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Transportation agencies are beginning to explore and develop non-motorized counting programs. This paper presents the results of a pilot study testing the use of existing signal infrastructure – 2070 signal controllers with advanced software to log pedestrian phase actuations and detections from bicycle lane inductive loops – to count pedestrians and bicycles. The pilot study was conducted at a typical suburban signalized intersection with heavy motorized traffic that was instrumented on all four approaches with pedestrian push buttons and advance inductive loops in the bicycle lane for signal operation. One day (24 hours) of video data were collected as ground truth. The data were reduced and compared to the controller logs. Results indicated that utilizing pedestrian phases as a proxy for estimating pedestrian activity is a promising avenue for counting programs. A total of 596 pedestrians used the intersection while 482 pedestrian phases were logged, resulting in an average of 1.24 pedestrians per phase logged. However, bicycle counts were not as accurate, due to a number site-specific factors: (1) inductive loop location, (2) loop sensitivity settings, (3) loop shape, and (4) nearly half of the bicycle volume through the intersection was riding on the sidewalk. The pilot study was part of a research project to develop guidelines for a statewide bicycle and pedestrian counting program for the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).


Bryan Blanc was born in New York and raised in Connecticut. He moved to Portland, OR in the fall of 2013 after completing his B.S. in Civil Engineering at the University of Connecticut. He has always been interested in working with the built environment, but decided to concentrate his studies on transportation after a summer research project in 2011 examining parking issues in New Haven, CT. He was drawn to Portland (and Portland State University) because of the city's unique experience with bicycle transportation and PSU's remarkable synergy with the surrounding transportation agencies and private partners. His current research project involves the development of a smartphone application to collect travel and safety data about cyclists in Oregon using a combination of GPS and survey questions. Outside of academics, he enjoys reading, playing the guitar, exploring on his bicycle, and trying to visit every microbrewery in Portland.


Automobile drivers -- Behavior -- Analysis, Traffic signs and signals -- Control systems, Pedestrians -- Safety measures


Transportation | Urban Studies and Planning

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Leveraging Signal Infrastructure for Non-Motorized Counts in a Statewide Program: A Pilot Study