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Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204

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"Every Bike Counts" event finds biking never sleeps in Portland

City's first 24-hour bike count shows ridership every hour of the day

Graph of bike counts over 24-hour periodWhether it’s rush hour or the middle of the night, people are always riding bikes in Portland. That was one of many takeaways from the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s (PBOT) first human powered 24-hour bike count event. Every Bike Counts began counting people biking on SE Ankeny at 28th Avenue on Thursday, May 14th at noon and continued through the night until noon on Friday, National Bike to Work Day.

One part data gathering and one part celebration, the event counted 2,231 people riding bikes during the 24 hour period. Volunteers and PBOT staff counted 325 people biking at the peak hour between 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. and 6 people during the pre-dawn hours of 3:00 – 4:00 a.m. 

Table of hourly bike countsIn true Portland style, number crunching was combined with festivity, as local businesses provided food and refreshments, bands provided music, and staff and volunteers provided minor bike repair.

One of 20-plus events during May’s National Bike Month Every Bike Counts preceded PBOT’s massive Summer Bike Count, where staff and hundreds of volunteers conduct two-hour counts at 245 locations throughout Portland from June to September. In addition to these two-hour counts, PBOT conducts automated, continuous bike counts 365 days a year on Portland’s five bike friendly bridges and the SW Moody multiuse path.  You can view the bicycle trip data for the Hawthorne Bridge here:

Unlike the Summer Bike Count, which uses the industry protocol of extrapolating the two-hour commute peak count to derive a daily number, the 24 hour count provided a more textured illustration of how people use one of Portland’s most popular neighborhood greenways. Some trends remained the same: Helmet usage for men (74%) and women (85%) practically mirrored the 2014 Summer Bike Count usage (75%, 84% respectively). 

Pie chart showing destinations reportedWhile Portland’s bicycle count data is the envy of the nation, it pales in comparison to motor vehicle travel data collected by regional and federal agencies. PBOT is partnering with a local technology startup, Knock to pilot a low-cost count sensor and smart phone app to explore cheaper, more reliable, 24-hour bike data collection options. Knock group did a test run during peak hours at Every Bike Counts and are comparing their data to the manual count data. PBOT and Knock plan to pilot the sensors later this summer. Those interested in beta testing the Ride smartphone app for iPhone can email at

PBOT chose the SE Ankeny/28th avenue intersection because it is a centrally located, well-utilized neighborhood greenway that intersects with a popular neighborhood commercial corridor.

The 24 hour bike count was lower than the 2014 SE Ankeny summer count estimate of 2715.  Since the Summer Bike Counts are conducted only from Tuesdays through Thursdays (Mondays and Fridays typically have lower traffic volumes), the 24-hour Every Bike Counts count did not provide an apples-to-apples comparison to the Summer Bike Count data.

Those interested in volunteering for PBOT’s Summer Bike Count (that haven’t volunteered before) must attend the volunteer training on Tuesday, May 26th from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the Portland Building (Room C, 2nd floor).

See all of our charts and data from Every Bike Counts here:


Portland Employer Bike Summit – You’re Invited

Engaging businesses to reclaim Portland’s status as the nation’s unrivaled bike leader.

Portland Employer Bike Summit logo(May 12, 2015) Join Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon for the 4th annual Portland Employers Bike Summit on Friday, May 15 from 1-4pm at the Cambia/Regence Downtown Campus (Pettygrove Park entrance). Co-sponsored by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, The City of Portland and Go Lloyd, the theme this year is engaging businesses to reclaim Portland’s status as the nation’s unrivaled bike leader.

Workshops at this FREE event include:

  • Building a Workplace Culture around Bike Commuting & Peer-to-Peer Encouragement
  • Advocacy 101 with the Bicycle Transportation Alliance
  • Build It and They Will Come: Bike Facilities to Boost Employee Biking Commuting
  • New Bike & Walk Investments: Portland’s Central City Multi-Modal Safety Improvement Project

Margi Bradway, Active Transportation Division Manager, will give the keynote speech, Central City Rising – Projects that will change Portland’s transportation future. She will highlight several exciting projects in the pipeline to make biking and walking in Portland safer and easier.

Regence will host a post-summit networking event with refreshments.

RSVP for the free event and get more details at


Portland’s first 24-hour volunteer bike count on May 14-15

Every Bike Counts

photo of bicycle count

Every Bike Counts!

(May 8, 2015) As part of May’s Bike Month festivities, PBOT’s Active Transportation Division will host Portland’s first-ever 24-hour volunteer bike count, Every Bike Counts, May 14-15 at SE Ankeny & 28th Ave. Starting at noon on Thursday and wrapping up at noon on Friday, a cadre of bike count volunteers will take turns tallying all the bikes that travel through the intersection. A nearby Celebration Station will provide bike riders with a pit stop of refreshments and chances to win prizes from local businesses.

Every Bike Counts will use the methodology of PBOT’s annual summer bike counts by tracking turning movements, helmet use, and gender of each rider. The event also aims to recruit new volunteers for the annual bike counts, which constitute the bulk of Portland’s bike ridership data. Dozens of volunteers count at more than 200 intersections across the city every summer to log bike traffic, forming an impressive database that is one of the biggest in the country.

But as extensive as Portland’s annual bike count is, it is still limited to just one two-hour count per intersection taken during peak car commute hours (typically 4-6pm, though some are completed 7-9am). This two-hour count is then used to estimate how many bikes travel through the intersection on a daily basis. We know that lots of people are riding bikes beyond typical commute hours, and that they are using bikes for trips other than the commute to work. Every Bike Counts provides an opportunity to say thanks to all those riders, no matter what time of day or where their destination.

Monitoring one intersection for 24 hour will also provide some interesting qualitative data by asking riders where they are going. How many people are using their bike to get to the grocery store? To school? To a restaurant? There will also be hourly reports on ridership – is anyone actually riding their bike at 4am?

Of course, more sophisticated methods for gathering 24-hour ridership data exist – such as the automated hose counts on Portland’s five bike-friendly bridges (Broadway, Burnside, Hawthorne, Morrison and Steel). However, it is cost-prohibitive to have these at more than just a few locations. Obtaining quality data across the city is a necessary goal to move toward.

Better data informs better decisions for keeping Portland streets safe and traffic moving in all neighborhoods. Imagine a small, unobtrusive sensor that can track bike movements to show real-time trip data. PBOT is partnering with local startup Knock to pilot an innovative low cost bike counter. PBOT and Knock staff to conduct the first road test of the counter prototype at Every Bike Counts.

The future is almost here! But in the meantime, Portland will continue to use clipboards and pens to record history’s bike riders. Every Bike Counts provides an opportunity to celebrate today’s riders and plan for those of tomorrow.

Sign up to volunteer and help record the ride! 

Safe Routes to School Spring Kick-off a total success!

Families learned the joys of biking and walking to school and discovered a new park.

Potato sack race at Safe Routes Spring Kickoff(April 29, 2015)  The weather cooperated, providing a beautiful sunny day for the Safe Routes to School Spring Kick-off on Saturday, April 25th. Harvey Scott K-8 School in the Cully neighborhood of northeast Portland hosted the 2015 Spring Kick-off, which attracted close to 150 participants.

The main purpose of the Spring Kick-off Bike and Walk Fair is to engage low-income families and introduce them to the Safe Routes to School program. These events are targeted toward schools with a high percentage of students who qualify for free and reduced-rate lunch.

The Safe Routes to School program partnered with Verde, the ABC Club and NAYA to visualize and plan out the event. In addition to the Fair activities, 35 people went on a community ride to the new Kʰunamokwst Park (pronounced Khan-a-mockst).

Bike ride to Khunamockwst ParkHere’s what one parent had to say about the success of the event: “My daughter loved the Safe Routes event at Harvey Scott. She's 6 ½ and has been lukewarm about riding a bike, but the scoot bikes and the volunteer encouragement got her excited in riding.” 

PDX Bike Month returns in May

And we’re kicking it off on April 24th!

Calendar of PDX Bike Month events(April 23, 2015)  In celebration of National Bike Month, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and other community partners are hosting a variety of events designed to help people get out, get active and have fun by bicycle.

While most of these events happen during the month of May, PBOT and the East Portland Action Plan (EPAP) Bike Subcommittee will kick off the month of celebration in East Portland with our first Quick Fix Bike Breakfast of the season on Friday, April 24 at East Burnside and the I-205 Bike Path from 6:30-8:30am.

Over 20 events are planned including Quick Fix Bike Breakfast stations around the city, the 4th Annual Regence Portland Employer Bike Summit, the first ever 24-hour Bike Count, and bike classes and rides including a special Family Ride to the Tram on Sunday, May 17.

Be sure to stop by one of our 6 Quick Fix stations on your way to work or school for some delicious fuel for you and air and lube for your bike – and bring a friend! Check out the full list of events at