This paper summarises research undertaken for Transfund New Zealand (now NZ Transport Agency) by MWH New Zealand Ltd in Christchurch between October 2001 and May 2002 to evaluate automatic bicycle counting technologies. A comprehensive report of the research findings has been published as Research Report No. 230 entitled "Evaluation of Automatic Bicycle Counters in New Zealand".
A literature review and consultation with key staff in road controlling authorities were undertaken to select the types of equipment to test. Rigorous testing was performed on two commercially-available pneumatic rubber tube traffic counting machines. Tests were undertaken both off-street (to simulate conditions in parks and on cycle paths) and on-street in mixed traffic, to simulate typical conditions for cyclists, where cycling data are typically unavailable. Other types of equipment were not tested and may be satisfactory for counting bicycles.
Both counters performed satisfactorily and are recommended for use in New Zealand for counting bicycles, either off-street or on-street, and in both urban and rural situations. They are capable of counting and classifying bicycles and motor vehicles simultaneously. Recommendations are made about correct procedures for using the machines for counting bicycle traffic and for further research into bicycle counting.
The research is important as it demonstrates that automatic bicycle counting is feasible and relatively easy to do as part of routine traffic counting.
IPENZ Transportation Conference, Rotorua