Case Studies

San Francisco: Data Collection

In addition to conducting manual pedestrian counts and installing automatic counters at select locations, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) recently created a pedestrian-volume model to extrapolate walking activity across a larger swath of the city. SFMTA first conducted manual and automated pedestrian counts at 50 study intersections with a variety of characteristics, from which the SFMTA estimated the average number of pedestrians crossing at each intersection over the course of a year. Then the agency used linear regression modeling to identify statistically significant relationships between the land use, transportation system, local environment, and socioeconomic characteristics near each intersection and that intersection’s annual pedestrian-volume estimate.

The significant factors were used to create a model that determined pedestrian volumes were positively associated with the number of households and jobs near each intersection. The model also found significantly higher pedestrian volumes at intersections in high-activity zones with metered on-street parking, in areas with fewer hills, near university campuses, and traffic signals. Results are being used by city agencies to inform citywide pedestrian safety-policy and investment.

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