From Ken Ohrn:

The July numbers are odd.  Here they are:

  • Bike trips in July 2015    190,332  (A 2.4% decrease compared to July 2014)
  • Bike trips YTD in 2015    873,975  (YTD increase of 26.5% over 2014)

Anecdotally, the number of people on bikes is way up everywhere.  I’m at a loss to explain the Burrard decrease, unless the counter is malfunctioning.

I’m still projecting the millionth bike crossing will happen in August.

While there, two sets of tourists (one on bikes, one on foot), stopped to exclaim and marvel at the bike counter’s numbers.

Ohrn c


Ron Richings comments:

A 2.4% decrease is really not all that much.  Various explanations would be possible.  Prime among them for this year would be the somewhat daunting heat.  For folks who don’t like to sweat a lot, that could be a real ride-killer.

Might also be affected by special events during either year that would increase trips.  Eg. if all of the fireworks events were in July last year, versus only two this year.

To really assess this it would likely be necessary to compare day-by-day each specific day of the week and what was happening on the two years, including weather and events.

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  1. For me it’s the heat. I spent more than a usual amount of July hunkered down in my basement where it’s nice and cool when I might have otherwise been out and cycling.

  2. It was the rain. Burrard probably was hit harder than other locations as people don’t go to the beaches by any mode when it rains. More of the Burrard Bridge bike traffic is beach traffic than other locations around the city.

      1. “Are you joking? We didn’t have any rain in July. Not a drop”

        Except for the 20 mm that your link lists as rainfall in July in Vancouver.

  3. Two dots make a line, but don’t establish a pattern. There’s just too many variables and not enough data to jump to any conclusions yet.

    That said, it wouldn’t surprise me if cycling on the westside starts to decline as the demographics continue to change (i.e. more $4M houses and luxury condos).

  4. Actually the average cyclist is more educated more wealthy than the average car driver. This may reflect the need for out of the box thinking. However one day this out of the box thinking will not be necessary with more AAA routes and higher active mode shift. Until then a more wealthy demographic will probably lead to more cycling.

    1. Oooh, we’re going to have to do a friendly bet on this one. 🙂

      I do agree with your “average” comment. But, the wealth on the westside is way beyond average now. My guess is that few owners of the McMansions popping up all over Pt Grey and Dunbar are cycling downtown to get to the Louis Vutton shop. More likely, they’re driving their new Ferrari/Lamborghini/Bentley that they picked up on Burrard.

      Perhaps, an increase in “knowledge workers” like computer programmers and architects would lead to an increase in cycling to work, but those people can barely even afford East Van. Besides, more education doesn’t always translate into more wealthy, especially in this city. The wealthiest people in YVR are all in real estate and home renos. Bob Rennie and Christy Clark only have high school diplomas, and together they run the whole economy.

  5. It is good to follow the numbers, but it may be worth waiting and seeing what the City publishes as the July numbers in the next few days instead of just the sign readout.

    If any specific counting equipment goes down for a day or so, that is logged and the missing figures are estimated. See the City website for how they calculate the numbers.

    A few days back the counter at Science World was showing 15 as the daily total, mid morning. That was down a thousand or so from the day before and the day after. We just don’t get the data to be able to see this level of detail.

    The other advantage of using the City published figures is that they include Tue-Thur daily trip averages, as well as monthly totals. That gives us a first cut estimation at whether any differences may be attributed to commuters vs recreational riders, to the extent that weekend trips are more recreational in nature.