SUPERSESSION: Making Bicyclists and Pedestrians COUNT in Texas

Making Bicyclists and Pedestrians COUNT

Making Bicycle and Pedestrians COUNT in Texas: Why Count

Speakers: Bonnie Sherman, Noah Heath

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 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: Bonnie Sherman, Noah Heath

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.

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.


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.

Noah Heath

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