‘Tis the season for bicycle and foot traffic counts – volunteers needed

In a few weeks, people will be counting the number of folks traveling by bicycle and foot all around the Stevens Point area and other locations in Portage County. By volunteering a few hours of your time, you can enable the counting of more sites and improve the overall quality of the data gathered.

The counts this spring will take place on Tuesday May 7 from 3:30-5:30 PM.

For the past few years, the Portage County Planning and Zoning Dept. has been making counts of bike and foot traffic twice a year as part of the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Demonstration Project. I commented on the purpose of these counts in a post last year.

Sarah Wallace coordinates these counts for the Planning and Zoning Dept. She posted a call for volunteers a few weeks ago on the Portage County Bike/Ped Plan Project website.

In a new post to that website yesterday, Wallace announced a training session on Thursday May 2 at 1:30 PM for those new to participating in traffic counts. There are a few nuances to learn when making traffic counts, but it isn’t all that hard.

Even if you cannot attend the training session, you are still encouraged to volunteer for the count. You can be paired with an experienced counter, and it won’t take long to understand how to collect and record the data.

I encourage all Poky Pedalers to participate in these counts. Data demonstrating that bicycles are a substantial portion of the transportation mix provide a valuable tool for convincing municipal leaders of the need to create better infrastructure for bicycle users.

To volunteer, contact Wallace at 715-346-1334 or by email at wallaces(at)co(dot)portage(dot)wi(d0t)us.

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