In a couple of days, on Sunday 13th November, Australia’s Bicycle Network is undertaking its annual bike path user audits. These counts are done each year to collect bicycle use data that help local councils accurately monitor and plan for current and future bicycle path use and infrastructure. This week will be the Super Sunday Recreational Bike Count.
Each year nationally, there is a Super Tuesday Commuter Bike Count (usually held in March) and a Super Sunday Recreational Count. These counts contribute to informing and guiding bike riding investment and initiatives across Australia and local councils self-nominate to participate. It is always interesting to which are the progressive councils that opt in and see the value and necessity of investigating urban bike path use (ideas to consider when you are looking at buying your next property?). It is great to see a rise in the number of local councils participating in this initiative, but yet again, not bloody enough interest or effort from QLD authorities to support ANY type of bike use!
As a research and activist working at the intersection of bicycles and community development – these kinds of initiatives are right up my alley. Although they may seem lame to some, the political and policy making power that this kind of data can leverage would be surprising to the average joe.
If you have ever found yourself muttering about the condition or lack of bike paths, or about the absence of council support and understanding for your particular bike riding needs – this is a small, but proactive and immediate action you can take to effect sustainable and positive change in your local area.
Specifics about the 2016 Super Sunday Recreational Bike Count.
This particular audit is being held in various locations in Australia this Sunday 13th Nov from 9 am – 1 pm (7-11am in NT & QLD) to ascertain:
- numbers of uses on trails and paths
- Which trails and paths are being used
- When trails are being used and by/with whom
To collect this qualitative data, a visual count of recreational bike riders and other users of the bike paths is required. To this end, the Bicycle Network has sent out an invitation for volunteers to help count and monitor selected sites to count rider (and other user) movements through particular sites. All equipment is provided.
What do I get out of it?
Although you do not get paid as an official ‘volunteer’, each data site is allocated $120 to go towards a charity or NGO that you can nominate. as well as contributing to supporting and informing productive bicycle use in your local area. It is not a particularly taxing activity, on the contrary, it is a great day out. As a data collector, you get to see and meet lots of like-minded people in your area, brag to your mates that you were out making a difference to make their daily rides better – and there is also the bonus that you are actively contributing to generating data and outcomes that are integral to the maintenance and sustainability of future bicycle use for everyone Australia wide.
I STRONGLY urge you to get involved.
If you have not already registered to count, please consider doing so – take a mate or the family and make a morning of it.
Or conversely, make and extra point this Sunday to get out on your bike and ride paths in the locales listed below to get counted as many times as possible to add your “voice’ to increase investment in urban bicycle facilities.
The paths most focused on for these counts are key recreational paths, particularly along waterways, beaches and parks – so get out there on your two wheels!
For more info, check out the Super Counts – see the Bicycle Network.
Areas involved for the 2016 Sunday Super count
- Canterbury- Bankstown
- Inner West
- Lake Macquarie
- Northern Beaches
- Southerland Shire
- Norwood Payneham St Peters
- Greater Bendigo
- Greater Dandenong
- Greater Geelong
- Hobson’s Bay
- Moonee Valley
- Yarra Ranges