The Circuit Trails Show Increased Use, Wins USA TODAY’s Best Urban Trail

The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission Thursday released the first year of data from its permanent bicycle and pedestrian counters that have been placed on 11 trails around Greater Philadelphia.

Bulletin: The Circuit Trails just won USA TODAY’s Best Urban Trail Recognition

Thanks to generous support from the William Penn Foundation, the permanent counters enable the Commission to collect continuous volume data around The Circuit – the region’s network of multiuse trails – and identify areas in need of additional bicycle facilities.

The five trails with the highest combined bicycle and pedestrian volumes for a one-year period are:

— Schuylkill River Trail at Kelly Drive – 663,201;

— Chester Valley Trail – 240,182;

— Schuylkill River Trail at Pawlings Road – 208,180;

— Wissahickon Trail – 208,114; and

— Cynwyd Heritage Trail – 114,619.

The data collected by the permanent bicycle and pedestrian counters shows significant use of these regional transportation assets. DVRPC maintains one of the nation’s most widespread bicycle and pedestrian counting programs.

The counters combine a passive infrared sensor, which detects body heat, with an inductive loop, which detects the metallic signature of bicycle wheels, to provide a count of pedestrian and cyclists, including their travel direction.

This technology paves the way for the introduction in Philadelphia of real-time “bicycle barometers” that simultaneously collect data and encourage bicycle use due to their prominent visibility and digital displays.

“We are proud that Greater Philadelphia is among the first regions in the country to install permanent bicycle and pedestrian counters,” said DVRPC Executive Director, Barry Seymour. “We hope to explore additional opportunities to invest in measurement technology and support the strong demand for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure that this data suggests.”

To learn more about bicycle and pedestrian count program, visit the DVRPC website. Future interactive map and data releases will be posted online.

For more information on using the Delaware Valley trails, visit The Circuit website.


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