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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1: Background." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Methods and Technologies for Pedestrian and Bicycle Volume Data Collection: Phase 2. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24732.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1: Background." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Methods and Technologies for Pedestrian and Bicycle Volume Data Collection: Phase 2. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24732.
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Page 16
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1: Background." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Methods and Technologies for Pedestrian and Bicycle Volume Data Collection: Phase 2. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24732.
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Page 16

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NCHRP 07‐19(02) Final Report 14 Chapter 1: Background  OVERVIEW  NCHRP Project 07‐19, Methods and Technologies for Pedestrian and Bicycle Volume Data Collection, tested and evaluated a range of automated count technologies that capture pedestrian and bicycle volume data. The project produced NCHRP Report 797: Guidebook on Pedestrian and Bicycle Volume Data Collection (Ryus et al. 2014a), a user‐friendly guide for transportation professionals and organizations on implementing, growing, and applying the data from a nonmotorized count program. The project also produced NCHRP Web‐Only Document 205: Methods and Technologies for Pedestrian and Bicycle Volume Data Collection (Ryus et al. 2014b), which documented the research work, including the process used to evaluate the accuracy and precision of the nonmotorized counting technologies tested. This project is referred to as Phase 1 in this report. Due to logistical issues that arose during Phase 1, not every planned site could be used for field testing. In addition, one counting product planned to be tested experienced problems with vendor support that required it to be dropped from the testing program. As a result, some budget remained at the end of Phase 1. At the direction of the project oversight panel, a follow‐up project, NCHRP Project 07‐19(02), Methods and Technologies for Pedestrian and Bicycle Volume Data Collection: Continuation, was developed to use the remaining funds to (1) test new counting technologies that had entered the market after Phase 1 was underway and (2) conduct additional testing of technologies for which limited data were collected during Phase 1. This follow‐up research is referred to as Phase 2 in this report. This final report summarizes the work conducted during Phase 2 and presents the combined results of the Phase 1 and Phase 2 research. It consists of the following chapters:  Chapter 1, Background, provides the research problem statement for NCHRP Project 07‐19 and summarizes the Phase 2 work scope.  Chapter 2, Research Approach, describes the process used to test the nonmotorized counting technologies investigated in Phases 1 and 2.  Chapter 3, Findings and Applications, presents the combined results of the testing conducted during Phases 1 and 2.  Chapter 4, Conclusions and Suggested Research, suggests potential future research and implementation activities to continue expanding the state of the practice.  Chapter 5, References, lists the source material referenced in this report. Readers are referred to NCHRP Web‐Only Document 205 (Ryus et al. 2014b) for the literature review and practitioner survey conducted during Phase 1 and to NCHRP Report 797 (Ryus et al. 2014a) for general guidance and useful background information on nonmotorized counting.

NCHRP 07‐19(02) Final Report 15 RESEARCH PROBLEM STATEMENT  NCHRP Project 07‐19 Background  The lack of pedestrian and bicycle volume data is a barrier to transportation agency efforts to plan more effective facilities and to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists. Transportation agencies have well‐established procedures for collecting, summarizing, and disseminating motor vehicle traffic volumes, but these procedures do not generally provide pedestrian and bicycle volume data. Most pedestrian and bicycle volume data collection is done for specific project locations after preliminary selection of candidate project locations has been made. The lack of systemwide pedestrian and bicycle volume data limits the ability of transportation agencies to provide or improve pedestrian and bicycle facilities where the need is greatest and is an impediment to developing better predictive methods for pedestrian and bicycle crashes. There are many potential sources of pedestrian and bicycle volume data that are not being used. For example, many transportation agencies have cameras that capture images of pedestrian and bicycle traffic, but these data are not used to extract such volume data because this would be very time consuming. Other examples include: (a) use of video cameras installed for security reasons by public agencies and private companies that, incidental to their security purpose, capture images of normal pedestrian and bicycle flows; (b) pushbutton actuations at crossings with pedestrian signals that can be captured and correlated with pedestrian volumes; (c) data from bike sharing programs; (d) data from applications of other advanced technologies—such as passive detection technologies (e.g., microwave, infrared sensors, loop detectors, pressure sensitive mats, and communication devices); and (e) software to extract pedestrian and bicycle data from other existing sources. The feasibility of using these sources, including addressing privacy and security issues and extrapolating to estimate 24 hour counts and annual counts, need to be investigated. Research is, therefore, needed to develop guidance for practitioners on existing, new, and innovative methods and technologies to capture pedestrian and bicycle volume data. Phase 2 Objectives  The objective of Phase 2 was to use remaining budget from Phase 1 to test the accuracy and precision of nonmotorized counting technologies and products that entered the market while Phase 1 was underway, or that received only limited evaluation during Phase 1.

NCHRP 07‐19(02) Final Report 16 PHASE 2 RESEARCH APPROACH  The research objectives for Phase 2 were addressed through a work program involving a number of tasks, described below. Task 1: Procurement  The following types of counting devices were purchased, along with all required accessories (e.g., access points, modems, software):  Thermal imaging camera  Radar device designed to be buried in the pavement  Bicycle‐specific pneumatic tube counter In addition, Arlington County, Virginia staff worked with the new vendor of a piezoelectric counter that had been installed in Arlington as part of the Phase 1 research, but which experienced technical problems with data retrieval that the original vendor could not solve. The new vendor was able to get the counter working, which allowed it to be included in the Phase 2 testing program. Task 2: Installation and Testing  The research team worked with local agency staff and product vendors to identify an appropriate location to install each device. The following locations were used:  Arlington, Virginia, Four Mile Run multiuse path: pre‐existing piezoelectric counter, new piezoelectric counter installed in Phase 1, bicycle‐specific pneumatic tubes  Washington, D.C., 15th Street NW bidirectional cycle track: thermal imaging camera, bicycle‐specific pneumatic tubes  Oakland, California bicycle lane: radar, bicycle‐specific pneumatic tubes, standard pneumatic tubes Two sets of one‐week data collection periods were used at each test site to try to maximize the range of environmental conditions each device experienced, within the constraints of the project budget. As discussed in Chapter 2, only selected hours from these data collection periods were used to evaluate the accuracy and precision of the devices. Task 3: Data Reduction  The data reduction process followed the same protocol used by the original research, which is provided in Appendix C of NCHRP 797 (Ryus et al., 2014a). In particular, the counts made by each device were compared to manual counts from videos taken at each site during the testing periods. Timing mechanisms for the devices and video cameras were synchronized on site to ensure valid comparison of count events with observations. Tasks 4 and 5: Draft and Final Reports  Draft and final versions of this final report were prepared to document the research.

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TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Web-Only Document 229: Methods and Technologies for Pedestrian and Bicycle Volume Data Collection: Phase 2 explores automated count technologies that capture pedestrian and bicycle volume data. The publication focuses on technologies that came onto the market too late to be included in previous Phase 1 research. Findings from Phase 1 are documented in NCHRP Report 797: Guidebook on Pedestrian and Bicycle Volume Data Collection and NCHRP Web-Only Document 205: Methods and Technologies for Pedestrian and Bicycle Volume Data Collection.

The report presents combined results for a range of technologies tested by both the Phase 1 research and the continuation research (Phase 2). The research evaluated automated nonmotorized count technologies in different settings, including ranges of temperature, varying weather conditions, mixed traffic conditions, mixed travel directions, and facility types (e.g., roadways, multiuse paths), to determine their accuracy and reliability in different contexts. This report documents the research findings on the accuracy and consistency found for the different automated count technologies. It provides an account of the process used to select technologies for testing, identifies test sites, and evaluates the effectiveness of the technologies.

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