Minneapolis and Hennepin County are looking for volunteers to count foot and bike traffic to guide nonmotorized transportation planning.
The annual counts are scheduled for Sept. 13-15 and are conducted from 4-6 p.m. at each count location. The two-hour counts are then extrapolated to provide an estimate of daily foot and bike traffic.
To volunteer, register online at tinyurl.com/gnaagu2 or contact Kurt Wayne at email@example.com or 612-673-5011. Volunteers may select a shift on any of the three days and indicate whether they prefer a suburban Hennepin County location.
This year’s count will involve 100 Minneapolis locations and a smaller number of suburban locations.
The city’s counts started in 2007 as it was beginning to receive millions of dollars under a federal pilot program designed to stimulate nonmotorized transportation. Both foot and cycling traffic have shown large gains since then, although the amount varies somewhat by year.
Pedestrian traffic at 30 locations counted annually has risen by about 25 percent since 2007. Bike traffic at the same number of count sites has risen by as much as 73 percent over the 2007 base, depending on the year of the count.
Foot traffic increased by 1 percent in 2015 over the previous year. But bike traffic fell 11 percent over the previous year. The city’s annual report on the counts attributed that to poorer weather on the scheduled counting days, but weather data in the report indicated 2015 had somewhat better weather. It did not explain why weather affected bikers more than walkers.
The 2015 count estimated 34,510 cyclists and 21,710 pedestrians per day at the 30 locations counted each year. (Some people likely are counted at more than one location.) The city also counts dozens more locations every several years.
The top locations for both biking and walking are generally near the University of Minnesota campus, although the Midtown Greenway also ranked high near Cedar Avenue S. for bikes and Nicollet Mall also ranked high for pedestrians.