Disclaimer, I work for the City of Edina, and made these charts for a presentation to the Edina Transportation Commission.
Here we can see how different facilities were used for biking and walking in Edina in 2014. These counts were over a full 24 hours (some places were up to 48 hours, but their data represents the average of the two days).
One thing to note is that the counts nearer to middle and high schools were significantly affected by the schools. Why the elementary schools did not see such a large bump is possible for several reasons:
- Sports teams, there are a lot of sports teams who might run by the camera a few times on a day. These people were using the facilities as built, so they were counted, but as there are not may elementary school cross-country teams, that is at least partially a factor in the higher counts around these schools.
- Older children might be seen as more able to walk when they are within the walking zone, whereas younger kids might be seen as needing an adult to walk/drive them.
- There are fewer high/middle schools. These might have higher concentrations of students.
- Release times might make it more difficult for parents with jobs to pick up their children from a high school or middle school, whereas some elementary schools release at nearly 4:00.
Finally, the green stars indicate either poor weather, or camera failure, where a full 24 hours was not recorded or valid data. However, cameras failed and rain came late in the evening (after 9 PM) or early in the morning (recording fine by 5:30 AM), when there were few pedestrians or bicyclists throughout the city, even during better weather.
You can see the whole presentation here, close to the 30 minute mark. OR you can stay tuned for more future Charts of the Day! (And the first Chart, Year-to-Year Comparisons).
Of all streets, why count these?
The reasoning behind each location is specific, but in general… Interlachen and Blake; 54th and Wooddale; and 44th and Brookside (6 counts) were selected to count because of the data shown on the previous chart (yesterday). Simply, it had previous data which could be used to compare from year to year. (Previous counts were conducted by Transit for Livable Communities, Bike Walk Twin Cities and the Bike Edina Task Force).
Antrim and Valley View was selected because it was near the highschool, and would provide data helpful for Active Routes To School, and there were improvements for both bicycles and pedestrians at that location (sidewalks and bike lanes).
Benton and 100/ Normandale was selected because Benton over 100 is one of the only connections that pedestrians can make to cross the freeway. This bridge is also on the bike plans as being a future bike route, and more sidewalks may connect to the bridge.
Gleason and Vernon was selected largely because the Nine Mile Creek Regional Trail would go through that area, and getting baseline data for that improvement would allow for an analysis to be done later.
70th and Cornelia was selected because it is next to a school, 70th has bike lanes and sidewalks, and connects major destinations.
Where would you have taken the counts?
Those are all great reasons. I can only think of others to add, but not really replace. Some I’d consider, 50th and Vernon, there is a bus stop there when many peds get off the bus and cross 50th to the parking ramp, as well as apartment residents who walk to the bus stop. The Southdale area is filling up with residents, and has long had quite a few along York, it would be interesting to see some sort of counts to account for residents on south York getting around the district. With Wooddale getting the experimental bike lane, 50th and Wooddale would make a good count point going north/south, but again counting east/west walking/biking on 50th.
Why no measuring around 50th and France or 44th and France?
These are great suggestions, I will add them to a list of locations we have running for possible sites of this years counts (maybe we will try to do some spring counts as well)! Currently the Promenade, near the tie in for the Nine Mile Creek Regional Trail is seen as a location where we need to get counts before construction of the trail is complete.
50th and France and 44th and France however are commercial nodes, where walking on the sidewalks is required to access businesses, even if the primary source of transportation to the area was a motor vehicle. Beyond that, counts at these locations would seem to be more indicative of the strength of the retail area moreso than the ability to walk in these locations.
Unfortunately, we cannot count all locations in the same year, we simply do not have the number of cameras to complete such an analysis. We have two weeks, in which to collect all the video for the counts (we cheated a little here because of a warm fall and used three weeks). In the future Edina is looking to continue to count Interlachen/Blake, 54th/Wooddale, and 44th/Brookside to get growth and seasonal numbers to calibrate other data to until we have garnered sufficient data in other locations such that we can start to combine the data sets to see how these modes are growing or declining over time.
Hopefully we can gain some extra cameras (and person-hours for analysis) to get a more complete picture of the walking and biking within Edina.
Another spot came to me. I work in Edina but live one block from the border in Hopkins. I see quite a few cyclist heading through Hopkins towards the regional bike trails, either along the treacherous Washington Ave or through the residential streets. Maybe a count of cyclists along Washington could be made.
I’d proposed a bike route connecting Van Valkenburg Park, through the cemetery, down Jackson, through Alden Park to provide a safe link to the regional trails that cross Excelsior at the Cargill campus. Safer than Washington/Milwaukee for casual bikers that’s for sure.