Bicycle & Pedestrian

Bicycling and walking are healthy, fun, and environmentally conscious ways to get around.  Many people walk or bike because they want to, while others walk or bike because they are too young or too old to drive, have a disability, or can’t afford a car. Our goal is to promote and encourage safe transportation and recreation for all people, on and off the roadways.

While communities are not forced to make specific accommodations for bicycle and pedestrian safety, the US Department of Transportation’s Policy Statement on Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodations, Regulations, and Recommendations provides sound guidance that NRPC takes seriously. The Policy states:

"The DOT policy is to incorporate safe and convenient walking and bicycling facilities into transportation projects. Every transportation agency, including DOT, has the responsibility to improve conditions and opportunities for walking and bicycling and to integrate walking and bicycling into their transportation systems. Because of the numerous individual and community benefits that walking and bicycling provide-including health, safety, environmental, transportation, and quality of life-transportation agencies are encouraged to go beyond minimum standards to provide safe and convenient facilities for these modes.”

Existing roads don’t always support safe and convenient bicycling and walking, but road construction projects can be a great opportunity to make permanent safety improvements. Consideration of bicyclist and pedestrian safety should be addressed in the earliest phases of project planning for the best results. If there are no construction projects planned, a quick fix can help make roads safer for all, like changing how wide a shoulder is by moving the striping. Long-term, permanent changes are the best fit, but not always feasible, so it is best to weigh all options when considering safety.

NRPC continually collects bicycle and pedestrian traffic data along sidewalks, multi-use paths, and recreational trails throughout the region. We use four mobile “Eco-counters”, which are typically moved every two weeks to count traffic at new and recurring sites across the NRPC region.

Data collected from these counts is used to analyze trends in bicycle and pedestrian activity and aid in project planning to accommodate and promote safe, non-motorized transportation and recreational travel. Counting how many people walking, biking, or scooting on a road or at an intersection can also help planners and engineers identify where sidewalks, crosswalks, or paths need to be built or improved.

To help make a strong case for bicycle and pedestrian safety improvements during the planning process we can conduct counts at locations where a need for change has been recognized or where future construction is anticipated or planned. Data collected from these counts can help identify needs in communities for more robust infrastructure to support safe bicycle and pedestrian use. This data can also be useful when applying for grant-based funding for improvement projects.

NRPC Bike and Pedestrian Counter Viewer
Screenshot NRPC Bike and Pedestrian Count Viewer

Our goal is to have counting locations in all 13 communities in the NRPC region.
Areas that can be great for counting include:

  • Sidewalks
  • School zones
  • Multi-use pathways
  • Hiking trails
  • Rail trails
  • Bike paths

If you would like to have a count at a particular location or pathway in your community, please contact us using the Bicycle & Pedestrian Count Request form!
Mine Falls Bike Ped counter 2021 - Copy

Additional Resources:
NH.GOV Walking and Bicycling Accommodations in NH PDF 
Bike-Walk Alliance of NH
Central NH Bike Coalition
Gate City Bike Coop
The League of American Bicyclists
Smart Growth America An Active Roadmap: Best Practices in Rural Mobility

Some Useful Links...

Design Guidelines & Best Practices
Organizations, Coalitions & Partnerships
National Initiatives

Noteworthy Projects and Areas in the Region:

Noteworthy Projects and Areas in the Region: