From Bike Month to Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day to Bike to Work Day, there are already a lot of reasons to celebrate cycling. In 2018, the United Nations General Assembly took things to the next level by declaring June 3 World Bicycle Day.
Celebrating the new day, the UN resolution recognizes:
“the uniqueness, longevity and versatility of the bicycle, which has been in use for two centuries, and that it is a simple, affordable, reliable, clean and environmentally fit sustainable means of transportation.”
More than just a reason to celebrate the bicycle – and there are many, the UN provides a comprehensive list – World Bicycle Day is a call to action for Member States to harness the positive socio-environmental and health benefits of cycling. In particular, the UN seeks to encourage Member States to adopt policies to emphasize and advance the use of the bicycle, to improve the safety of cyclists, to foster the development of cycling culture and much more.
At Eco-Counter, we are proud to be part of this story. Through our data-solutions for bike planners we work everyday with leading organizations around the world to advance their cycling projects. Collecting, analyzing, and sharing data on cycling allows planners to justify their hard work and plan for the future. In particular, automated counters capture daily, weekly, and seasonal usage trends, in order to inform new cycling infrastructure, justify investments, engage stakeholders, and so much more.
For us, however, the first step towards a more bike-friendly world begins at home. We really, really, like bikes here. Winter or summer, our indoor bike parking rack is always full, and co-workers regularly go for mountain bike or road rides during lunch or after work.
Our company cargobike is also a staff favorite for running bulky car-free errands, or for installing counters around our home city, Montréal. In the workshop area of our office, we keep a stock of bike parts and tools – there is always someone around to help out with a repair.
All of these efforts have not gone unnoticed. Eco-Counter is proudly recognized at a gold level by Velo Quebec’s VELOSYMPATHIQUE program – an initiative that ranks Canadian businesses by their level of bike friendliness.
The real impressive work, however, comes from the city, park, trail, and downtown organizations we work with – organizations who work tirelessly to ensure the world is better for cyclists on this World Bicycle Day than the last year.
Close to home, for example, data from bike counters around Montréal is made publicly available on an interactive map by the City of Montréal. Open data engages stakeholders in the process, allowing researchers and the public to see how infrastructure is being used. Count data is regularly cited by city officials and media outlets when discussing projects.
To our south in New York City, a new counter located at the entrance to the Manhattan Bridge – an important bike commuter axis – displays how many cyclists have passed by each day and year so far. The display counter is a powerful communication tool to show just how much cyclists count.
Away from the busy bike lanes of North America, counters are helping to develop, promote and manage a giant bike trail network across New Zealand. From quiet valley greenways to technical downhill mountain biking, the New Zealand Cycle Trail’s 22 Great Rides have something for everyone. The trail network benefits local communities through long-lasting socio-economic development in rural areas and offers visitors a sustainable way to visit the beautiful country.
No matter who you are – from the everyday commuter to once-a-year-pedaler – we hope you enjoy a lovely bike ride this year on June 3 for World Bicycle Day. We sure will be.