Andrew, Jeanette and Megan have developed an automatic cycle counting programme for Christchurch City Council (CCC). The project identifies approximate site locations, counter types, time frames and indicative costs.
We conducted an international literature review to find whether techniques have been developed to determine the ideal number and placement of counters and duration of counts required to achieve an accurate sample. Little information was found - automatic cycle counting is a complex task. We complemented the guidance that was available with:
- considerations of strategic site criteria required to obtain a representative sample;
- the types of equipment available and their abilities, limitations and requirements; and
- possible combinations of equipment and counting methods to develop a system best suited to Christchurch City.
The recommended programme involved three permanent count sites plus 19 "short-term" sites which would be monitored for 2-week periods each year. Two of the permanent sites and one of the short-term sites are on off-road facilities. The sites require automatic (i.e. machine, not manual) counting equipment; we recommended ZELT inductive loop technology for a variety of reasons including its ability to count on- and off-road, its accuracy (especially in mixed traffic situations) and its inconspicuous nature. One of the off-road sites, however, will continue to use the Bicycle Recorder inductive loop counter already installed there.
We also investigated the cost implications of our recommended programme and explored ways of staging this if constrained by budget.
We expect this programme will deliver Christchurch City with comprehensive and cost-effective data that will be invaluable in planning and providing for cycling.
Further work is required to specify exact site locations and installation details for contractors. Subsequent work would involve monitoring and analysis of data obtained through the counting programme.