University of Vermont Transportation Research Center

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Traffic counts are used extensively in transportation system management, planning, policy and research. Counts help us better understand spatial relationships and temporal trends in travel activity. In spite of the growing recognition of the importance of non-motorized travel, tracking of bicyclist and pedestrian travel behavior with counts lags behind comparable efforts focused on motorized travel. Count data helps agencies to better understand the non-motorized transportation activity in their jurisdictions by designing and prescribing: • data collection locations to count non-motorized transportation users; • methods appropriate for counting at each location; • data processing and management structures to assemble and quality assure data; and, • web portals to disseminate the information to the public and other stakeholders. In Vermont, non-motorized traffic counts are collected by the UVM TRC, VTrans, and several of the state’s regional planning commissions. RPCs collect counts in support of local initiatives and at the request of VTrans. The VTrans Traffic Research Unit has also collected a series of manual counts and the Agency recently purchased data from Strava, Inc., which includes data on routes used by cyclists who used the Strava app between 2014 and 2016 in Vermont. Strava’s mobile app and its desktop website interface allow athletes to track, analyze, plan, and share their training rides and runs. The Strava Metro product anonymizes and aggregates all of the cycling (and running) data recorded by Strava members for the given time frame aggregated onto a GIS of the street network. The variety of collection efforts creates a diverse set of statewide count data, but it makes compilation of a single state-wide archive challenging. The goals of this project were to create a bicycle and pedestrian count database for the state of Vermont, communicate the state of non motorized travel statewide, and make recommendations for future data collection and management.