Edinburgh will soon be joining Copenhagen, Barcelona, Helsinki, Budapest and others in seeing cycle counters installed on two major cycle routes – on the Meadows and at the end of the canal path at Edinburgh Quay (as well as in Stirling, Perth, Inverness, Benderloch and three in Glasgow).
The installations have begun (you may have seen some holes being dug) and all being well, they should be up and counting cyclists by Christmas.
Quite simply, via a sensor in the ground, they count each bicycle as it goes past and show the total number of cyclists on an LCD screen – displaying the number that day and the total number so far by year. They’ll also show you the temperature and the time – handy if you are late for work.
They look good, and not long after they’ve gone up we will be able to see just how many people cycle along these routes, giving a sense of the scale of cycling in Edinburgh. When you trigger the sensor, you’ll know how many other people have already cycled ahead of you that day.
A master cycle counter will be based at the Scottish Government offices at Victoria Quay, displaying the totals from all nine counters across the country – handy for the transport policy planners to see out of their office windows. The numbers will, apparently, be available online so hopefully we can display a widget on this website.
The trick is not be cyclist number one, but cyclist number 500,000. Will it be you?
The excellent Copenhagenize website has a lot more information on cycle counters around Europe and what they do.