This DIY Traffic Counter Could Change Everything About Transportation Planning http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2012/11/diy-traffic-counter-could-change-everything-about-transportation-planning/3846/
I'd be interested to find out what you think this could change about transportation planning. Data is only as good as the use it is put to. Interpretation of the data is another big part and then the biggest part is the "what if" factor of predicting the future. I could see this being great for determining peak hour bike usage and other bike traffic data collection. Maybe that's what you have in mind, Red Star? Seriously interested.
First, the title of the linked piece was either written by the piece's author or an editor at The Atlantic. So there is going to be some hype as info jockeys for position. Nevertheless, Red Star found the piece interesting for its two themes. First, counters just count things, and the device seems to bring in data to the database at lower cost than traditional devices (which are quite advanced, if you google them). Second, the device partly because of its low cost and ease of use, opens up traffic study to those outside the powerful local planning and engineering institutions. Problems of valid study design, valid data analysis, lack of interest (and turf protection?) on the part of planners and politicians exist anyway, regardless of counting device. In any case, Red Star can see how such low cost devices could be refined and, if used maturely and professionally, help understand bicycle patterns in some environments such as UA campus and cyclist ingress/egress to the "Loop" and its usage. Other possibilities. Regards, Red Star.