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October 1st, 2019

Brisbane traffic count

Today I did something I've thought of but never really done: do my own traffic count. Not super long or thorough, but something.

First I counted people coming off the SW end of the Goodwill Bridge, which is a non-car bridge. Only counted one way, to keep things simple. Finished at 16:42, was counting at least six minutes, probably more like ten. Bikes were in the lead for much of the period but I ended up at 80 pedestrians, 60 bikers. I didn't count scooters, and also didn't count children walking with their parents, which might have added another 10 to the peds.

Then at the nearest main street, I counted pedestrians and cars, for three traffic light cycles. 38 pedestrians, 159 cars (including a few motorcycles.) No idea about multiple people per car.

Given the nature of this intersection, largely pedestrians coming off the bridge or river, with little cross car traffic, it might be fair to count people who were crossing the street rather than going along the direction I was counting. I didn't, but if we assume it was equal to the pedestrians I did count, that would be 76:159.

I ignored bikers there, having been too lazy to get out the tools for a three-way count (pen and notebook, lots of tally marks to sum later). Not sure if I was actually seeing as many bikes as pedestrians there.

http://www.cityclock.org/urban-cycling-mode-share/ claims a mere 1% cycling mode share. Methodology unknown. https://chartingtransport.com/2017/10/24/trends-in-journey-to-work-mode-shares-in-australian-cities-to-2016/ has a similar number. (And also suggests Melborne and Sydney are notably better transit cities than Brisbane.)

Of course Brisbane is rather large, and I was counting in a fairly central area that's specifically geared to pedestrians and cyclists.

I regret not doing a count in Japan, though it could have been challenging. The first spot that comes to mind is along my main street to Tennouji, which was was high traffic and cars might have beaten pedestrians... but I also know that there was a perfectly good parallel route, along one-lane streets no one would drive without good reason, which I myself often took.

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