Each May-June DDOT counts bicycles at approximately 40 locations throughout the city, 8 hours at each location, 4 hours in the morning (6 to 10am), and 4 in the evening (3 to 7pm). We have consistent counts at 19 of the locations dating back to 2004, which we use calculate the average peak hour growth in cycling. This is performed by taking the peak hour count at each location, adding all the locations and dividing it by the total number of locations (in this case 19).The chart below shows the growth in the average peak hour count, as well as the growth in the city’s bicycle lane network. In 2004, the average peak hour was 35 cyclists and there were 14 miles of bike lanes. By 2012 these numbers rose to 95 cyclists per hour and 57 miles of bike lanes, a 175% increase in the cycling rate and over 300% increase in the bike lane network.
The gender split has remained relatively consistent at about 77% male to 23% female.
In Washington, helmet usage has remained consistent with approximately 75% of cyclists choosing to wear helmets.
Please note that the percentage of sidewalk riding is inflated because 6 of the 19 locations are on bridges over the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers where sidewalk riding is recommended; however, in general sidewalk riding is discouraged, and is forbidden in the Central Business District (CBD). While there has been some fluctuation over the last nine years, the trend for the last three years has been a reduction in the number of cyclists on sidewalks.
Capital Bike Share Usage
For counting locations that were in proximity to Capital Bike Share stations, in 2012 we requested that the counts distinguish between privately owned bikes and Capital Bikeshare bikes. 13 of the 19 locations have such counts, with bikeshare bikes representing between less than 1% to 12% of all bikes (see chart below).
|Street||Quadrant||From Intersection||To Intersection||% CaBi Bikes|
|East Capitol St||BN||5th St||6th||0.17%|
|Massachusetts Ave||NW||38th St, Klingle Pl||39th St, Idaho Ave||0.88%|
|Francis Scott Key Bridge||NW||Water St, Whitehurst Fwy||Virginia Line [Street Break]||1.35%|
|George Mason Brg (14th St Bridge)||SW||Virginia Line (E)||Interstate 395 (S) [Street Break]||1.71%|
|Frederick Douglass Memorial Brg (South Capitol St)||BN||Potomac Ave (E)||Anacostia Dr (W)||1.90%|
|L St||NW||Connecticut Ave||18th St||2.02%|
|R St||NW||Vermont Ave||13th St||3.30%|
|Arlington Memorial Bridge||SW||Ohio Dr||GW Memorial Pkwy, Memorial Ave [Street Break]||3.32%|
|C St||NE||7th St||8th St||4.00%|
|Monroe St||NE||9th St||10th St||4.15%|
|Calvert St (Ellington Bridge)||NW||Biltmore St||Cathedral Ave||6.59%|
|Pennsylvania Ave||NW||L St (W)||26th St||7.21%|
|Constitution Ave||NW||15th St||16th St||12.13%|
Since 2008, COG has been collecting reliable bicycle count information at approximately 40 locations. When time allows, we plan on entering all of this data in the bicycle count database to get a more accurate picture of citywide and neighborhood-specific cycling rates. In addition, we hope to collaborate with our IT department to develop an interactive online database.
Bicycle Program Specialist