Pedestrian counting methods : a case study for Austin’s Pedestrian Program




Bailey, Caroline Meeden

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The Pedestrian Program is the only program within the City of Austin that is devoted solely to pedestrian issues and planning within the City. Thus far, the program has been primarily concerned with pedestrian safety; with the release of the Pedestrian Safety Action plan this year, the program will soon be focusing on broader pedestrian issues. Namely, the Pedestrian Program would like to evaluate the walkability of Austin and collect data on pedestrian activity within the City that will help the City pass pedestrian-friendly policies and make improvements aimed at increasing the walkability of Austin. While there are many quantitative and qualitative measurements for evaluating walkability available, the Pedestrian Program would like to focus on counting pedestrians within Austin. The goal would be to implement a permanent pedestrian counting program within the Pedestrian Program, with specific goals the program would like to accomplish through the pedestrian counting program. This professional report will outline a plan for how the Pedestrian Program can best achieve their pedestrian counting goals. This professional report reviews the importance of planning for pedestrians as well as the current state of practice for pedestrian counting. Using case studies of pedestrian counting from around the United States, as well as an overview of readily available pedestrian counting techniques, I outline what the Pedestrian Program’s goals are for their permanent pedestrian counting program, and I offer specific techniques aimed at achieving each goal. I found that, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, the Pedestrian Program would be best served by a specific technique applied to each goal in order to obtain the best data that it can.


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