Ahead of the 2013 Boise Bike Week, May 13 through May 18, officials are once again rounding up volunteers for an initiative vital to understanding how many cyclists are pedaling in the Boise area—the Ada County Bicycle Count.
Clipboard-toting volunteers will position themselves along bike routes spanning Ada County Tuesday, May 7 through Thursday, May 9, methodically marking the number of cyclists who breeze by. Unlike in years prior, this year many Boise State students will likely be included in the count. Previously the count took place after those students finished school, according to bike count veteran Rick Overton.
"We’re really curious how our May measurements are going to look compared to other May measurements," he said.
Those numbers are collected much like vehicle traffic counts, and are used by planners to decide which roads are best for bike lanes. Margaret Havey, Vice President of the Treasure Valley Cycling Alliance, the organizers of the count, said the data collection is important for understanding how best to allocate roads budgets.
"You definitely need evidence in the form of counts, something that’s methodical and reliable collection. Otherwise it’s anecdotal, and when it comes to allocating any kind of public money, it’s going to be hard to make that case for any kind of changes," said Havey.
TVCA is still looking for volunteers to help with the count. Navigate to adabikecount.wordpress.com to signup.