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SDOT needs lots of volunteers to count people walking and biking

In the past, the city has counted people walking and biking through the help of volunteers. Preliminary results of this year’s fall bike count show that the number of people biking to downtown Seattle are up! SDOT says results are coming soon. But now that the city is moving to a more official counting methodology, they need more volunteers than ever.

Quarterly counts next year will be January 11-13, May 10-12, July 5-7 and September 13-15. Volunteers will need to attend a training.

From SDOT’s Virginia Coffman:

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The final results of 2010 bicycle counts will be available shortly and based on preliminary numbers bicycling into downtown has increased. In 2011, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will begin counting pedestrians and bicyclists using the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project methodology, and we need your help!

This is an exciting step forward in SDOT’s data collection efforts.  Following a consistent, nationally recognized methodology will improve the quality and consistency of our data, and also increase the frequency with which we collect this type of data.  The information we collect will document current levels of walking and biking, help us measure our progress towards increasing the number of people who walk and bike, and help make the case for additional investments.  More information about the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project is available at http://bikepeddocumentation.org/

SDOT has traditionally relied on volunteers to help us count pedestrians and bicyclists, and we have been grateful for the enthusiastic participation in the past.  With the new and improved methodology, we will need even more volunteers than before.  We would like to recruit approximately 120 people to assist with the quarterly counts and hope you will be one of them.

Each volunteer will be asked to:

Attend a short training (either in person or by viewing the training materials on line)
Conduct counts for a two-hour period on a weekday or Saturday (or both!) once per quarter, starting in January.
Counts will take place January 11-13, May 10-12, July 5-7 and September 13-15, and the Saturday preceding.  Count periods are 10 am to noon and 5 to 7 pm on weekdays and noon until 2 pm on Saturdays.

There are count locations throughout the city and we will make every effort to match volunteers with their preferred area.

I hope you will join us for this important effort.  To volunteer, please send an e-mail to [email protected] with your name, e-mail address, phone number, preferred neighborhood, and whether you are available weekdays or weekends or both.

Thank you and please feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested.

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4 responses to “SDOT needs lots of volunteers to count people walking and biking”

  1. David Amiton

    Does anyone know why SDOT is adopting the National Bike & Pedestrian Documentation Project methodology for its on-street counts? The NBPDP was developed specifically to monitor bicycling and walking on multi-use paths, and the count periods (10-noon, in particular) and accompanying intercept survey (which is almost unusable on on-street bikeways) reflect this. It’s a great and vetted methodology for data collection on trails, but not so much anywhere else.

    I’m really excited that SDOT is expanding their counts outside of the CBD, but I wonder if this is the best methodology for doing so. Especially with Seattle’s topography and one-way streets, it seems like counts during the traditional AM peak (6/7-9 AM) would be more valuable than those taken 10-12 PM. The only exceptions I can think of would be on multi-use paths with high levels of recreational activity, where info about the 10-12 PM period might be more relevant.

  2. Joseph Singer

    I’m just curious about weekday times for counting. 10 AM to 12 noon is much too late in the day to take a real count on people going to work in the morning. Most people’s workdays are either starting at 8:00 or 9:00. I don’t know of many people who start out their day at noon unless they’ve tied a bender on the night previously :)

  3. jdg

    10-noon may seem late, but i think its a good “off peak” tally. kinda a true measure IMO. ppl still driving cars around 10-noon, right? :)

  4. […] comparing the beginning of 2012 to data collected in 2011, the first year the city started using a more modern and theoretically accurate method than the previous volunteer-based […]

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