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Thread: Custis Trail Bike Count Forecaster

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    Post Custis Trail Bike Count Forecaster

    I thought folks might be interested in my bike trail traffic forecaster. https://georgetsilva.github.io/posts...nt-forecaster/

    The daily bike counter model is built using the following variables:

    Max TemperatureF
    Min TemperatureF
    Max Humidity
    Max Wind SpeedMPH
    PrecipitationIn
    weekday
    holiday
    day_hrs
    snowtotal
    Fog
    year
    sunsethour
    CloudCover
    bike_events

    I'd be interested in getting your feedback. I'm also interested in learning about any other bike events besides Bike to Work day that would impact traffic on the Custis Trail. Thanks!

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    So you're a Python coder, huh? You should definitely be involved in maintaining the Freezing Saddles website.

    I'm curious how much the weather forecast being wrong will affect your predictions. Maybe it's just me, but I feel like this spring the forecasts have been all over the place and haven't had much to do with the actual weather.

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    Just wanted to chime in and agree with jrenaut - I think accuracy could potentially be improved by looking not at what the weather actually was, but what the weather was forecast to be. People make decisions on whether to ride or not based on the forecast. So if it says 70% chance of rain, they decide not to ride and so the counts are lower, whether it actually ends up raining or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_s View Post
    Just wanted to chime in and agree with jrenaut - I think accuracy could potentially be improved by looking not at what the weather actually was, but what the weather was forecast to be. People make decisions on whether to ride or not based on the forecast. So if it says 70% chance of rain, they decide not to ride and so the counts are lower, whether it actually ends up raining or not.
    I appreciate the credit for an idea I didn't even have - I wasn't thinking of it that way. It's probably hard to get historical forecast data, but it would be interesting to compare whether forecast data or actual data is a better predictor of riding.

    My short city commute (5 mile roundtrip to the kids' school and back home) is probably less influenced by weather than someone with a 20 mile commute (who also has to make a decision about riding a lot earlier than I do).

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    I wonder whether it's forecast or actual whether in the morning (or when people leave the house). There's a cool econ paper in there

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    I wonder whether it's forecast or actual whether in the morning (or when people leave the house). There's a cool econ paper in there
    I think it's probably a moving target. I ride every day no matter what, but I adjust the timing based on weather. For commuting, I don't have much choice except leaving a bit later or earlier. On weekends with rain forecasts, the forecast will often change dramatically throughout the day and I adjust timing and duration accordingly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    I think it's probably a moving target. I ride every day no matter what, but I adjust the timing based on weather. For commuting, I don't have much choice except leaving a bit later or earlier. On weekends with rain forecasts, the forecast will often change dramatically throughout the day and I adjust timing and duration accordingly.
    Yeah but how atypical are you, Hamster?

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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_s View Post
    Just wanted to chime in and agree with jrenaut - I think accuracy could potentially be improved by looking not at what the weather actually was, but what the weather was forecast to be. People make decisions on whether to ride or not based on the forecast. So if it says 70% chance of rain, they decide not to ride and so the counts are lower, whether it actually ends up raining or not.
    I wish I had access to Arlington weather forecast data back to 2009, but most of the sources just keep actual historical weather. Do any of you know of a data source for historical forecasts? As an economist, I'd love to "borrow" your research idea testing whether forecast or actual morning weather impacts the number of bike rides taken.

    On a different note, I noticed that there is a higher than expected numbers of trips taken on Wednesdays versus other weekdays. Does anyone know why?
    Last edited by georges083; 05-18-2017 at 05:08 PM. Reason: typo

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    Quote Originally Posted by georges083 View Post
    I wish I had access to Arlington weather forecast data back to 2009, but most of the sources just keep actual historical weather. Do any of you know of a data source for historical forecasts? As an economist, I'd love to "borrow" your research idea testing whether forecast or actual morning weather impacts the number of bike rides taken.

    On a different note, I noticed that there is a higher than expected numbers of trips taken on Wednesdays versus other weekdays. Does anyone know why?
    Wednesday has the fewest teleworkers/flex dayers. If seen a study of federal government workers that indicated as much...

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    One nice thing about using actual weather rather than forecast is that there are a lot fewer variables to consider. For instance: Whose forecast? How far in advance?

    I'd be surprised if any forecast source turned out to be a conclusively better predictor of ridership than actual weather measurements.

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