The City of Des Moines, with the help of hundreds of volunteers, annually participates in the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project. This effort provides a standardized methodology for counting and surveying bicyclists and pedestrians. The project is co-sponsored by nationally-acclaimed bicycle consultants, Alta Planning + Design, and the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and there is no cost to the City to participate.
Why is this project important?
The data compiled during these counts are extrapolated through a formula that considers time of day, day of the week, and local climate, to estimate annual counts. This type of information is valuable for identifying where new bicycle and pedestrian facilities should be constructed, evaluating the effectiveness of such facilities, and applying for grant funding
How does it work?
On-street counts, which were conducted at 9 different locations, resulted in a range of the estimated number of annual bicycle and pedestrian on-street trips between 27,000 and 240,000. The average trip per on-street location is approximately 192,000 trips per year.
At the same time,surveys are also conducted. The survey questions revealed helpful information. For example, the number one reason people walk or bike is to get exercise. Also, about 39% of survey respondents that walk, run, or bike outside year-round. Des Moines removes snow from the trails to help encourage year-round usage. Approximately 67% of bicyclists are male, but pedestrians are 50% male and 50% female.