How many people are actually out biking and walking in Washington State? We don’t really know.
But believe it or not, the state tries to get a handle on this number by getting a bunch of volunteers to hang out in the same locations every year and count people as they bike by. Eyeballs, paper and pen. Old school.
Sure, that’s a little crazy. But as someone who has volunteered to count a couple times in the past, it’s also kind of fun. How often do you really sit and people watch for two hours straight? You notice all the different ways people choose to move through a space, you notice the latest bike trends (drop bars are out, upright bars are in) and you get to help make sure the state knows people really are biking and walking.
Andrea Clinkscales — Principal Planner at Cascade Bicycle Club, which is coordinating volunteers — says there are still several Seattle shifts open and a lot of other King County shifts to fill. So if you have time in the morning or afternoon next week, sign up!
Details from Clinkscales:
Do you believe that everyone should be given the basic right to go by foot or bike safely and easily? Then help us prove that bicyclists and pedestrians count by counting them.
The 8th annual 2015 statewide bicycle and pedestrian count is one week away. The valuable data you collect helps advocates like us make the case for better bicycling and walking policies, projects, and funding in our state. We still have many open volunteer spots in Seattle and the Puget Sound. So volunteer to count on Vashon Island and make a difference in your community!
Count dates are Tuesday, Sept. 29; Wednesday, Sept. 30; and Thursday, Oct. 1
Count times are 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Click here to volunteer for a shift at either Vahson Hwy SW and SW Bank Rd or Vashon Hwy SW and 103rd Ave SW (Vahson Ferry Terminal)!
As an extra incentive, we have a great contest going! Sportsworks is generously donating one stainless steel Tofino No Scratch® Bike Rack to the first city to fill 100 percent of their volunteer sites by Thursday, Sept. 24 at 5 p.m. Learn more here!
We are also happy to verify volunteer hours for you. Please contact Andrea Clinkscales, Cascade Bicycle Club Principal Planner, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
So what comes of this data? Here’s the 2014 report: