Hi-Viz is a portable, easy to use, bicycle counter display for cities. Designed to fit on a collapsible tripod for better visual queues, the Hi-Viz is a great community tool to help cities like New York collect data to plan for safer bikeways.
Bicycle counts help transportation agencies, nonprofits, and communities understand where people are riding their bikes. Over time, the counts can be used along with other information such as bikeway conditions, accident records, and commute patterns to determine where better or safer bikeways are needed.
Planning Corps, a network of volunteer planners, came to Tomorrow Lab with a need for a portable, temporary, self-standing bicycle counter for use on the New York City streets. Using WayCount, our existing, open-source traffic counter as a model, Tomorrow Lab designed and engineered the Hi-Viz Bike Counter.
Measuring 5’ tall, and weighing in at 30 lbs, Hi-Viz features large LED numbers, visible up to 100 yards away, day or night. The battery-powered device allows for one week of monitored, uninterrupted bicycle counting before needing a charge. Bicycle traffic is measured by counting the number of bicycles that pass over a thin, black, pressure sensitive tube.
As the platform records data just like the WayCount, users can gather accurate volume, rate, and speed measurements of bicycles, then easily upload and map the information at WayCount.com or follow bikers and users at #bikestoday. For information on where the next bicycle count will take place, or to access the calendar to sign up for your chance to count bikes in your part of New York, visit the Hi-Viz Public Bike Counter page.
On March 22, 2014, Tomorrow Lab and Planning Corps took the Hi-Viz to the streets of Manhattan for a test run. Originally planning to test the Hi-Viz on the Williamsburg Bridge, Tomorrow Lab received pushback from the NYCDOT's Bridges Division, and relocated to a street path near the Manhattan Bridge, then later Broadway and 28th Street.
Volunteers stood by to answer questions from bikers, onlookers, skateboarders and even city planners!
To continue to develop and improve the Hi-Viz data collecting experience, Tomorrow Lab plans to work with Planning Corps, Transportation Alternatives and the NYC DOT to do more focused tests around the city and surrounding region.
We will also create an educational curriculum around its use and application so that city planners can understand the benefits of having this data open and available for use.