Once again, Portage County is looking for volunteers to spend two hours conducting bicycle and walk traffic counts at locations all over the county. Portage County has performed these counts twice a year since 2011 in cooperation with the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project.
Consistent count data for non-motorized transportation modes has generally been lacking, both locally and nationally. The NBPD Project, according to its website, strives to address this lack of data by providing a “consistent model of data collection…for use by planners, governments, and bicycle and pedestrian professionals.”
By collecting a history of bike and walk counts, government officials can objectively identify the benefits of investing in these transportation modes. This sort of data makes it easier to persuade our elected officials to spend public dollars towards making bicycling and walking safe, comfortable, and convenient throughout Portage County.
Having more volunteers means that counts can be taken in more locations, which improves the quality of the data overall. No special skills are required to be a counter, and the NBPD counting techniques can easily be learned in a matter of minutes.
The counts this spring are scheduled for Tuesday May 12 from 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM. Those who haven’t done NBPD counts before can be paired with an experienced counter to learn the proper counting techniques.
Two hours of your time can make a difference in improving bicycling and walking throughout our community. I encourage all Poky Pedalers to participate in the Portage County NBPD counts.
To volunteer, contact Jennifer Dolan at 715-346-1647. You can also email her at jennifer(dot)dolan(at)ces(dot)uwex(dot)edu.