Site Selection/Set-upTips

When developing a bicycle and pedestrian data collection program, several program elements will require careful planning.

Below are some tips for selecting sites and setting up counters:

  • Avoid Vandalism - Consider locking up your counter.  Many governmental organizations have experienced counter theft.  To avoid vandalism, it is recommended that when installing counters in the field, purchase an extra lock.

  • Label Counters - Often times counters may be confused for other objects such as trash or bombs. To avoid mishaps, it is recommended that counters be discreetly labeled with your contact information so that if they are closely examined the owner of the equipment can be determined.

  • Look for Bugs - Counters that use IR detection can become partially or fully blocked when a nest of wasps decide to make the internal parts of a counter their new home.  When selecting a site, try to avoid locations that have a lot of wasps, ants, or bugs that can get inside the counter.

  • Avoid Electrical Lines - Overhead or underground power lines can result in erroneous detection.  Try to select sites that are not near overhead or underground power lines. Discuss with the manufacturer of your counting equipment for details.

  • Avoid Water - Some counters can pick up reflections from water bodies erroneously detecting and counting the reflections.  This can inflate the numbers stored in the counter.  Try to avoid pointing counters toward water bodies.

  • Choose Smooth Sections of Trail/Pavement - When selecting sites, it is best to select areas where smooth section of trail/pavement are present.

  • Perform Preliminary Counts - Count equipment is expensive! To avoid misusing resources perform preliminary counts at sites where counting equipment may be installed to understand the type of traffic that will be observed at the site in question.