Cycle Numbers 01We haven’t run a blog on cycle numbers reported at the automatic counters for a while – partly this was because for 2 our of the last 3 months, it was ridiculously difficult to get the numbers (the reported public website to access the counters is still MIA, and even the AT Board reports were missing the relevant data several times running).

Now we finally have the numbers again and the data (Page 23), while far from depressing, is not quite as good anymore as in some recent months. Basically, we had reductions in cycle numbers over the last 3 months running, compared to the same 3 months a year ago.

Cycle Numbers 02The bad news is that April saw a 2.2% reduction, May a 4.0% reduction, and June a 0.3% reduction.

The good news is that comparing the last 12 months with the last 12 months before that, we are still 5.5% up, year-on-year at the 9 automatic counter sites that Auckland Transport manages around Auckland (mostly on shared paths).

So no reason to worry too much yet – as early as this March, we had a bumper month 16.3% higher than the March the year before. Some time later this winter, we should also get data from this year’s Census, and the latest Auckland-wide manual cycling survey, to give us further data points on the wider trends.

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7 responses to “Trend or fluke – cycle growth slowing a bit

    1. Hard to say – that would require a lot of work diving into AT’s counter data, and then comparing it to last year’s months. We might do that if this keeps as anemic for a month or two more.

  1. To be honest I am surprised we see any increase at all and should honestly be happy we’re not losing cyclists – it’s not like there’s any effort by AT to increase this mode through any actual work on the ground.

  2. With the news always full of cycling accidents, or bad feeling towards cyclists from motorists, its like we are public enemy number one in the media! How is that going to help cycling numbers?

    1. Hi Paul

      Most of those cycle accidents seem to be rural – stats for cycling in Auckland show that its actually a lot safer on average than many other parts of NZ. Sadly, that doesn’t come across to the average punter yet. They equate lots of traffic with lots of risk, when higher speeds are what is most dangerous…

      As for the media being negative on cycling – I actually feel the situation has gotten a lot better. Witness the media attitude to SkyPath, for example. Also, for a look on how things have improved, read this old article:

      http://bikeauckland.org.nz/committee/in-praise-of-media-people-who-cycle/

      1. Bit of a strange parallel but stick with me.

        I am an English cricket fan and for much of the last 20 odd years its been tough. Getting beaten by the mighty Aussie’s over and over and over again. But lately things have changed and we have actually started winning and going into most games as favourites. This is basically because of 1) hard work and professionalism on the part of everyone involved with the team 2) the aussies reaching the end of a generation of great players and having knowone decent to replace them with. The funny thing about it is that the media and the public aren’t quite sure how to react because they aren’t used to good news. Instinctive scepticism, disbelief, cautious optimism, celebration?

        I think there are some helpful parallels with the situation regarding cycling in NZ.

        The reality to me seems NZ is finally beginning to move in the right direction. Funding battles are being won. The old carcentric ways are under greater scrutiny. But like with the cricket cycling fans and the media don’t quite know how to react because they are not used to good news.

        The good part is that Im sure that everyone connected with cycling in NZ will be keeping the pressure on now that they have a taste for victory.

        For me the strategy for reacting to good news from the cycling community needs to be: applaud the small steps whilst firmly reminding all that there is a very long way to go before Auckland/NZ before it becomes a champion of cycling like the other more progressive places it wants to compare itself to.

        Oh yes and the weather is clearly effecting the cycling data.

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