Classification of Bicycle Traffic Patterns in Five North American Cities


This paper analyses bicycle ridership patterns using a unique database of automated bicycle counts from approximately 40 locations in five North American cities and along the Route Verte in Quebec. The cities involved in this study are Montreal, Ottawa, Portland, San Francisco, and Vancouver. Count data show that the bicycle volume patterns at each location can be classified as utilitarian, mixed utilitarian, recreational and mixed recreational. Study locations classified into each of these categories are found to have consistent hourly and weekly traffic patterns, despite important differences between these cities in terms of factors such as weather, size, and urban form. Expansion factors for each location type are presented by hour and day of the week. There were differences in seasonal patterns of bicycle activity between the study locations, so different monthly expansion factors are presented for each city. Finally, some traffic volume characteristics are presented for comparison purposes.

Publication date: 
January 1, 2013
Publication type: 
Conference Paper