Penn Ave. Protected Bike Lane: May Traffic Report

On June 4, 2015 the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership released the first monthly report from three automatic bike counters installed on the Penn Avenue protected bike lane.

Location of bike counters + reported monthly total trip counts

Location of bike counters + reported monthly total trip counts

With business, residential and retail life booming in Downtown Pittsburgh, we are seeing increases in every type of commuter, including those on bikes. The lanes on Penn Avenue are successful because they provide safety and convenience for all
— Mayor William Peduto

A typical weekday saw approximately 740 bike trips in the lane with a distinct commuter pattern. While the data showed an average of 41 trips per hour from 6:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., there were significant trip increases during peak hours. The weekday morning rush saw an average of 73 trips per hour. The weekday evening rush saw an average of 81 trips per hour.

At 875 trips per day, the weekend average is slightly higher than the weekday, though the difference is partially attributable to big events like Marathon Sunday and Open Streets. In contrast to the distinct commuting patterns seen during the work week, however, the weekends show a positive recreational trend with ridership peaking in the late morning at roughly 100 per hour. 

While the numbers dip due to the cold and rain, hearty Pittsburgh cyclists are still using the bike lane in the worst of weather. The coldest /rainiest day in May – a rainy, upper-40s degree day on May 21 – still showed 467 bike trips on Penn Avenue.  

Daily Ridership & Weather Penn Avenue Bike Lane @ 12th Street, May 2015

Daily Ridership & Weather
Penn Avenue Bike Lane @ 12th Street, May 2015

The 3 counters are thin, rubber tubes stretched across the width of the bike lane and are located on the 600, 900, and 1200 blocks of Penn Avenue and were installed by the PDP. They work by recording each time a bicyclist rides over and depresses the tubes. Overall, the counter on the 1200 block counted the highest number of trips, while the counter on the 600 block counted the fewest.