 9 original counters, with no real breakdown possible.

As you can see from the data (available up to December 2015 in CSV or XLS data formats), there are now a whopping 28 (!) automatic cycle counters active across Auckland.

The large recent expansion of the cycle counter network was mainly driven by the Urban Cycleways Programme, which means that essentially all routes into the City Centre now have cycle counters. This data will be required to show that the Urban Cycleways are working – and which parts are working best.

We’re keen for all you data-savvy people to start looking at this in detail, and sharing your analyses.

For now, here’s some interesting features that we spotted at a quick glance:

  • Quay Street (at 32k movements) and Tamaki Drive (39k) are still holding the top position, but not by much, if things continue like this…
  • … because Lightpath had a fantastic first month, with almost 30k movements, which is almost 1,000 cycle trips per day! It’s likely functioning as a destination in itself, as well as a connection, because…
  • … continuing onto Nelson Street itself, the numbers there drop to about 12k. This is still great numbers for a new path, but also confirms (unsurprisingly) that a cycleway that stops halfway – as Nelson St’s protected bike lane currently does – isn’t nearly as attractive as one that keeps going. This is why we can’t wait for the onward connections, like Stage II of Nelson St down to the waterfront, Quay St, and the west-east links to come later in the Urban Cycleway project timeframe. Bring it on!
  • One of the least popular ways to cycle to the City Centre (and indeed to the University) is Grafton Road – at only slightly less than 2k movements, or fewer than a hundred trips in and out per day. Of course, Grafton Road is a steep dip into a gully, adjacent to entering and exiting motorway traffic, on a road with limited-to-no cycle facilities.
  • Grafton Bridge, on the other hand, had a solid if not astounding 14k movements in December.
  • A surprisingly impressive and fast-growing contender is Te Wero Bridge, which connects Wynyard Quarter to the CBD. While the 23k movements during December may have been partly driven by holiday recreation, the 14-15k in October and November aren’t too shabby either, equating to some 500 trips per day on average (despite no SkyPath yet, and the really big new employers still moving into the area). Goes to show, people really do like cycling along the waterfront!

The above is obviously just a quick first pass, and not very in-depth – there’s so much more to dig into, now that we have the numbers! So what do you see in this data, beyond a very welcome increase in transparency?


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