This article was published in 2013, in Newsletter 109.
Cambridge’s cycling infrastructure provides pleasant and safe routes away from traffic, such as those across commons, alongside the river and the many paths like the Tins Path, the one to Coton or at the Gonville Place crossing.
As a result, drivers stuck in traffic, e.g. on the ring road, underestimate the true popularity of cycling in Cambridge. Ever since our study tour to Copenhagen in May 2012 a bicycle trip counter or bike barometer has been on my wishlist. Such devices not only count passing bicycles, but unlike the trip counters we already have, bike barometers also display the number of daily trips and the accumulated number for the year to the passing public. In Karlsruhe they also give the time and temperature. Around that time I discussed bike barometers with an officer at the county who had already looked into the benefits of making the number of cycle trips visible.
The European Bike Friendly Cities project offers financial support for the installation of bike barometers to help cities communicate the true level of cycling to those affected by congestion, which might motivate them to take up active forms of travel, which in turn would help reduce congestion. The council expects the bike barometer to cost £11,000 including installation near the Gonville Place crossing. For the remainder of the cost, sponsorship has apparently been secured from a local Cambridge firm. The Campaign welcomes the bike barometer, which should be installed at a location where the number of bike journeys will be visible to people travelling in cars, but without obstructing sight lines at junctions.