What is a “bike count''?

Collecting data on bicycling and pedestrian traffic by manually counting the number of cyclists and pedestrians coming through an area. 

Read more about bike counts here through the experience of MassBike Intern Petru Sofio!

How to organize

1) Location, location, location! When taking a census of bike travel in your area, it is important to find a location where you can observe cyclists in their daily spaces, so that the count is representative of the estimated daily traffic along a route.

2) Timing is key! Pick a start and end time for your bike count, and use the timing to target the types of riders you are looking to census, whether that be commuters on weekday mornings, kids and teens after school, or recreational riders on weekends.  

Note: Best practice dictates that counts last two hours, so make sure you plan accordingly. 

3) The more volunteers the merrier! Time to gather volunteers to do the counting! Note that the more people you have, the more accurate the count will be. Try to mobilize cyclists, advocates, and community leaders to spread the word, then make a signup sheet and let volunteers choose their time slots. 

4) Follow the Leader! Make sure there is a clear “lead,” or a person who oversees the volunteers. This person should be trained in bike counting more than the rest; maybe they are someone who has done bike counting before, or maybe they are the organizer of the event.

5) Come prepared! Make sure that the organizers bring clipboards, pens, and bike/ped count sheets for all volunteers. 

6) Send in your findings! After the count, collect all sheets from volunteers, and send count data to MassBike at [email protected] or mailing to: Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition 50 Milk St, 16th floor Boston, MA 02109




Don’t be afraid to reach out, MassBike is here to help you organize! You can reach us at [email protected]

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