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MORPC Relying on Volunteers for Its Bike & Pedestrian Counts

May 3, 2018

Bicycle and pedestrian counts help MORPC measure the use, safety, and popularity of non-motorized transportation in the region. MORPC is currently seeking volunteers for its counts taking place September 12, 2018.

Since 2005, MORPC has been organizing manual bicycle and pedestrian counts twice a year at select locations as part of an ongoing effort to better understand bicycling and walking trends in the region.

Conducting the counts helps to quantify the positive benefits of bicycle and pedestrian investments, track changes in non-motorized activity over time, and prioritize alternative transportation projects such as bike lanes, sidewalks, or multi-use paths.

Without accurate and consistent information, it is difficult to measure the positive benefits of investments in these modes, especially when compared to transportation modes like a private vehicle.

MORPC is currently accepting volunteers for its bike and pedestrian counts taking place this month.

The process is simple. Volunteers sit at a location for a two-hour period, watching for those walking, running, or bicycling – or using other forms of non-motorized transportation such as wheelchairs, strollers, or scooters. A paper form will be provided ahead of time to tally the results in 15-minute increments.

Those wishing to volunteer can choose from the selected locations where they would like to perform the counts. MORPC will provide a small packet, which will further explain the precise location and how to complete the count form.

Lorraine Castor is a local resident who repeatedly volunteers to participate in MORPC’s bicyclist and pedestrian counts.

“The spring and fall counts are usually a pleasant two hours outdoors of people-watching while improving the community I live in.”
Lorraine Castor

Castor said that more users lead to more funding, which in turn can lead to more multi-use paths as an alternative to cars. Although she often drives a car, she said she prefers walking or bicycling when possible.

A fellow volunteer, Sandi Latimer, highlighted why she, too, enjoys the bicycle and pedestrian counts.

"I like volunteering to work on the bike and pedestrian count because it's only two hours out of my morning and I'm helping my community. I'm a pedestrian, and my late husband was the bicyclist. Seeing how many people walk or ride bicycles is helping our community improve facilities for these people, whether it be for people rushing to catch a bus, walking, or bike riding for work or play."
Sandi Latimer

The fall bike and pedestrian counts will take place September 12 from 7-9 a.m. and 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Those wishing to participate can view the count location map and sign up here. Please contact Bryan Townley with any questions at 614.233.4128.

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