Volunteers needed for bicycle and pedestrian count

Annual survey of non-motorized traffic scheduled for Sept. 15–17

The city has put out the call for volunteers to help with September’s ninth-annual count of bicyclists and pedestrians.

The counts help city planners understand non-motorized traffic patterns throughout the city. They’ve also tracked a 73-percent increase in bicycle traffic since 2007 and a 25-percent increase in pedestrian traffic over that same period.

This year’s count takes place Sept. 15–17. Volunteers will be out to tally passersby 4 p.m.–6 p.m. each day.

“We need a little bit over 100 folks to make it happen,” Nick Olson, an aide in the bicycle and pedestrian section of Public Works, said.

Olson said he’d already recruited about 40 counters from the pool of previous volunteers as of Thursday. An invitation for others to sign up was expected to go up on the city’s website soon, he added. (UPDATE: Volunteer registration went live Aug. 28. Sign up here.)

The city sends volunteers to a number of the same benchmark locations every year — 30 to track bicyclists and another 23 for pedestrians. Scores of other locations are checked every few years on a rotating schedule.

Olson said volunteers may request a count location and he will try to place them as close as possible. In the case of rain, a count may be rescheduled to the following week.

Results from the survey typically take several months to process before they’re published on the city’s website.