Half a million strong

In just six months, half a million riders have crossed by the Capital City Trail bike barometer in North Carlton.

The barometer has proved to a skeptical public that huge numbers of Melburnians are riding bikes and that investment in facilities for them is more than justified.

The counting instrument, at the corner of the Trail and Nicholson Street, is on a busy route, but by no means the busiest.

The $30,000 Eco-Totem counter was installed by Moreland City and the bike shop next door, Velocycles, in a public-spirited move to highlight the popularity of cycling.

The 500,000th rider was captured at 8.55am this morning. She was one of several riders crossing at that moment who scored gifts from the bike store.

The large figure has focused attention on the nearby road crossings on the Capital City Trail where bikes are forced to wait at traffic lights for inordinately long periods because motor traffic has been given priority.

The counter will be re-set to zero on 1 January 2015.