Regional Nonmotorized Count Program


The count data website can be accessed by clicking the map above


In May 2015, the Commission was selected as one of ten metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) around the nation to participate in the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Bicycle-Pedestrian Count Technology Pilot Project. Each MPO received Federal funding to assist with this count project, which was intended to increase the capacity of MPOs for establishing and operating bicycle and pedestrian counting programs. During the pilot project, SEWRPC purchased three passive infrared counters, which were set up on regionally significant off-street paths for two-week count sessions. A report summarizing the count program and the analysis of the count data collected between August 2015 and March 2016 was submitted to FHWA in May 2016. This report can be accessed here.

Since the pilot project concluded, Commission staff has continued collecting count data primarily on the long distance off-street paths in the Region. The purpose of the regional count program is to better understand volumes and volume trends on the regional off-street path system. The count data is 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).

The regional count program currently consists of short-term two-week counts that are conducted between March and November each year. There are over 50 locations that are counted on the regional off-street path system using the passive infrared counters. Locations are typically counted once per year and are scheduled on a rotating basis so that within three years the location is counted during the spring, summer, and fall. Starting in 2017, three hose counter devices were purchased and have since been deployed at many of these locations on paved trails. The hose counters only count bicyclists but can be set up in conjunction with the passive infrared counters to differentiate the count data between bicyclists and pedestrians. In 2017, Commission staff also purchased four additional passive infrared counters, which were set up to collect long term, continuous counts on four regional trails in suburban and rural locations.  

Count data summary reports are developed after each short term count session that summarize 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 developed after a full year of count data is collected. All of these reports are provided to the individual local government agencies that own and manage the respective trails.


Regional Coordination


Other entities in the Region that manage nonmotorized count programs include 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.

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.  


Contact Information


For more information regarding the regional nonmotorized count program, please contact Joe Delmagori by email ( or at (262) 547-6721.

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Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission

W239 N1812 Rockwood Drive
P.O. Box 1607
Waukesha, WI 53187-1607

Monday - Thursday
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8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.


Global Water Center
247 Freshwater Way
Milwaukee, WI 53204

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Phone: (262) 547-6721


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