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Washington State Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project

The Washington State Documentation Project occurs annually in the early fall. Bicycle and pedestrian usage of specific intersections in cities throughout the State will be counted and documented, similar to the National Documentation Project.

2015 Call for Volunteers

WSDOT and the Cascade Bicycle Club will be enlisting the support of volunteers and other organizations, like Feet First and Washington Bikes, to benchmark the numbers of people bicycling and walking on trails, bike lanes, sidewalks, and other facilities across the state. The count will take place on September 29, September 30, and/or October 1, 2015. Registration for volunteers will be open in the week of August 24th, 2015.

Counts will be assembled from all over Washington State, but focused on several cities including:

Anacortes Kirkland Renton
Bainbridge Island La Conner Richland
Bellevue Lake Forest Park Seattle
Bellingham Lakewood Sedro-Woolley
Bothell Longview Shoreline
Bremerton Lynden Skagit County (unincorporated)
Burien Mercer Island Spokane
Burlington Milton Spokane Valley
Ellensburg Mount Vernon Tacoma
Everett Mountlake Terrace Tukwila
Federal Way Oak Harbor University Place
Ferndale Olympia Vancouver
Gig Harbor Orting Vashon Island
Issaquah Parkland Walla Walla
Kelso Puyallup Wenatchee
Kent Redmond Yakima

How can I participate?

If you see your community listed above and want to help with the 2015 counts, contact us or sign-up here *! WSDOT is again working with Cascade Bicycle Club to coordinate volunteers. If you're interested please contact Paula Reeves, WSDOT Local Programs, or o Andrea Clinkscales, Cascade Bicycle Club Principal Planner.

*Please note: The following cities will be coordinating their own volunteers. If you would like to volunteer in one of these cities, please email the person listed as the city contact:

What is the purpose of the Count Program?

Transportation planning and design at all levels requires understanding of actual conditions. This involves determination of motor vehicle, bicyclist and pedestrian numbers. This data dealing with the characteristics of vehicle or people movement is obtained by undertaking traffic counts.

Just like motor vehicle counts, counting bicyclists and pedestrians at specific locations will help us to more accurately estimate demand, measure the benefits of investments, and design our projects. This information will also help us target safety and mobility projects and improve our traffic models.

How will we collect the counts?

This documentation project will use a data collection protocol similar to and consistent with the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project. We are working with a network of city staff, bicycle club members, and other volunteers to collect counts and document them using this consistent process.

Will the counts collected by volunteers be valid?

Yes. This documentation project will use a very traditional method involving placing observers at specific locations to record bicycle or pedestrian movements. Observers use tally sheets to record numbers consistently. In addition, city and state staff will conduct a quality control effort to cross check many of these count locations.

Collecting manual traffic counts in this manner can often be superior to using mechanical counters or sensors and is much less expensive. In addition to their expense, mechanical sensors only cover limited areas of the traveled way frequently missing counts. They are easily displaced and damaged which can lead to inaccurate readings. Manual traffic counts are often required even when mechanical counters are used to ensure accuracy.