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Observations from the 2020 Bicycle and Pedestrian Traffic Count

Observations from the 2020 Bicycle and Pedestrian Visitors Rely

It was sunny and never fairly 60 levels once I unfolded my camp chair on the northwest nook of Power Park Drive and the U of M Transitway on the sting of Saint Paul to count people walking or bicycling on a Thursday afternoon in September.

I positioned the chair proper subsequent to the beg button for the Transitway crossing and pushed the button for bikers as they approached the intersection, as in the event that they have been, for as soon as, heavy sufficient to set off the sunshine change the best way the buses do. As soon as it got here on, the stroll signal and inexperienced mild stayed on for about 30 seconds. I observed the period of time it took for the sunshine to show might be as little as one or two seconds — the shortest interval I believe I’ve ever seen. (It was nearly too brief typically, as a result of I used to be making an attempt to time it primarily based on the bikers’ distance from the sunshine.) At different instances, if the sunshine had only in the near past been inexperienced, it took longer to show once more. Over all, it was essentially the most button-responsive mild I’ve ever seen in Saint Paul.

Not surprisingly, Power Park bikers —who have been far much less quite a few (34 whole) than Transitway bikers — have been additionally far more more likely to be on the sidewalk vs. the road. EPD is principally a automobile sewer, particularly throughout rush hour, because it has no bike lane or path.

Virtually the entire EPD bikers turned left onto the Transitway (heading towards Minneapolis). To make this left, they used a number of completely different methods:

  1. Journey on the street to make a typical left flip from the left-most site visitors lane of EPD (these bikers have been taking the lane on the street)
  2. Journey (in opposition to site visitors) on the sidewalk on the south aspect of EPD, then flip onto the Transitway’s roadway, so that they didn’t must cross the EPD intersection. I might say nearly as many bikers used this technique as the primary methodology. I couldn’t see how they’d gotten to the EPD sidewalk, nevertheless. They’d come from the Raymond and EPD intersection by some means.
  3. Journey on EPD on the street or on the north sidewalk to achieve the north sidewalk nook by the site visitors mild the place I used to be sitting, then anticipate the inexperienced mild to cross within the crosswalk. This methodology was the least used. I noticed one rider do that in reverse as properly; he crossed the intersection on the Transitway, then turned onto the north-side EPD sidewalk.

Transitway bikers, however, have been nearly completely on the street, although there’s a very good multi-use path with low pedestrian site visitors on the Minneapolis-bound Transitway. Even the bikers who have been much less clearly “common” commuters on the Transitway have been using on the street. Within the depend that day, solely two Transitway bikers out of 157 used the MUP. It is because the Transitway is such an amazing place to journey a motorbike, as described by Dan Marshall back in March 2020.

The interactions of bikers and inter-campus bus drivers on the Transitway have been nearly utterly unremarkable throughout my time of remark. The one notable battle got here at one level once I noticed a sluggish and seemingly less-experienced biker go east up the hill towards the Saint Paul campus, using on the street. A Lycra warrior got here up behind her and began to tug out to move, using in the midst of the best lane, simply as an inter-campus bus was additionally coming from behind in the identical route. The sooner biker pulled over behind the slower one and the bus swept previous in the midst of the street. However I puzzled why the sooner biker had pulled out within the first place — had he not heard the loud bus approaching sooner? Perhaps he had headphones in his ears.

I did witness the unhealthy habits of some motorized single-occupancy drivers on EPD who needed to anticipate the west-bound pink mild whereas bikers have been crossing on the Transitway. One was in a white Cadillac Escalade with a small Trump flag and the opposite was a loud, full-sized pickup truck. The Escalade driver wished to tug across the different vehicles that have been stopped for the sunshine, as if he may go proper on pink, though there was no proper flip to make, solely straight forward. He stopped midway onto the shoulder and waited for the sunshine to alter. The truck driver was much more impatient: he handed the stack of 4 or 5 vehicles forward of him on the shoulder as the sunshine began to alter as a way to beat all of them into the four-lane a part of EPD and Kasota that lies to the west.

One piece of fine information on the motor vehicle entrance: I noticed no unlawful use of the Transitway. There have been solely bikes, buses, a few police vehicles, two ambulances, and one U of M transit supervisor.

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