DIY electronic bike counters can be built cheaply and placed in locations and feed data to a public display. The display can be placed in a public location to show how many bicyclists there really are in Lowell. Maybe pay a young artist to paint a wooden display with a counter in the middle. Work in coordination with City transportation officials.
Possible components: solar panel+ batt (15$), esp8266(12$), pressure sensor (10$), hardware… all pushing data to a adafruit.io or other IoT so that any display anywhere.
Anyone, whether they're driving a car, riding a bike or walking, can see the daily bike count. It's an invaluable tool for city planners, advocacy groups and others to track usage, cycling patterns/trending. Its symbolic presence would show commitment to bicycling and make more realize bicycling is a viable option in Lowell. It can be temporary, but might even be a pilot for a more professional permanent version. Something like this would be a huge boon for cyclists and pedestrians alike in a Complete Streets program.