Super Tuesday 2021 Pedestrian Counts

On the assumption that “what is counted, counts”, Walking SA has been looking for ways to measure the amount of walking done, both on hiking trails and in our urban areas.

Every year Bike Adelaide manages the Super Tuesday counts.  Volunteers count cyclists as they ride past particular points from 7am to 9am on the first Tuesday in March.  We’ve been working with Bike Adelaide, both asking our membership for volunteers to count pedestrians, and asking Bike Adelaide volunteers who count cyclists if they could also count pedestrians, at least where they are not too busy.

In 2020 we had 14 locations counted, and this year 35.  Importantly, ten of the 35 were counted in both years, so we are starting to be able to measure trends.  All but one of the 10 locations saw an increase compared with 2021.  The total increase at the 10 locations was 17%.

Here are the figures for locations counted in both years:

Location Pedestrians counted
2020 2021 change
Port Road/ Gaol Road 110 124 13%
Dequetteville Tce/ King William 102 113 11%
Osmond Tce/ William St 100 143 43%
Fullarton Rd/ William St 94 116 23%
Britannia roundabout 45 46 2%
Frome St/ Wakefield St 333 372 12%
West Tce/ Sir Donald Bradman Dr 202 206 2%
West Tce/ Sturt St 98 67 -32%
East Tce/ South Tce/ Beaumont Rd 232 243 5%
Westside Bikeway/ South Road 18 21 17%
TOTAL 1334 1451 17%

The overall increase is interesting given that the counts tend to be in an around the City, and overall numbers heading into the City are probably lower than they were in early March 2020.  One explanation for this might be the increase in walking for exercise that was encouraged by the Covid lockdown.  Also there may well be people walking who previously caught the bus.

But it should also be noted that, with one or two exceptions, pedestrians were not counted in the CBD itself – there are just too many of pedestrians to be counted and in any case counts at these locations the count would probably measure the popularity of the CBD rather than the popularity of walking.

Whatever, it’s good to see more walking in our inner suburbs.