Research Reports

The Minnesota Bicycle and Pedestrian Counting Initiative: Institutionalizing Bicycle and Pedestrian Monitoring

Principal Investigator:

Greg Lindsey, Michael Petesch, Tohr Vorvick, Lisa Austin, Bruce Holdhusen

January 2017

Report no. MnDOT 2017-02

Projects: Institutionalizing Bicycle and Pedestrian Traffic Counts and Data Collection

Topics: Bicycling, Pedestrian, Traffic Modeling and Data

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) launched the Minnesota Bicycle and Pedestrian Counting Initiative in 2011, a statewide, collaborative effort to encourage and support non-motorized traffic monitoring. This report summarizes work by MnDOT and the University of Minnesota between 2014 and 2016 to institutionalize bicycle and pedestrian monitoring. The project team established a new statewide bicycle and pedestrian traffic monitoring network with 25 permanent monitoring locations and a new district-based portable counting equipment loan program. Other key accomplishments included Minnesota?s first Bicycle and Pedestrian Annual Traffic Monitoring Report, a new MnDOT website for reporting annual and short-duration counts, and a new Bicycle and Pedestrian Data Collection Manual that local jurisdictions and consultants can use to design manual and automated non-motorized traffic monitoring programs. The project team also included provisions in MnDOT equipment vendor agreements that enable local governments to purchase bicycle and monitoring equipment; established new annual training programs for bicycle and pedestrian monitoring; and contributed provisions in the Statewide Bicycle System Plan and Minnesota Walks that call for bicycle and pedestrian traffic monitoring and creation of performance measures based on counts. Despite this progress, challenges in implementing monitoring remain and continued investment in and support for bicycle and traffic monitoring is needed.

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