Every time a resident rides their bicycle, the city of Santa Clarita wants to make sure it counts.
On Thursday, the city’s Traffic and Transportation Division installed its first Eco-Counter on the Chuck Pontius Commuter Trail, which counts cyclists as they ride by.
The data the Eco-Counter collects will help the city gauge locals’ trail use and will serve as a reference point for grant requests.
“Our new Eco-Counter will help us understand how, when and where our residents like to ride,” City Communications Manager Carrie Lujan said.
Also, the counter can be relocated to different points around the city, allowing officials to track bike use in various locations.
The Eco-Counter is part of Santa Clarita’s Bicycle Friendly City initiative.
Chair of the Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition Nina Moskol was the first to ride past the Eco-Counter and said the coalition was excited Santa Clarita seized the opportunity to get the device.
“The opportunity came up and we are really grateful the city jumped at the chance to get it,” Moskol said. “By having accurate numbers, our city is better able to make transportation decisions.”
Locals need to be encouraged to ride bicycles more often, according to Moskol. Though, she anticipates there are more residents taking their bikes to work than people would assume.
Cyclists often go unseen because the city’s trails do not run parallel to major roads, she said. She believes the city is on its way to making itself more bike-friendly by expanding its efforts and its trails.
“The city has the backbone for a great bike network,” Moskol said.
Santa Clarita’s bike count will soon be available in real-time on the interactive map on eco-compteur.com.