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Mapping DC Bike Counts


February 21st, 2013 [programming]

Bicycle Counts Stat MapperLast June, DDOT and MWCOG counted bicycle traffic over an 8-hour period in 48 locations. I got a copy of the results, and converted the spreadsheet into a map. The Bicycle Counts Stat Mapper uses the same interface I created for the Bicycle Accidents Stat Mapper, but with a few new features added.

A total of 21,930 cyclists were counted. They also recorded the rider’s sex, whether they were on a sidewalk, whether they were wearing a helmet, and whether they were riding a Capital Bikeshare bike: 75% were male, 27% were on a sidewalk, 69% wore helmets, 5% were on CaBi.

The place with the most bike traffic was the 15th St cycle track, measured north of P St. It got just under 200 cyclists per hour (198.8 to be exact). Its busiest hour saw 355 cyclists go through.

Close behind was Water St NW in Georgetown, connecting K St (under the Whitehurst Freeway) to the Capital Crescent Trail. Its average was 198.4 cyclists per hour, with a peak hour of 351 cyclists.

It’s good to have traffic numbers for all 9 of Washington, DC’s river-crossing bridges. Here they are listed in order of most bike traffic:

Bridge Avg cyclists
per hour
George Mason Bridge (14th St) 182.4
Key Bridge 138.9
Arlington Meml Bridge 112.9
Teddy Roosevelt Bridge 39.5
Douglass Meml Bridge (S Capitol St) 32.9
Chain Bridge 26.4
Benning Bridge 14.3
Sousa Bridge (Pennsylvania Ave) 9.6
11th St Bridge 3.5
Whitney Young Meml Bridge (E Capitol St) 0.4

The high traffic numbers for the 14th Street Bridge support the proposal from GreaterGreaterWashington to Fix the 14th Street bridge bike connection with 3 easy steps.

The place with the highest percentage of female riders, 40%, was Garfield St NW, near the St Albans School.

The normal caveat for geocoded data applies: the coordinates were generated by Google’s geocoder, which prefers giving inaccurate results to not responding at all. I manually edited locations for many of the spots. If you find misplaced markers, leave a comment below.

You can also view heat maps of the selected statistics, though bear in mind a heat map is not the most appropriate method for these numbers, since two little spots near each other will combine to look like a single big spot.

Check out the Bicycle Counts Stat Mapper and see what you can discover.

See also Mapping DC’s Bicycle Accidents.

5 Responses to “Mapping DC Bike Counts”

  • Peter K says:

    Nice map! This is helpful – I’m going to share this with my coworkers.

    So far I’ve noticed that the marker for Rock Creek Pkwy between M and P is hanging out in Kalorama and the tag for Porter St between Klingle and Williamsburg appears to be using the grill of my apartment building at 20th and Florida.

  • admin says:

    Thanks! Moved the 2 points you mentioned, and also fixed Ellington Bridge and moved 18th St a few yards to the east.

    Also, apparently the data isn’t showing up at all in IE, which I can’t test. If anyone can figure out if there’s a min version of IE that works, let me know.

  • MM says:

    So DDOT considers bridge sidepaths to be sidewalks? That definitely skews the “on sidewalk” numbers when some of the busiest areas are the river crossings.

  • John S says:

    If you have the appropriate software to read it, you can download a GIS shapefile containing the count locations from the DC.gov Data Catalog. Might be more accurate than telling Google Maps to look them all up again. http://data.dc.gov/Metadata.aspx?id=705

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