Wednesday, June 4, 2008

VDOT to count bicyclists and pedestrians this summer

There is very little solid information available about the number of people who bicycle in Northern Virginia. In 2004 the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority conducted a W&OD Trail use study that indicated that there are approximately 1.6 million trips made each year on the trail. While this confirms what many of us know about the popularity of the Trail, we need quantitative information about bicycle trips throughout the county. Without this information, it is impossible to determine if the number of bicycle trips is increasing.

This year VDOT Northern Virginia District Bicycle and Pedestrian program has contracted for bicycle and pedestrian counts at various locations throughout the district. Counts will be conducted during the late spring and summer. We have created a map of the count locations.

There are only 19 locations, heavily weighted toward major trail intersections, including the W&OD, Custis, and Mt. Vernon trails. It's important that future counts include more on-road locations. The city of Portland, OR conducts annual bike counts and they increased the number of locations from 60 in 2006 to 98 in 2007.

We hope to review the data once it is released and to provide comments on count methodology and locations.

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