The City of Norfolk launched a cycle-pedestrian counter program in March 2021 to provide a reliable method of collecting data. This data will be used to advance the goal of making cycling and walking more comfortable and connected in Norfolk by better understanding pedestrian and cycling trends in the city.
The City aims to use bicycle-pedestrian counters to support the expansion of bicycle lanes. The data will be used to justify the existence of the existing infrastructure and to support planning and investment for future network extensions and security measures for both modes. Additionally, developing a bike count program will help Norfolk earn a silver medal through the American Cyclists League as a symbol of being a bike-friendly city. Norfolk currently has a bronze award.
The first phase of meter installations focused on 15 existing cycle path locations. The location of these counters is shown on the map below. The second phase of meter installations will focus on other existing cycle lane locations as well as new cycle lanes being implemented in line with the City of Norfolk’s Multimodal Transport Master Plan and Bicycle and Pedestrian Strategic Plan .
Types of counters
The City of Norfolk has two types of meters – Eco-Counters and Roadsys meters. The 15 meters installed in March 2021 were Roadsys meters. These counters are solar-powered aluminum poles with two electric sensors installed in the sidewalk of the cycle paths (left image). Mixed bicycle-pedestrian counters also incorporate an infrared sensor that faces the sidewalk (right image). The second phase of meter installations will consist of Roadsys meters.
There are currently seven eco-meters in the City of Norfolk which have been installed at specific locations along the Elizabeth River Trail since 2019. Three meters are owned by the City and four by the Elizabeth River Trail Foundation. These meters are wooden poles with electrical sensors installed in the adjacent sidewalk (bottom image).
The bicycle counters use inductive loop sensor technology and have been installed to detect bicycles in existing bicycle lanes. Pedestrian counters use an infrared sensor to count pedestrians on the adjacent sidewalk. Some counters are bicycle only counters and some are mixed bicycle and pedestrian counters.
The data collected includes the number of bicycles and pedestrians as well as the direction and progress of cyclists. View the Bike and Pedestrian Trip Counts dataset on the Norfolk Open Data portal. The data set includes data from Roadsys counters and Eco-Counters.
The 22 cycle-pedestrian counters installed in Norfolk are shown in the following table and map. View the current Norfolk Bike Network map.