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Pedestrian & Bicycle Counts

Transportation Council
Eoin Wrafter, Commissioner

 

"What gets counted, counts." Until recently, the DCTC has had very little data about how many people are walking and bicycling, and where. To address this, in 2012 and 2013 the DCTC began counting pedestrians and bicyclists at various locations across the county. For the first year counts were done in each season, and they are now conducted on an annual basis each September. The counts follow the methodology developed by the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project and are used for several purposes:
 
  • They provide data that can be tracked over time to determine trends--e.g. how many more people are walking or bicycling after a project is completed compared to before; how many women are bicycling compared to men; how many bicyclists wear helmets, etc.
     
  • They can be used to determine crash rates and ‘hot spots’ for safety improvements. We have crash data, but need ‘exposure data’. If we know how many people are walking or bicycling in various locations, we can create crash rates (crashes per pedestrian or bicyclist volume) to better compare high-crash areas.
     
  • They can be used to prioritize locations for improvements, based on where the most people are walking and bicycling.
     
  • They can be used more generally to draw attention to the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists—to show that there are people walking and bicycling, at all times of the year, in many different places, and that they deserve adequate facilities, safety, and support.
     

Approximately 30 locations are counted for two hours on a weekday (Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday) from 4-6 pm, and on a Saturday from 12-2 pm. Counts are done at ‘screenlines’ (along a street or trail) and at intersections. At screenlines, the counter simply tallies each person that crosses in front of them on the street or trail.

The counts are conducted by volunteers from the DCTC’s Bicycle-Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) and other groups, but additional volunteers are needed!  Volunteers benefit from seeing their community from a different perspective, participating in research that will be used by the County, and thinking about walking and bicycling as forms of transportation that deserve good planning. DCTC staff provides training and count forms for volunteers.

To assist with the DCTC’s pedestrian and bicycle counts, please contact us.

Beginning in 2016, DCTC began introducing other count methods, including bicycle-counting tubes and video counters. We are also exploring options for a smartphone/tablet counting app for our manual counts.

*Unless otherwise noted, all Count Data and Forms are in .pdf format*

Count Data:

September 2017 count data
September 2012-September 2017 countywide table & charts

Count Forms:

Count Instructions 
Google Maps Screenshot
Screenline Count Form- Road 
Screenline Count Form- Rail Trail
Intersection Count Form Instructions
Intersection Count Form 
 


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