Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Counting Cyclists for Better Planning

Counting Cyclists for Better Planning

San Diego State University’s School of Public Affairs has partnered with the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) on Bikes Count, the largest regional bicycle-counting project in the nation. SDSU faculty and students will work to gather accurate counts of bicyclists in an effort to encourage the creation of facilities such as bike lanes and paths. Using installed bicycle counters in streets and along bike paths throughout the County, SDSU will analyze the data which will provide an improved understating of active travel behavior.

“This project moves us closer to integrating cycling into mainstream planning, and transforming San Diego County into a cycling region,” said Dr. Sherry Ryan, city planning professor in the School of Public Affairs and director of SDSU’s Active Transportation Research (ATR) program.

Transportation Planning

Active Transportation Research focuses on gathering and analyzing data to be used in transportation planning. With a specific focus on bicycle and pedestrian travel, SDSU is home to 54 automated bicycle and pedestrian counting units that are installed in the ground near roads and which are currently actively counting at 27 locations throughout the San Diego region. The counters gather bike and pedestrian usage at 15 minute intervals, 24 hours per day.

This type of data has never been gathered in the San Diego region, and thus has never been used to plan transportation routes. Partnering with local, regional, and state agencies, Active Transportation researchers can provide evidence-based data that supports policy actions to ensure cyclist and pedestrian safety, sustainability and health.

Data for Better Planning

San Diego is home to the largest active travel counting system in the nation (ahead of San Francisco and Portland). The depth and breadth of data gathered over time will support innovative research in active transportation, as well as improved understanding of active travel behavior. Active transportation researchers plan to use the data to explore standardization of data collection and analysis techniques, and offer these data and planning services to local and regional agencies to fortify their ability to meet and exceed California state mandates to plan for Complete Streets that accommodate the elderly, children, cyclists, transit riders and the disabled.

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