Photo of tubes used for count bicycles. 

Bicycle Counting Program


For many decades, the Boulder County Transportation Department had dedicated staff and budget to obtain 24-hour vehicle counts at close to 300 locations throughout the county.  Last year transportation staff researched how to accurately collect bicycle data using the existing vehicle counting equipment.  Staff quickly realized that the vehicle counters – those black tubes you may see laying over the paved roadways – were in fact counting some bikes, but the software was incorrectly categorizing them as trucks and/ or motorcycles. Through additional research and experimentation, staff was able to make small tweaks to the traditional tubes to get statistically reliable bike count data.

Details on Counting Technology

This new bicycle counting technique has gained national attention. County staff has presented at three national conferences over the past several months and the research was just published in February’s Institute of Transportation Engineers Journal  reaching over 18,000 subscribers. A poster was developed for the Bicycle Urbanism Symposium in Seattle depicting the research process.

And if you are feeling really wonky you can link to additional background information on bicycle counting.

2013 Bicycle Counts

Maps of the 2013 bike count data are now available! Boulder County staff has generate a maps of weekday bicycle volumes and weekend bicycle volumes. The 2014 counting program will start in May 2014. Please check back over the course of the summer for updated maps.

Contact Information

Boulder County Transportation

Alex Hyde-Wright