A bicycle counter was recently presented to each of the three German cities of Offenburg, Karlsruhe, and Freiburg in the Land of Baden-Württemberg. All three cities have been officially nominated as cycle cities by the German Ministry of Transport on the grounds that “a bicycle counter is a visible proof of a dedicated effort to strengthen cycling.”
By Marie V. Magni, VEKSØ
The new bicycle counters have quickly become a landmark of the three cities. Professionals, politicians, and the press closely followed the opening in April 2012. As the massive media coverage indicates, the bicycle counters both recognise the work that has been done, and highlight the work that lies ahead. The title of ‘Cycle City’ is valid for five years. Then, the cities will have to pass a new test: What results have the city achieved since nomination, and are they still worthy of the title? The bicycle counters will serve as a daily reminder to the responsible city planners and politicians to continue the good work in the name of sustainable mobility. Most importantly, the bicycle counters will show cyclists that every single citizen who chooses to transport themselves on a bike, counts.
Minister of Transport for the Land of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Hermann, and Mayor of Karlsruhe, Michael Obert, at the opening on 26 April 2012. The counters are a clear and very visible way of showing citizens that the city is focussing on bicycle traffic.
Besides counting cyclists and keeping track of the status of cycle traffic, the counters are a useful marketing tool that calls attention to cycling traffic and helps make visible the city’s efforts to increase bicycle traffic. The counters also serve as an encouraging boost, complimenting the many people who already cycle, while motivating those who want to cycle but haven’t yet jumped in the saddle. Even though the three cities already have many cyclists, they all have a stated target to further increase the modal split of cyclists. Hopefully, the bicycle counters can help demonstrate to all citizens that their cities consider cycling an important focus area. Perhaps, the bicycle counters can also be a role model for other German cities that want to focus on cycling.
In Freiburg, all cyclists going on Wiwili-Brücke in direction of the Jazz House are now counted. And only cyclists are listed in the statistics – by registering speed, amount of metal, and the distance between the wheels, the bicycle counter can distinguish between a bicycle and other wheeled objects, such as prams or skateboards.
VEKSØ and Urban Cycling Solutions
The bicycle counters are provided by VEKSØ, one of the co-founders of the Cycling Embassy of Denmark, which produces a list of services and products for the bicycle-friendly urban space, including bicycle parking, air pumps, water fountains, and more. VEKSØ developed its first bicycle counter more than ten years ago for the city of Odense when the city bore the title of Denmark’s National Cycle City in the period 1999-2002. Since then, VEKSØ has provided bicycle counters for a number of Danish and foreign cycle cities.
Moreover, VEKSØ has just begun a collaboration with Eco-Counter, the market leader in terms of developing counting systems and data processing of active transport.
Now, both citizens and professionals can keep track of the number of cyclists passing by every day and the total number annually or since the counters were installed. The counters also show the actual temperature. Here, the bicycle counter in Karlsruhe.
Read what the press wrote:
adfc Freiburg: Verkehrsminister Hermann weiht Fahrradzähler in drei Städten ein
fudder – neueigkeiten aus freiburg: Fahrradzähler bei der Wiwili-Brücke eingeweiht
Amtsblatt Stadt Freiburg im Breisgau, 4 May 2012 – No. 575: „Jeder Radler zählt!“
Badische Zeitung, Freiburg: Wiwilibrücke hat jetzt einen Fahrradzähler
Der Sonntag, 29 April 2012: Freiburg zählt die Radler
Fahrradland Baden-Württemberg: Jede/r RadlerIn zählt!
TV Südbaden, Freiburg/Breisgau, 26 April 2012: Fahrradfreundliche Kommune
Radio Regenbogen, 26 April 2012: Verkehrsminister weiht Zählstelle ein
ka-news.de: ”Vorradler” Kalrsruhe: Minister Herman weiht Fahrradzähler am Ettlinger Tor ein
Wochenblatt Karlsruhe, 2 May 2012 No. 18: „Jeder Radler zählt!“
Category: Newsletter 7