The Transportation Research Board has released a new study called “Monitoring Bicyclist and Pedestrian Travel and Behavior.” The study gathers and disseminates the growing body of knowledge of technology and techniques for monitoring the active transportation modes of walking and biking.
Acknowledging that the “methods to monitor the traffic of [biking and walking] have been slow to advance until the last decade or so” the report sets out to “chronicle the most recent advancements in techniques and technology of active transportation monitoring…”
As evidence of the growing need to monitor active forms of transportation—by planners and engineers as well as citizen advocates—the report claims that the results of a search in Google Scholar for the terms “bicycle pedestrian traffic count,” produced more than 1,600 results in 2011, up from only about 50 related publications in 1990.
Such monitoring activities have already gained institutional legitimacy as well. “The past year (2013) has brought a major revision of FHWA’s Traffic Monitoring Guide (TMG)…[which] includes for the first time a chapter on monitoring bicycling and walking (Chapter 4: Traffic Monitoring for Non-Motorized Traffic).”
The report includes guidance on manual techniques, portable counters, and permanent counters, as well archiving and sharing data.