TPB staff regularly collect transportation-related datasets from our member jurisdictions and other regional partners for inclusion in our Regional Transportation Data Clearinghouse.
The automated bicycle and pedestrian counters are one such dataset staff update on an annual basis. The automated counter program, administered by Arlington County, provides continuous count data at dozens of permanent installations throughout Arlington County, City of Alexandria, the District of Columbia, Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County.
This map, displaying 2018 data, shows an example of the available bicycle and pedestrian count data. The data from these counters show how many people are biking or walking at these specific locations. Data are collected at these and other locations over time, which allows planners to understanding changes in bicycle and pedestrian travel trends throughout the region.
This is helpful for planners to think about where to plan new or updated transportation projects. It also helps planners look at the different ways people in the region get around. One way TPB planners have used this dataset was to look at what happened when Metrorail shutdown for a day in 2016. Many people ended up finding other ways to travel including biking and walking.
You can explore the 2018 monthly total bicycle and pedestrian counts by clicking on the station locations shown on the map. A popup with the data will appear in the upper left-hand corner of the map. Since count data exists (in most places) for both bicycles and pedestrians, both records will appear as popups when a user clicks on a counter. To turn layers on/off, use the Layers button in the top right corner. A zoom in/out tool is located on the bottom right of the map.
TPB staff download raw data files* through Bike Arlington’s web services and then processed into datasets representing regional monthly and daily totals for each counter (where available). Currently, the RTDC contains data for calendar years 2016-2018. These datasets can be downloaded from the RTDC. The RTDC Data Viewer also allows access to all available automated counter data. Two separate tools allow users to query monthly and daily totals by individual station.
*Bike Arlington disclaimer: counts displayed may be affected by a number of factors, including different machine types and installation dates, and outage
Charlene Howard is TPB’s manager of planning data resources. She and her team support TPB by working with staff to identify opportunities for leveraging GIS data and developing visualization products for TPB programs.