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The purpose of this study was to research best practices and available methods and technologies for measuring active transportation activity, in order to provide DOTD with needed information in support of the development of an efficient, cost-effective bicycle and pedestrian count program. Measuring progress toward Complete Streets policy implementation, as well as measuring the performance of individual projects in terms of safety outcomes, requires understanding patterns of and changes in active transportation demand so as to a) evaluate safety outcomes relative to rates of exposure, b) identify appropriate, context-sensitive complete streets infrastructure interventions, and c) understanding overall statewide and location-specific transportation trends which will impact long-range planning and investment.

To this end, the research team conducted a comprehensive review of academic and applied literature pertaining to collecting pedestrian and bicycle data collection and benchmarking, with a focus on techniques for using count data to evaluate exposure rates and safety outcomes or trends, researched methods of counting bicycles and pedestrians including both manual counts and automated electronic counts using various technologies (including automated video-based counts), and identified potential funding sources and potential partners for systematic as well as incidental data collection. Finally, the research team conducted pilot data collection and analysis at three case study locations in New Orleans and Baton Rouge to test recommended count equipment and count methodology and advance fundamental elements of comprehensive evaluation of the safety impacts of complete streets-oriented infrastructure.

The results of this research indicate that the incremental development of systematic active transportation monitoring, in coordination with existing traffic monitoring activities and in cooperation with local and regional agencies interested in or already engaged in data collection and analysis, is feasible and scalable (geographically and fiscally) using a combination of traditional and emerging technologies. Moreover, significant expansion of long-duration count data availability is critical to all efforts to holistically evaluate safety impacts at the project level, and an area where state leadership and investment will have the greatest impact.


This research was sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, and was conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration.