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Release date: April 16, 2013

*** Press Release ***

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) Board today approved the purchase and installment of the city’s first bicycle barometer on the south sidewalk of Market Street between 9th and 10th streets. Consistent with San Francisco’s Transit First Policy and the SFMTA’s Strategic Plan, the bicycle barometer will help promote bike riding as an everyday means of transport in San Francisco.

A bicycle barometer is a digital display of the number of people on bicycle in the bike lane, summarizing volumes for the day and the annual total. The purpose of the barometer is to encourage more people to ride their bikes by showing how many bicycle riders have been counted, and to also capture data on bicycle usage. San Francisco’s first bike barometer will measure up to a total of 1 million eastbound bicyclists on Market Street over the course of each year.

First introduced in the City of Odense, Denmark, bicycle barometers have become a prominent feature in European cities such as Copenhagen, Bolzano and Stockholm. Bicycle barometers have also spread throughout North America in San Francisco’s peer cities of Portland, Seattle and Montreal, successfully garnering high visibility support and promotion of bicycling in the cities.

“Since 2006, bicycle mode share has grown 71 percent and the number of bicyclists commuting on Market Street has more than doubled,” said Tom Nolan, Chairman of the SFMTA Board of Directors. “This high-visibility bicycle barometer on one of San Francisco’s most heavily traveled corridors will help with the agency’s continued promotion and encouragement of traveling by bicycle.”

“The installation of this innovative bicycle barometer comes at a critical moment in San Francisco,” said Ed Reiskin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. “As more and more San Franciscans are using a bicycle as part of their everyday commute, this visual bike counter will raise awareness of the positive impact bicycling has on traffic congestion, air quality and personal health.”

“The new bike counter will underscore the huge and growing number of people bicycling on our city’s main corridor,” said Leah Shahum, Executive Director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC). “Market Street is already one of the busiest bicycling streets in the country, even with little dedicated bike space. It will be exciting to track further growth in biking as we focus on improvements to Market Street to boost access to jobs and a stronger economic vibrancy in San Francisco.”

The purchase and installation of the bicycle barometer was made possible through an SFMTA partnership with the SFBC and Kongregate, an online games hosting website. The SFBC and Kongregate have pledged to provide a gift of $20,000 for the purchase and installation of the bicycle barometer. As a condition of the gift, the logos of the SFBC and Kongregate will be displayed on both sides of the bicycle barometer.

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