SMART seeks volunteers for annual bike/ped count
The City of Wilsonville and South Metro Area Regional Transit are seeking volunteers for its 2018 bicycle and pedestrian count Tuesday, Sept. 11, from 5-7 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 15 from 9-11 a.m.
Wilsonville has participated in the survey since 2010, and according to SMART Transit Management Analyst Nicole Hendrix, the data collected during these counts is invaluable to the City's planning and engineering department in thinking about the community's future.
"Wilsonville is growing rapidly," Hendrix said. "This (survey) helps give us a real sense of exactly how fast this growth is happening and helps us tailor services so we're meeting the needs of residents and visitors."
The annual bike/ped count uses nationally standardized surveying and recording methods as part of the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project gathering trail data at more than 90 sites across the country. The group's mission is to solve the lack of documentation on pedestrian and cyclist trail usage and demand so that cities measure the positive benefits of investing in these modes of transportation.
The survey includes counts of 12 locations across Wilsonville, including local trails, paths and intersections where bicycle and pedestrian traffic is heaviest. These locations include places like the Morey's Landing Trail at Southwest Orchard Drive, the Memorial Trail at Southwest Wilson Lane and the Tonquin Trail in Graham Oaks Nature Park.
According to data collected in 2015 and 2016, the Morey's Landing Trail saw a traffic increase of 68 percent, from just 87 cyclists and pedestrians to 280. This type of data helps inform the City's decisions and give concrete detail to just how the community's infrastructure is being used.
"Usually after we finish the counts, what we do with the information is we send it to our engineer and planning department, that way they know traffic patterns of what direction people are going and how frequent the paths are being used," Hendrix said. "That helps them determine if a
trail needs to be extended, if a trail needs more amenities, etc."
In the past, according to Hendrix, the count took place at two different times of the day on two separate weekdays. This year the count will take place on a weekday afternoon and a weekend morning to try and improve the snapshot of bikes and pedestrians using Wilsonville's trails, paths and intersections.