National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project

Alta Planning & Design, Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE)

One of the greatest challenges facing the bicycle and pedestrian field is the lack of documentation on usage and demand. Without accurate and consistent demand and usage figures, it is difficult to measure the positive benefits of investments in these modes, especially when compared to the other transportation modes such as the private automobile. An answer to this need for data is the National Bicycle & Pedestrian Documentation Program, co-sponsored by and Alta Planning and Design and the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Pedestrian and Bicycle Council. This nationwide effort provides a consistent model of data collection and ongoing data for use by planners, governments, and bicycle and pedestrian professionals.

The Alta/ITE National Bicycle & Pedestrian Documentation Project (NBPD) is now being used in all four Non-motorized Transportation Pilot Projects (Marin, Minneapolis, Columbia, Sheboygan), under the approval/review of the FHWA/Volpe National Transportation Systems Center. It is also being used as part of the 2.5 year Caltrans research project in San Diego (Seamless Travel), and by agencies nationwide.

The basic assumptions of the methodology are that, in order to estimate existing and future bicycle and pedestrian demand and activity, agencies nationwide need to start conducting counts and surveys in a consistent manner similar to those being used by ITE and other groups for motor vehicle models.

We've uncovered some remarkable and important statistics so far, including (a) 30-70% of bicycle trips are transportation-related, and (b) count machines are apparently almost unusable on busy pathways.

For more information on the project, consult the following documents:

Filed in: Promoting Walking and Bicycling

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