Established Organizations

Collect Pedestrian Data

This refers to a systematic approach of counting pedestrians and walking activity within a defined area or jurisdiction. Data-collection methods are continually evolving but typically include manual counts, automatic recording technologies, origin-destination surveys, geographic-information-systems (GIS) analysis of census and land-use data, as well as intercept surveys. Databases of pedestrian information should catalog pedestrian crash locations and stratify crash details by crash type, time of day/year, weather conditions, demographics, and other variables.

Guidance
  • Create pocket parks in open or vacant
  • Clearly state data-collection goals both internally and to the general public
  • Establish a tailored data-collection methodology that reflects local needs and counts both systematic and peak uses of walking infrastructure
  • Consider incorporating cost-reducing strategies such as
    • Installing automated pedestrian-counting technology like infrared and video counts (e.g., Eco-Counter and Miovision),
    • Using volunteers
    • Integrating nonmotorized modes into existing vehicular data collection
  • Assign dedicated staff or a project manager to set up data-collection equipment, staff locations, tabulate results, and share findings
  • Supplement automatic count data with
    • Manual counts
    • 24-hour counts at select locations and dates to show infrastructure use
    • Origin/destination surveys
    • GIS census analysis to identify factors that influence bicycling and walking
    • Models to extrapolate pedestrian volumes across a larger geographical distribution
    • Collect and analyze data on a regular basis
  • Publicly publish the results
Benefits
  • Establishes performance measures to evaluate pedestrian policies and programs
  • Helps in comparing and prioritizing proposed projects
  • Provides justification for grants and further funding
  • Helps justify continued need for pedestrian access and infrastructure
  • Documents trends in walking activity, safety, and facilities
  • Helps link walking with transit
  • Determines peak hour and seasonal adjustment factors that can be used to estimate pedestrian volumes
  • Identifies locations for walking-infrastructure improvements
  • Helps integrate nonmotorized modes into multimodal transportation models and analyses
  • Highlights exposure of most vulnerable pedestrians (elderly, school children, people with disabilities)
  • Identifies clusters of crash locations
Considerations
  • Funding for staff resources and equipment
  • Organizing and training for volunteers or staff
  • Data results that reveal low numbers of walkers
Where to Use It
  • Proposed project areas
  • Project areas before and after implementation
  • High-volume street nodes, corridors, and cordons
  • Central business districts
  • Multiuse paths and trails
Professional Consensus
  • Endorsed within the U.S. DOT Policy Statement on Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodation Regulations and Recommendations
  • Endorsed by Alta Planning & Design through its National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project
  • Endorsed by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center
Examples

This material is the product of a partnership between America Walks and Sam Schwartz Engineering. Visit here for more information on the partnership.