Each year, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) organizes and conducts a three-day survey of the number of people that bicycle or walk to their destinations. It’s a huge undertaking that requires a large number of volunteers. Last year, more than 72,000 bicyclists and pedestrians were counted across the state.
The Importance of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Survey
The survey, now in its eighth year, is part of the National Documentation Project, an annual bicycle and pedestrian count and survey effort, sponsored by the Institute of Transportation Engineers Pedestrian and Bicycle Council. One of the WSDOT’s goals is to encourage bicycling and walking for transportation and to reduce the number of vehicle miles driven. Their annual count helps measure their progress.
This manual method of conducting a survey is very effective, the WSDOT notes. It’s superior and less expensive than mechanical counters. The observers conducting the survey will use tally sheets to record numbers consistently. Then, city and state staff will conduct quality control efforts and cross check many of the count locations.
Secretary of Transportation Lynn Peterson said in press release: “Counting bicyclists and pedestrians helps us more accurately measure demand, gauge the results of our investments and plan for future improvement projects.” Plus, the info will also help the state target safety and mobility projects and improve their traffic models.
Volunteer Enrollment Now Open
This year, for the eight annual survey, the WSDOT is teaming with the Cascade Bicycle Club and are enlisting in the help of organizations such as FeetFirst and the Bicycle Alliance of Washington to assist in survey. The goal is count the number of people bicycling and walking on paths, bike lanes, sidewalks, and other facilities in 38 cities throughout the state from September 29 through October 1. Check out Max Meyers’s Guide to Biking in Seattle.
Some of the participating cities include this list.
- Lake Forest Park
- Mountlake Terrace
- Walla Walla
“We couldn’t document the number of people walking and biking without the help of many volunteers from across the state,” Peterson said. Over 400 volunteers are needed. To get involved or to learn more about the initiative, you can visit the WSDOT’s survey website, or contact the Cascade Bicycle Club at 206-861-9890.