• Tue May 08 2012
  • Posted May 8, 2012
This month, the City of Des Moines is once again participating in the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project, which provides a standardized methodology for counting and surveying bicyclists and pedestrians.

The project is co-sponsored by nationally- acclaimed bicycle consultants, Alta Planning + Design, and the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and there is no cost to the City to participate.

Volunteers Needed

Volunteers are needed to conduct counts and surveys on May 15, 16, and 17 from 4:15 pm to 7:30 pm and on May 19 from 11:15 am to 2:30 pm.
To join the cause, please visit or contact

Des Moines participated for the first time last September. Over 65 volunteers donated 125 hours counting and surveying bicyclists and pedestrians on roads, sidewalks and trails in 19 different locations throughout the city. These locations were chosen to represent the entirety of the City’s trail system as well as on-street locations with existing or planned bicycle facilities, such as bicycle lanes.

The data compiled during this time was extrapolated through a formula that considers time of day, day of the week, and local climate, to estimate annual counts. This type of information is valuable for identifying where new bicycle and pedestrian facilities should be constructed, evaluating the effectiveness of such facilities, and applying for grant funding.

By the Numbers...

“We want to maintain our momentum as a ‘Bicycle Friendly Community’ and to do that we will need to continue to seek funding through public and private sources,” said Don Tripp, Park and Recreation Director. “Projects like this validate the use and need of our bicycle facilities and trails in our community.” The September counts, which included 10 different trail locations, resulted in a range of the estimated number of annual bicycle and pedestrian trail trips between 14,900 and 880,000. Taking out the lowest count (Indianola Avenue sidepath) and the highest count (Kruidenier Trail around Gray’s Lake Park), the average of the remaining 8 trail locations was approximately 250,000 trips per year. On-street counts, which were conducted at 9 different locations, resulted in a range of the estimated number of annual bicycle and pedestrian on-street trips between 58,000 and 240,000. Taking out the lowest count (SW 14th Street at McKinley Avenue) and the highest count (Grand Avenue at 10th Street), the average of the remaining locations was almost 113,000 trips per year.

The survey questions also revealed helpful information. For example, the number one reason people walk or run is to get exercise, but the number one reason that people bicycle is for recreation, although exercise is a close second. Also, the percentage of survey respondents that walk or run outside year-round is 41%, but this number drops to 14% for bicyclists.

PLEASE support this project.

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  • Modified: May 8, 2012 by ss






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