Australia’s streets will be awash with blue-shirted bicycle counters this Tuesday when almost 1,000 volunteers lead the country’s biggest visual commuter bike rider count, Super Tuesday.
Run by Bicycle Network, Super Tuesday collects information for local councils on who, where and when people are riding bikes. The information is then used by councils to improve bike facilities and build better places to ride where it is needed most.
Bicycle Network CEO Craig Richards said that Super Tuesday on Tuesday 6 March is Australia’s chance to make its bike rides count.
“Super Tuesday is our chance as bike riders to show decision makers that bike riding is a legitimate, attractive and popular activity that needs attention and funding,” said Mr Richards.
“The data from our bike counts has been the catalyst for many local bike projects. Not only do the counts show which areas need improvement, they also show us what types of bike lanes and paths work.”
Volunteers stand at intersections and locations on bike paths nominated by councils. They record what time a bike rider passes through, which direction they are travelling and their gender.
“If we see only a handful of MAMILs at an intersection and then thousands of riders of different ages and genders on a protected bike lane separate from cars, it is clear what needs to be done,” added Mr Richards.
There are 38 individual councils across New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia registered to participate in Super Tuesday with a total of 837 sites. Most of the councils are metropolitan, but some regional councils are participating.
The count is also a financial boon for local communities, with each volunteer given a $50 donation to pass on to a charity or community group of their choice. More than $40,000 will be donated by this year’s Super Tuesday bike count.
The count has been running annually since 2006 after beginning in inner-Melbourne. For more information and last-minute volunteer registrations, visit supertuesday.com.au.