What is this indicator?

This indicator uses bicycle counts which record the number of people on bicycles who move through the City’s intersections. The City typically conducts counts every 2 years during the weekday and weekend peak hours using mounted video cameras. Weekday counts are conducted in the fall at all signalized intersections in the City for the weekday AM peak hours (7:00 AM – 9:00 AM) and PM peak hours (5:30 PM – 7:30 PM). Weekend counts are conducted in the summer at Downtown and Main Street area intersections during the weekend peak period (1:00 PM – 5:00 PM). 

Why is it important?

Bicycles are integral to Santa Monica’s unique character. With its pleasant weather and gentle topography as well as its beautiful beachside setting, Santa Monica attracts generations of recreational and commuter cyclists. Bicycling supports social interaction, greater public health, more tourism and visitor spending, better mobility for low-income residents, and greater overall person capacity of the transportation system, allowing more people to move through the City without increasing congestion.

Bicycling is also good for the environment: Approximately 41 percent of California’s carbon dioxide emissions are created by transportation sources, and 70 percent of those emissions come from automobiles. The most effective way for Santa Monica to reduce these emissions is through a commitment to diversify mobility–emphasizing a reduction in auto trips and an increase in walking, bicycling and transit use. Improving the facilities and programs that support walking, bicycling and transit encourage people to make this shift. The City’s LUCE expresses the community’s shared vision for livable neighborhoods and streets designed for all people. The LUCE also defines the critical role of the bicycle in meeting the plan’s progressive, long-term goals, including connecting people with destinations, increasing the number of trips made by alternative modes, improving neighborhood streets, preserving the City’s community character, and creating a seamless transition between various modes of transportation. The bicycle counts are used to measure the volumes of bicycles on the City’s streets. However, the counts do not provide information as to the travel patterns of such trips, including direction and where trips begin or end.

How are we doing?

A comparison of 2013 and 2019 count data shows an increase of bicycling on City streets. During the PM peak hour commute, there was a 5% increase in bicycles counted, rising from 6,417 to 6,741 bicycles counted.
More than 113 lane miles of sharrows and bike lanes have been added throughout the City to encourage bicycling. With the launch of the Expo Line, the City installed a buffered bike path on the Colorado Esplanade, the Expo Bike and Pedestrian Path. The City also launched the “Breeze” bike share program with 500 bikes distributed to hubs through the City.

What can I do?

What can I do?