Bicycle Traffic Counts – Perth 2012

The Department of Transport has had in place 11 sites to record bicycle movements. In 2012 they added five sites bringing the total number of sites to 16. The sites are on Principal Shared Paths (PSP) and Recreational Shared Paths (RSP); that is routes considered to be the major commuter routes into and out of the Perth CBD.

In summary the 2012 count recorded a total of 3,722,188 movements at the existing sites with the most active month being October 2012. The new count sites recorded 526,050 movements from August 2012 to December 2012.

The 2011 count data suggests that there was 3,295,832 movements at the existing count sites. This suggests an increase of 426,356 movements in 2012 or 12% (the Department of Transport suggests 14%).

Perth Metro Bicycle Movement Count Sites

Location of bicycle movement counters in Perth, Western Australia

Location of bicycle movement counters in Perth, Western Australia

The 16 bicycle count sites are:

North of the Perth CBD

  • Mitchell Freeway (Leederville Parade)  (10% of movements)
  • Mitchell Freeway PSP (Karrinyup Road) (new site)

East of the Perth CBD

  • Banks Reserve (5% of movements)
  • Graham Farmer Freeway (new site)
  • Causeway (11% of movements)
  • Midland PSP (East Parade) (10% of movements)
  • Midland PSP (Tonkin Highway) (3% of movements)
  • Roe Highway PSP (new site)

West of the Perth CBD

  • Fremantle PSP (Subiaco Road) (8% of movements)
  • Fremantle PSP (Grant Street Station) (New site)
  • Mounts Bay Road (13% of movements)

South of the Perth CBD

  • Kwinana Freeway (Narrows east) (8% of movements)
  • Kwinana Freeway (Narrows west) (21% of movements)
  • South Perth RSP (new site)
  • Kwinana Freeway PSP (new site)
  • Perth Bunbury Highway (1% of movements)

Where are the Perth Bicycle Movements in 2012

2012 Perth bicycle movements - Primary Sites

2012 Perth bicycle movements – Primary Sites

2012 Perth bicycle movements - New Sites

2012 Perth bicycle movements – New Sites


Without a doubt a major express point for the City of Perth is the Kwinana PSP with cyclists either heading through South Perth or out and across the Mt Henry Bridge. This is maybe a sign of the nature of the infrastructure which encourages riding from the southern suburbs into the Perth CBD. The other access points have similar traffic levels, around the 10% mark and as would be expected as the counters move further out from the city, the numbers drop off.

Looking at routes such as the Fremantle – Perth PSP which is incomplete and lacks a good connection into Fremantle we see the traffic movement declining by 57% between the count point at Subiaco (110,674 movements) and the count point at Grant Street Station (46,716 movements) (September to December).

Similarly on the northern PSP, the traffic movements counted at Leederville (128,462 movements) are 57% higher compared to Karrinyup Road for the same period (September to December) (55,158).

If we do the same exercise on the Kwinana PSP, the traffic movements between the Narrows between September and December where 253,240 and at Mt Henry Bridge there was 139,953 movements, a 44% drop in movements. However we don’t have count data for the cyclists who turn off at the Canning Bridge to head west towards Fremantle. I suspect if we include them in this comparison the drop in traffic movements south of Perth will be even less.

I suggest that we really see the effect of infrastructure here, with much greater movements on the Kwinana Freeway and cyclists riding further distances because of the infrastructure. It would be interesting to see  what would happen to traffic movements on the Fremantle PSP if we have a good connection point over the Swan River at North Fremantle.

Whilst not a comparison by any means (two hours of data on one day a year) the Super Tuesday count for Fremantle suggests that the main arterial route for cyclists is over the Swan River at the Old Fremantle Traffic Bridge.

It will be interesting to revisit this data at the end of 2013, more so if the Department of Transport where to put in place a counter in the City of Melville to get a better handle on movements between the Canning Bridge and Fremantle. Even a counter on the Canning Bridge or on the RSP around the river at the Raffles Hotel would be useful.

The Department of Transport maintains various spreadsheets collating the data from 2008. Just visit the Department’s website and follow the links through to cycling and then the WA Bicycle Network for the bicycle count graphs going back to 2008.

I have also uploaded the 2012 existing sites spreadsheet and the 2012 new sites spreadsheet to my Dropbox for prosperity.

8 Responses to Bicycle Traffic Counts – Perth 2012

  1. perthcyclist February 23, 2013 at 4:32 PM #

    It would be interesting to see how much ‘traffic calming’ efforts on the PSP effect cyclist numbers as well, the slower you can ride, the shorter the viable distance for a commute. Also, there’s no counters in the South Eastern part of Perth – ie along the Armadale train line. I wonder how those numbers compare.

    • Andrew Priest February 25, 2013 at 10:08 AM #

      What are these “traffic calming” efforts you talk of?

  2. Sue Hurt February 26, 2013 at 2:08 PM #

    Hi Andrew – your links are proving a great resource – we are a team of gals – who have formed a team to Ride to COnquer Cancer – and have a facebook page My COuch to 200 kms – I have shared your info there – love you to be our facebook friend. Ride to Conquer Cancer is 200kms over 2 days to raise funds and awareness and benefits the WA Institute of Medical Research. The teams name is Living Well with CML – thanks again – Cheers Sue
    You may like to join the ride

    • Andrew Priest March 1, 2013 at 11:29 PM #

      All the best with the ride Sue. Great to see cycling being used in such a positive way,

  3. Ant March 3, 2013 at 1:50 PM #

    I’m going to try an experiment this Tuesday , setting up temporary segments at my counting point, with my manual count as normal, to see what percentage of commuters use Strava

    • Andrew Priest March 4, 2013 at 7:59 AM #

      That is an interesting idea. Might have to try this myself. Please do share the results. Will you do this for a day or longer?

  4. Ant March 5, 2013 at 2:48 PM #

    Turns out the Strava idea was good – in theory – in practice it suffers from several flaws.

    But firstly results – I set up two segments out of six “segments” that I had to count. The west to east segment ( – filter by “Today”) I manually counted 108 riders. Of these, I noticed that a large proportion were group riders returning from their Tuesday a.m. around river ride by the look of it. .
    They were very likely to have Strava by my reckoning
    Of these 108 , 39 were on Strava

    On the east to west segment ( – filter by “Today”)- which would have been mostly commuters from the North, I counted 172 riders.Stravas count was 43.

    So I don’t think Strava can be relied upon for a bike count.. maybe one day..

    Setting them up was a bit hard as well – I only set up two because you have to have ridden a segment before making it – a bit of a flaw IMHO but I can see why , would be too hard to validate a “drawn” segment to see if it was rideable.

    The bias that is evidentl – IMHO most of the group riders would have strava but short distance folk , less than say 5km who are in shorts and T or a dress are unlikely to want to measure their ride. which means some segments popular with group riders would be skewed. So while i briefly considered scaling the results, I don’t think they would be viable or accurate.

    Oh well, it was worth a go.

    • Andrew Priest March 11, 2013 at 10:04 PM #

      Thanks Ant. That is actually an interesting result if for nothing more than the level of Strava take up.

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