Bike counter to unravel cyclist patterns

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Understanding bicycle patterns is the aim of a new cycle counter, Active Transport Wanaka spokesman Simon Telfer says.

“We are building a cycleway network through the whole of Wanaka and to help get the funding we need data.”

The counter was installed on the footpath near Wanaka Marina on Lakeside Rd.

This was the first time data had been collected on how many people rode bikes in Wanaka on a daily basis, Mr Telfer said.

The cycle counter consisted of two tubes running across the footpath, activated by pressure.

Riding over it on a bike activated the count and software recorded the date and time, allowing analysis of the busiest days and times, Mr Telfer said.

The counter began operating on December 5 and would continue to record data until February 28.

“So we will also get a seasonal flow as to how bike movements change during the busy summer season.”

The location on Lakeside Rd was chosen because it had both residential and visitor traffic.

“I think it will give us a good overview of one of the busiest parts of a prospective cycleway network”.

The aim of a cycle network would be to connect major amenities including the school, Wanaka Recreation Centre and the downtown area.

Lakeside Rd was also a “key link” for people going to the Outlet Track, which was “probably the busiest track in the whole of Wanaka”.

Active Transport Wanaka had funded this first counter but were hoping to partner with Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) for more counters across the district.

“I think we really want a network of these”.

“We’d like to have these in various parts so we can really monitor bike movements through the whole town,” Mr Telfer said.

QLDC transport strategy manager Tony Pickard said the data was useful in understanding all the demands on the network.

“This is especially important as we move to a network approach that provides more options for different ways of getting around.”

The council was exploring ways to work together with Active Transport Wanaka to gather data.

“Counter locations need to be well planned, so they tell us what we need to know about specific routes or intersections.”

“We have been assisting Mr Telfer with the lakeside counter installation to help reduce the costs involved,” Mr Pickard said.