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Pedestrian Count (with Bicycle Comparison)


Data Description & Source

Description: This is the number of pedestrians counted during a specific two-hour time frame at priority intersections

Notes: Annual count occurs each September as a part of the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project.

Source: Annual Asheville area Bicycle and Pedestrian Count under the direction of the Asheville Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force

To view the number of cyclists counted using the same methodology, click "Toggle Comparisons."

Story Behind the Curve

From 2012-2015, the number of pedestrians counted at key intersections has increased. According to the Asheville Transit Master Plan, pedestrian infrastructure is necessary to provide a means whereby people may choose to walk instead of drive, reducing the number of cars on the road. It is also essential to support a user-friendly and accessible transit system. In coordination, transit and pedestrian infrastructure can provide a seamless means for citizens to move throughout the city without necessarily utilizing a vehicle. Because of their ability to serve as critical connections, pedestrian facilities remain a priority in the Asheville in Motion mobility plan. Additionally, the city of Asheville and Buncombe county have come together to create a greenway master plan, and greenways and pedestrian facilities are gaining new support from local businesses

However, several walkability issues persist including difficulties getting to and from transit stops; waiting for buses; and a lack of shelters, sidewalks, crosswalks, pedestrian crossing signals and other features that ensure pedestrian safety. The city's pedestrian plan focuses on developing and maintaining a pedestrian network that includes sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, and greenways; offers convenience, safety, and connectivity; encourages the choice to walk and use transit; and improves access for those with mobility disabilities. Currently, while desired, these facilities are not priority to county government due to lack of demand from residents.

The number of cyclists in counted in priority locations has increased since 2012. To the right is a graphic that illustrates existing bicycle facilities in Asheville from the Asheville in Motion (AIM) mobility plan. The plan reports that through their public outreach process, bicyclists expressed interest in riding on the street network but were concerned with safety issues.

Prior to AIM, the Asheville Comprehensive Bicycle Plan was developed and focuses on bicycling-related improvements based on usage and functional connectivity for existing facilities. The plan also examined educational, encouragement, and enforcement efforts to promote bicycling. The vision of the Asheville Comprehensive Bicycle Plan is a continuous network of bicycle facilities, which increases access, safety, and mobility of bicyclists in Asheville.

What Works

Community Partners have identified the following strategies and interventions and some are also recommended by Asheville in Motion :

Cross Promotion of Transit and Trails: Signage can promote more use of the combination of public transit with trails for walking and biking and can raise public awareness about these facilities. Adding transit access information to bicycle and pedestrian wayfinding signs and bicycle and pedestrian facilities and trails maps can facilitate transit use by these individuals. Providing information about bicycle and pedestrian facilities at public transit maps and on other informational media developed for passengers can facilitate use of bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Additionally, signage, maps and other information on transit agency and government websites and mobile phone apps should provide enough information to enable a trail user to switch modes to public transit and vice versa.

Advocate for cyclical and sustained funding for greenways and other pedestrian facilities: Increasing greenway access from neighborhoods is important to increasing walkability and pedestrian access. This can be accomplished through evaluating likely connections to existing and planned greenways and prioritizing connections as greenways are developed. A long-range funding strategy for pedestrian-specific improvements can be created through engaging stakeholders such as businesses, major health organizations, and NCDOT. Recommendation from AIM.

Engage diverse community voices: It is important to engage diverse community voices to provide a comprehensive picture of how pedestrian facilities benefit the community and also how they are not just special interest.

Educating kids and enhancing Safe Routes to School: This strategy can be implements by working with regional Active Routes to School coordination, determining percentage of students who live within walking distance of schools, and identifying high priority schools for Safe Routes to School programs. Recommendation from AIM.

Multimodal Requirements for Traffic Studies on New Development: Update traffic study policies to require evaluation of pedestrian, bicycling and transit mode impacts. Consider assessment of likely pedestrian traffic generation, pedestrian/bicyclist counts and impacts to pedestrian/bicyclist/transit traffic during and after construction. Lower citywide speed limits when adopting traffic control measures. Recommendation from AIM.

Pedestrian and Cyclist Access to Bus Stops: Incorporate transit service and ridership data in sidewalk prioritization methods and continue to invest in linkages between bus stop and nearest intersection and intersection crossings. Evaluate crossing needs at signalized and midblock stop locations can facilitate safe and easy ridership. To ensure that riders of all abilities can access transit, upgrade curb ramps to current standards when bus stops are upgraded. Assess gaps in system between bus stops and destinations for riders

Increasing Bicycle infrastructure: Improve bikability by adding bike lanes, buffered bike lanes, striped shoulders, climbing lanes and shared streeet marking.

Examples of Similar Strategies Elsewhere:

Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Active Transportation Funding Policy: The intent of the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (MPO) Active Transportation Funding Policy is to change the built environment to make active transportation easier and safer to use. The Active Transportation Funding Policy includes two key elements: (1) dedicated funding for active transportation infrastructure and education about active transportation and (2) the application of scoring criteria that incorporates active transportation indicators. Because of these environmental changes, it will be safer and more convenient for people to walk, bike or take transit.

Trailnet - Healthy Active Vibrant Communities: A model that uses community engagement and community development principles to empower communities to support and promote healthy eating and active lifestyles. The intent of this intervention is to build communities’ capacity to implement policy and environmental changes and build healthy social networks to address obesity. The HAVC Initiative is focused in low-income and at-risk communities, where the need is often greatest. HAVC activities are tailored to complement the unique assets, needs, and interests of each community.

Action Plan

See activity indicator for action plan.

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