Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Bicycle and pedestrian traffic counting

Manual counting

Information, resources and training

In 2012, MnDOT began encouraging communities around Minnesota to organize volunteers and count people walking and biking for two hours periods once or a few times a year. While useful for gathering some data and building community advocacy around walking and biking, in 2013 MnDOT decided to focus data management activities on automated rather than manual bicycle and pedestrian counts. Doing so allows for the continuous collection of non-motorized data without concern for weather, climate, or daylight. Continuous data collection can also be more easily integrated with existing procedures for motorized vehicle traffic data management and it will provide richer datasets for local governments interested in bicycle and pedestrian traffic. Regardless, manual counts are still valuable for collecting qualitative data (type of bicycle, people walking or rolling with assisted devices, skateboarders / rollerbladers, etc.), identifying and validating volumes at a site before installing automated equipment, and counting during community events where people traffic may be disperse and chaotic.

Resources for standardizing a manual counting program: