WRC’s Pedestrian Count Data Now Available Online

WRC has performed over 90 pedestrian counts at over 30 different locations since 2014, on sidewalks, multi-use pathways, and trails throughout the Region. We’ve now made all that data available to the public via an on-line map.

WRC uses “scanners,” which are counters that detect the passage of a person by heat. They are set out for at least one weekend and at least three weekdays. Each every time a person passes the scanner, it records what we call a “hit.” Since traffic can vary throughout the week, we use these hits to estimate the average number of “trips” per day over an entire week, for just weekend days, or just weekdays. We use the term “trip” to mean our estimate of usage, to differentiate it from a scanner “hit,” which is raw data.

Besides an estimate of daily trips average over an entire week, for just weekend days, or just weekends, each count location in the online map has access to the raw data. These data show the number of hits in one hour intervals over the entire count period, daily totals, weekly totals. Direction is also noted, though we found that in some instances the breakdown of direction is unreliable (the total numbers are still reliable, however). For locations with three or more counts since 2014, we have created a summary sheet showing trip estimates.

How accurate are the data we gathered? To test scanner accuracy, WRC set out three scanners on a downtown sidewalk for two hours. We found they underestimated the number of people by about 14%. Much of the undercount was due to people walking side by side, a situation which is less likely on narrower pathways and hiking trails.

It’s important to note that a “trip” does not equal to the number of people using a route. A trip is one person passing the count location in one direction. If we estimate 20 trips per day, this could be 10 people walking the route out and back, 20 people walking the route in one direction, five people walking the route out and back twice in one day.

To access the map, go to http://windhamregional.maps.arcgis.com.

Last Updated: 07 January 2021
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