PSU Transportation Seminar: Transforming Commercial Arterials into Bicycle Highways: Using Count Data

Thursday, February 9, 2023, 12:00pm to 1:00pm PST
Nicholas Smith, Eco-Counter
PDH: 1 | AICP: 1

Transportation Seminars at Portland State University have been a tradition since 2000. Formerly known as the Friday Transportation Seminar series, we've opened up PSU Transportation Seminars to other days of the week to better accommodate in-person attendance. You can also watch online via Zoom.



Count data for cyclists and pedestrians is considered an essential tool for city builders to inform, justify and manage active transportation infrastructure. When automated bike counters are strategically deployed across an urban area, a clear picture emerges of how cyclists move around the city. This presentation focuses on how count data can be used to illustrate modal shifts in response to improvements made to a city’s bicycle network.

In November 2020, the City of Montreal introduced the Reseau Express Velo (REV), or Express Bike Network, effectively transforming a network of arterials throughout the city into Complete Streets by repurposing vehicles lanes into dedicated AAA bicycle pathways. Using data from automated bicycle counters installed throughout the city, it was found that the REV bicycle paths became the most highly used facility in the entire city within six months of installation.

Using count data from automated pedestrian and bicycle Eco-counters, as well as open vehicle count data from the City of Montreal, both collected before and after the REV was deployed on Saint-Denis Street, Eco-Counter performed a study to reveal new transport habits and assess modal shift. Sales data collected by the City of Montreal was also used to support the changes.


  • How to strategically deploy bike/ped counters - identifying locations, choosing the right time, etc.
  • What to do with data, and how to use it to tell your story.
  • The power of building high-quality infrastructure.
  • How high-quality bicycle infrastructure can increase users and sales in commercial corridors.


Nicholas Smith, Client Consultant, Eco-Counter

Nicholas is a native Montrealer who loves walking and cycling all year round, regardless of the weather. He is passionate about the power of data to support better cycling and walking infrastructure. Nicholas helps governments and groups design counting programs that lead to actionable insights for programs, projects and plans that support active transportation. 


This 60-minute seminar is eligible for 1 hour of professional development credit for AICP (see our provider summary). We can provide an electronic attendance certificate for other types of certification maintenance.

Photo by Cait McCusker

Portland State University's Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) is home to the U.S. DOT funded National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI), PORTAL, BikePed Portal and other transportation grants and programs. We produce impactful research and tools for transportation decision makers, expand the diversity and capacity of the workforce, and engage students and professionals through education and participation in research.