Many municipalities, park districts, and nonprofit organizations have begun monitoring nonmotorized traffic on multiuse trails as the need for information about the use of facilities has grown and relatively low-cost sensors for automated monitoring have become available. As they have gained experience, they have begun to move from site-specific monitoring on individual trails to a more comprehensive monitoring of trail networks. This case study review compares strategies developed by 10 organizations for monitoring traffic on multiuse trails, including local, multicounty, statewide, and multistate trail networks. The focus is on approaches to the design of monitoring networks, particularly the rationales or objectives for monitoring and the selection of monitoring sites. It is shown that jurisdictions are following principles of monitoring established by FHWA and that the design of monitoring networks is evolving to meet new challenges, including monitoring large-scale networks. Relevant outcomes and implications for practice are summarized. The researchers concluded that FHWA guidelines can be adapted to many circumstances and can increase information for decision making. Trail monitoring is informing decisions related to facility planning, investment, and safety.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Arrowhead Regional Development Commission planners are using monitoring results to support grant applications and to prioritize segments for funding. The commission replicated the monitoring in 2016.