On the Hunt for That Fifth Parks & Rec Optical Bike/Ped Counter

In tracking down the elusive set of new(ish) City of Albuquerque Parks & Recreation bike/ped counters around town (actually, they aren’t that elusive, as they are firmly planted on popular multi-use paths), reader Keith beat the Better Burque staff to the punch and recently submitted this fine, fine map after his own search:

bike counters keith
Mystery almost solved, but where is the elusive 5th “Pole Counter”? Meanwhile, Better Burque is now officially offering Keith its “GIS and Map” position, a prestigious job paying $0 per year with no benefits.

Better Burque staff rode yesterday to spot the elusive 5th Beatle “Pole Counter,” but weather, wind, and a desire to spot the North Diversion Channel in full flood (we were a few hours too early for that) left it undiscovered. What we did spot were even more of the “pins in green” above, existing in-pavement counters without the optical element centered in the pole.

To give far better visual explanation to the unnecessarily vague prose above…

sensor journal center
Here’s an optical “pole sensor” on the North Diversion Channel just north of the spur to Journal Center (also note diamond-shaped in-pavement sensor)
in pavement i-40
And here’s an older in-pavement only sensor set into the Bosque Path just north of I-40. Also, Dear Parks & Rec: The sand shown above was before yesterday’s rain. Can we get this cleaned up a bit?

In riding with Official Staff Photographer John Fleck (btw, John also draws a salary of $0 with no benefits in his equally prestigious position) yesterday, we also ran (literally biked) across the following:

pole counter bp at tingley
The pole counter on the Bosque Path just north of entrance to Tingley Beach
in pavement between bosque path and gail ryba bridge
In-pavement sensor on Bosque Path just north of I-40. Note raindrops from threatening, but ultimately unsatisfying morning storm yesterday.



pole counter bp north of montano
Pole counter on Bosque Path north of Montano
in pavement ndc south of alameda
In-pavement sensor on NDC just south of Alameda. Hard to tell how old this one is.

In that manner of human behavior that makes us notice things far better after we see what to look for (“once I bought a green car, I saw green cars everywhere”), it’s easy to see that these counters, whether pole or pole-free, are all over the place.  Which leads to the following questions:

  1. Where is that Fifth Beatle Pole-Counter?
  2. Are there actually only four pole-counters?
  3. And, more importantly, where are the counts from these counters, whether pole or pole-free?

As Official Better Burque Staff Photographer John Fleck noted yesterday, stepping well outside his strict role as photographer, and reflecting his noted expertise as a scholar in the field of public policy (and I paraphrase): Maybe there’s a a lack of communication between governmental agencies and the general public, in particular the cycling community.

BB will speak for “the community,” raise its hand and admit it should do a better job of asking questions like: Where is that Fifth Beatle Pole-Counter? And where are those counts?

Which, I guess, we’re doing right now, via this blogpost. We’ll “hold.” We’ll even dial 0 to speak with a customer service representative. Nah, actually we’ll just hit “publish” on this blogpost, for now.

We’ll let you know, cycling community and everyone else with an internet connection, what we find out. Meanwhile, the hunt for that elusive 5th Beatle, Willie Wonka Golden Ticket, Horcrux Pole Counter goes on.  Will you be the one to spot it?


8 thoughts on “On the Hunt for That Fifth Parks & Rec Optical Bike/Ped Counter

    1. I vote for Sutcliffe, especially in a narrative that has him exert more abstract art sensibilities into the band, ultimate leading them to become Pink Floyd instead. Or he could have just joined Pink Floyd. Sad story instead.


  1. The older counter on the NDCT just south of Alameda went in since 2012 (when I moved to Albuquerque). I would say probably sometime in 2014. Julie Luna gave a presentation on it and the I-40/Bosque counter to GABAC. There is also, with a bit later installation, a counter on the Alameda trail I think at 4th. I don’t have occasion to ride that trail often, but I’ll try to note the location the next time I do.


  2. Thanks, Ed. 2014? That’s four years ago. Heck, we’d call that a “longitudinal study” in my old line of work. My eagerness to see these figures is admittedly a bit irrational, but it would be cool.


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