Category Archives: Downtown Management

Planner Resources: Let’s talk about validation counts

A few months back, we published a blog post titled Planner Resources: How to Build a Bike Count Program. We received a great deal of feedback on this post and are happy to know it engaged many of you in the practice of starting a bike count program.

Given this success, we’ve decided to make ‘Planner Resources’ a recurrent theme in our blog, with goal of sharing best-practice knowledge we have accumulated in 15+ years of leading the people counting industry.

In this edition of ‘Planner Resources’, we are going to discuss the (much under-discussed) topic of validation counts!

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9 UNESCO designated sites that measure their visitor numbers with Eco-Counter

Updated every year since 1978 by a dedicated UNESCO committee, the World Heritage List designates a set of natural and cultural sites of exceptional interest to humanity.

The UNESCO committee designates monuments for extraordinary historical and heritage richness, while the natural parks are often classified based on their landscapes and exceptional fauna and flora.

In this context, the objectives for collecting, monitoring and analysing visitor numbers may vary. Counting visitors can track traffic trends and analyse the before and after impact of UNESCO classification, but also anticipate peak visitation and better preserve the site by limiting human impacts.

Here are 9 examples of World Heritage sites that count visitors.

Continue reading 9 UNESCO designated sites that measure their visitor numbers with Eco-Counter

Five Benefits of Counting Cyclists for Business Districts

How does your downtown district move? Making a district easy to explore by bike brings benefits to both public health and businesses. The “feet on the street” can be increased by promoting cycling. Cyclists can make short trips without the worry of parking, which means more convenience purchases than other modes of transport.

Research by Portland State University showed that cyclists in the  Portland, OR metropolitan area spent the highest amount per month on convenience and bar purchases when compared to other transportation modes, and the second most on restaurant purchases.

Cyclist traffic data can inform strategies to increase cycling to businesses. Counting cyclists provides a way to measure how frequently they visit a district and the current use of infrastructure.

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On the Sunny Side of the Street: Pedestrians Flows at Plaza St-Hubert

Plaza St. Hubert, one of Montreal’s most distinctive and shopper-friendly neighborhoods, was recently named a top place to visit in Montreal by The New York Times. The district is well-known for its culinary offerings, from classics like smoked meat to new trendy eateries. It’s hard to resist the charm of its streets with unique glass awnings constructed in 1984 and the strong community vibe.

The Plaza St. Hubert Business Improvement District represents the 400 businesses that contribute to the vibrancy of the area. Mike Parente, General Director of Plaza St. Hubert BID, has implemented pedestrian counters to make data-driven decision making and planning part of maintaining a top-notch visitor experience.

Counting pedestrians at Plaza St-Hubert has not only allowed for accurate event attendance numbers, but also for a clearer picture of how foot traffic flows through the area. We chatted with Mike Parent to learn more about the insights that count data provided.

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Counting the Impact of Events: Small Business Saturday

The holiday season is a time of increased events and marketing efforts. Measuring the impact of events on foot traffic is often a challenge for downtown district event organizers. Methods to determine the impact of events may include talking to businesses after an event,  performing manual counts or handing out surveys.

Automatic counters record continuous data on foot traffic during events. In Wilmington, Delaware, Small Business Saturday was organized on November 26th as an important way to attract shoppers. Foot traffic on Market Street during the event was measured using automatic counters. Counters will be used for other future events like the LadyBug Music festival.

>>Read more about measuring foot traffic during Small Business Saturday in Wilmington

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Pedestrian counting in Luzern (Switzerland)

Organization in charge: City of Luzern (in collaboration with Urban Mobility Research, Zurich)

Population: 80,000 people (metropolitan area: 200,000 people)

Installed counters: 5 PYRO-Boxes – infrared passive sensor detecting heat micro-variations

Global context

More and more places around the world are recognizing the role of walking as a solution for health and city management. In Switzerland, proactive policies emphasize walking as a physical activity and a form of active transportation. Cities aim to raise the mode share of walking and counting systems help them to measure, plan and communicate their goals.

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The ability to know about your community’s health: the 2nd Street Pedestrian Sensor

Thoughts on public health, active transportation and our famous flashy blue Urban Post in Washington, DC on M. Ted Eytan’s blog.

“In the future, every health system should invest in the ability to know about the health determinants of the communities they serve, and those investments should be visible to the people who live in them.”

Source: Ted Eytan’s Blog