Assignment: Observation

For the first assignment, we were asked to look at an intersection and observe the interactions within that space. The goal was to watch for 1-2 hours and record the numbers of bicyclists traveling though or turning at the intersection. Due to the fact that is was also bicycle count season, I went to the City of Eugene and volunteered to participate in their annual bicycle count. The public works department was located in the Wells Fargo building and I met with Lee Shoemaker to see what intersection needed counting. The result was: East 12 Avenue and High Street

Birds Eye View of 12th and High

He quickly introduced me to the form I would be using and went over a brief rundown of what I would be doing. So off I went to the intersection of East 12 Avenue and High Street. The intersection is comprised of a local street that is marked as a bicycle route, which is 12th Avenue and a one-way collector street that has two lanes of traffic and one bicycle lane traveling north.
The fabric of this community lends itself to walking and bicycling with the University of Oregon and downtown Eugene in close proximity. Surrounding the intersection are restaurants (including High St. McMenamins, 16 Tons Bottle Shop, The Bier Stein and Full City Roasters), small shops, multifamily and single family housing, office and professional space, and White Bird Clinic. The residential single family and apartment buildings and commercial office buildings look well kept and are generally two stories in height. The massing of the buildings give a sense of enclosure yet are still low density and open. There are also street trees along both 12th Avenue and High Street.
I began my bicycle/pedestrian count at 4:00 PM and ended at 6:00 PM. Using 30 minute intervals, I watched as cars, bicycles and pedestrians moved through this space. Using the balcony of the Cawood Building (located in the southwest corner), I had a elevated vantage point for observation.
The interaction between bicycles, pedestrians, and vehicles was very orderly and regular. No one user dominated the environment, as each user was moving within their space. Cars had travel lanes, bicycles had bicycle lanes and the bicycle route along 12th, and pedestrians moved along sidewalks.
Bicycle Counts – 5/26 between 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Bikes Pedestrians
4:00 – 4:30 27 26
4:30 – 5:00 43 31
5:00 – 5:30 39 35
5:30 – 6:00 39 43
Total 148 135

Overall, there were more bikes traveling than pedestrians. I hypothesize that 12th being a bicycle route was the main reason that bicycle outnumbered pedestrians. I was also surprised that High Street did not receive more bicycle traffic. For bicyclists it was 2 to 1 when comparing 12th Street going west and High Street going north. One reason could be that 12th Street is a bicycle route whereas High Street is a bicycle lane that is adjacent to 2 lanes of vehicles.


About herbaltee

A blog about Amsterdam bicycling class.
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