Wednesday Morning Session
The Wednesday morning activity is completely free, but you must complete the additional registration. It is NOT included in the regular conference registration.
Making Bicycle and Pedestrians COUNT in Texas: How to Count
Speakers: Robert Benz, Michael Martin, Minh Le
Developing a bicycle and pedestrian count program requires one main thing: counts. But counts just don’t appear overnight; quality counts require careful planning, choosing the right equipment, selecting the best locations, making sure the equipment is properly installed, and maintaining the equipment.
This session will deep dive into how to set up a non-motorized count program and what you need to have ready before, during, and after you start counting. Participants will learn advanced tips for planning an ongoing count program, including when and how long to count, what counters are most appropriate, and where is best to count. Participants will also learn tricks of the trade developed over years for making sure count equipment is installed properly and robustly. Participants will learn maintenance tips for ensuring permanent and temporary count equipment operates at peak performance.
Finally, participants will learn about the future of pedestrian detection using machine vision to automatically count pedestrians at intersections with traffic signals in real time.
IMPORTANT: To register for this pre-conference activity, please visit: https://bikepedcounttraining.eventbrite.com.
Wednesday Afternoon Sessions
Making Bicycle and Pedestrians COUNT in Texas: Why Count
Speakers: Bonnie Sherman, Shawn Turner, and Ana Ramirez Huerta
One of the biggest questions facing bicycle and pedestrian planners today is, “Why count?” This question is closely followed by, “What do I do with counts once I have them?” Justifying non-motorized counting programs can be difficult and requires careful consideration for how counts will be used to improve the planning process.
This session is the first of a two-part series that will discuss the basics of why we count bicyclists and pedestrians and how those counts are used in the planning process. Participants will learn where to use non-motorized counts in the planning process and how to justify their use to others. Participants will also learn real-world examples of how non-motorized counts are used across Texas and how they can help widen their use in their own cities.
Making Bicycle and Pedestrians COUNT in Texas: Verifying Counts
Speakers: Phil Lasley and Bonnie Sherman
Bicycle and pedestrian counts are only useful if others believe in their validity and accuracy. The number one enemy of data are errors that undermine the count’s (and counter’s) credibility. The nature of non-motorized travel makes collecting and estimating accurate data difficult. Every count program therefore needs a solid quality assurance and quality control (QAQC) system to maximize the effectiveness and credibility of the counts.
Part 2 of this session will focus on QAQC of count data and a new interface as part of TxDOT’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Count Exchange, demonstrating an easy process for consolidating high-quality, locally-collected non-motorized count data in a statewide central repository. Participants will learn about tools, tips, and tricks to master quality control of their own data and empower entities to use their data in the planning process. Participants will also be able to register to be a contributor to TxDOT’s new Bicycle and Pedestrian Count Exchange—a powerful new tool that provides a publicly accessible, visual platform, streamlines the post-collection QAQC process, and imports data into the Federal TMAS system.
Robert Benz is a Research Engineer with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute and has over 29 years of experience. He has a broad background but has been collecting and analyzing data his entire career. I the past decade he has focused on non-motorized activities from the collection, storage, analysis, and use case activities, such as planning, project scoring, ranking, and project utilization.
Michael Martin is an Assistant Research Scientist at TTI with 7 years of experience as a data-wrangling urban planner. He has a passion for the outdoors and a desire to help others find ways to get out and be active. Michael’s work is centered on applying spatial and advanced data analysis techniques to transportation planning and safety problems to produce practical results that help save lives, time, and resources.
Shawn Turner is a Senior Research Engineer at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI), where he has conducted applied research for the past 28 years. Shawn is a data nerd and is passionate about making walking and biking safer and more convenient travel modes. His research focus areas include multimodal traffic data collection and analysis, performance measures and monitoring, and mobility analysis.
Phil Lasley is an Assistant Research Scientist with TTI and has worked with bicycle and pedestrian data issues for over 8 years. He has extensive experience with traffic mobility and measurement, data quality assurance/quality control, and mobility policy for the State Legislature. Phil strives to find ways to make data more usable and meaningful in planning and policy.
Bonnie Sherman is TxDOT’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Manager, working to promote collaborative development of safer, more connected bikeways throughout Texas. In this role, she has assisted in development of a number of statewide efforts, including a bicycle tourism study, bicycle and pedestrian count initiative, and an economic evaluation of bicycling. She has 14 years of experience in active transportation, multimodal, and environmental planning for TxDOT at the local, regional, and state levels. She earned her Masters’ in Community Regional Planning and in Public Affairs as well as a B.S. in Biology from the University of Texas at Austin.
Ana Ramirez Huerta, TxDOT Houston District Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator
Minh Le, TTI Dallas Program Manager/Associate Research Engineer