Counting Pedestrian and Bicyclists

WATS has partnered with Pittsfield Charter Township and the City of Dexter to install permanent non-motorized counters to track pedestrian and bicycle usage.

The Pittsfield Charter Township counter was installed on the Lohr-Textile Greenway in mid-July and has been collecting data for a month.  Early data indicate higher usage on the weekends, which may be the result of weekend recreational trips.

On average there are 243 passes each day on this facility.  WATS defines this as the the number of times a pedestrian or bicyclist passes the counter.

WATS has manually tracked non-motorized users at select locations for several years,   however, there has not been a consistent county-wide counting program.  WATS will be developing a more comprehensive non-motorized counting program in coordination with the development of the Washtenaw County Non-Motorized Transportation Plan, scheduled to begin this year.

The counting program will use a variety of counting methods, such as in person counts and mobile counts. WATS is purchasing two mobile counters and hopes to deploy these counters in the fall of 2016. Counting non-motorized users will provide planners with new data on  where and when people are walking and riding. The data will also be helpful in determining overall  use on select paths, including those for which WATS has helped to fund .  Automobile counts have been done for decades, whereas non-motorized counts have just come on the scene. Communities across the country are finding value in collecting this data to highlight the use that they receive throughout the year.  

Below is an example of the type of data the City of Orlando collects and reports.  WATS is looking around the country for non-motorized counting best practices.   We look forward to sharing the results!