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Non-Motorized Count Program

The Commission operates a program that collects count data for non-motorized modes, such as bicycle and pedestrian travel, and reports the data through an interactive website.

Regional Non-Motorized Count Program

Commission staff collect non-motorized (e.g., bicycle and pedestrian) count data primarily on the long-distance, off-street paths in the Region. The purpose of the program, which began in 2015 as a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Bicycle-Pedestrian Count Technology Pilot Project, is to better understand volumes and trends on the regional off-street path system. The count data are characterized by area type (urban, suburban, rural), weekly volume trends that indicate utilitarian and recreational use, changes in volume by season, temperature, and weather conditions (e.g., rain, snow, and wind speed).

Access Count Data Website


How We Collect Count Data

The regional count program currently consists of short-term (two-week) counts conducted between March and November each year. There are over 50 locations counted on the regional off-street path system. Locations are typically counted once per year and are scheduled on a rotating basis so that each location is counted within three years during the spring, summer, and fall.

For many of the paved trails, count data differentiate between bicyclists and pedestrians.

In addition to the short-term counts, the Commission maintains permanent counters to collect long-term, continuous counts on four regional trails in suburban and rural locations.


Count Data Reports

Summary reports are developed after each short-term count session that include daily and hourly count volumes, temperature and weather conditions for each day, and the average daily volume trend by day of the week. Annual reports for the permanent counters, which include annual and monthly statistics, are also available. All reports are provided to the individual local government agencies that own and manage the respective trails.


Regional Coordination

Other entities in the Region manage non-motorized count programs, including Milwaukee County, Ozaukee County, the City of Milwaukee, and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). Both counties and the City of Milwaukee have collectively established 14 permanent count sites on the Oak Leaf Trail, the Interurban Trail, the KK River Trail, the Hank Aaron State Trail, and the Beerline Trail. WisDOT conducts short-term counts on the regional off-street path system as part of its count program. Their count program data are also included in the count data website.

Commission staff coordinates with these local agencies to develop annual count schedules and to share count data. A standing committee organized through the Milwaukee County Trails Council provides further opportunity for the representatives from each of these agencies to discuss their count programs and to develop counting strategies that benefit the entire Region.