Cascade Seeks Volunteers for Annual Statewide Bicycling Count
The October counts help determine how the state and communities spend transportation money, design safety projects, and more.

Want to help improve bicycle and pedestrian safety, and spend a few days outdoors?

Sign up to be a volunteer counter for the Washington Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project, an annual count of people riding bikes and walking in the state. Think of it as the U.S. Census for bicycling and walking in Washington. 

Cascade is working with the Washington State Department of Transportation to recruit and train volunteers for the count, which will take place Oct. 20-22. 

These counts, which are returning after a hiatus in 2019, are crucially important for people who support bicycling and walking because they generate data about the numbers of individuals using trails, bike lanes, sidewalks and other facilities. This data is used to help design projects, track changes in active mobility, and to measure the demand for and benefits of investing in active transportation.

Volunteering is also a fun way to explore new areas of your community. Cascade’s volunteers from across the state are encouraged to participate, no matter how big or small your hometown.

“My favorite part of counting each year is getting to see a new part of Seattle up close, and riding my bike there,” says Rebecca Sorensen, Cascade’s Events and Community Rides director. “I have enjoyed seeing and learning about both extremely busy intersections and completely quiet ones.”

In 2018, 406 volunteers participated at 431 sites in 46 cities statewide.

Better data about who is walking and biking daily helps Cascade and others advocate for safety, policy and infrastructure improvements. Transportation planners and community leaders also use the data to improve bicycle routes. 

“Counting bicyclists and pedestrians at specific locations helps us to more accurately estimate demand, measure the benefits of investments, and design our projects,” according to the Washington State Department of Transportation’s count landing page.

“When you choose to count on the corner of a busy street where people struggle to ride safely or walk,” Sorensen says, “it shows you the importance of providing better data to the Department of Transportation, and it highlights the difference that Cascade Bicycle Club and Washington Bikes make in advocating for better infrastructure.”

The volunteer shifts are from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on any one of the three days. Sign up to count at https://bikepedcount.wsdot.wa.gov/  

 

 
Paul Tolmé's picture
Paul Tolmé