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July 24, 2015

Report: Demand increasing for Delaware Valley's multiuse bike trails

Data from bike, pedestrian counting program spurs metro planning organization to expand The Circuit by 450 miles

Bikers and pedestrians are making good use of a network of trails, known as The Circuit, that surrounds the Delaware Valley and stretches more than 300 miles throughout the Greater Philadelphia region in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, according to a report that analyzed data collected by permanent bike and pedestrian counters.

The report, released by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), compiled data gathered the first year of the counting program's implementation across 11 trails in the region.

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“We are proud that Greater Philadelphia is among the first regions in the country to install permanent bicycle and pedestrian counters,” said DVRPC Executive Director, Barry Seymour. “We hope to explore additional opportunities to invest in measurement technology and support the strong demand for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure that this data suggests.”

The first-year data provided insight into where there is increasing demand for additional bicycle facilities, which the DCRPC hopes will help connect people to jobs, recreational opportunities, public transportation, green spaces and other neighborhoods. To that end, the Circuit Coalition, a group of nonprofit organizations, foundations and agencies, plans to expand The Circuit's system of multiuse trails by another 450 miles.

Permanent Bicycle and Pedestrian Station Data (DVRPC)

The counter program, funded with support from The William Penn Foundation, combines a passive infrared sensor, which detects body heat, with an inductive loop that detects the metallic signature of bicycle wheels, generating a total count of pedestrians and cyclists, including their direction of travel.

Based on the data, the most frequently traveled trails in The Circuit over the past year were as follows:

• Schuylkill River Trail at Kelly Drive – 663,201

• Chester Valley Trail – 240,182

• Schuylkill River Trail at Pawlings Road – 208,180

• Wissahickon Trail – 208,114

• Cynwyd Heritage Trail – 114,619

For more information about The Circuit and the counting program, visit here.