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 two types of counters to gather data: One permanent counter located on the Nashua River Rail Trail, and two temporary counters. The two temporary counters are moved every two weeks and currently cover 27 locations throughout the 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.
View reports containing data collected from our latest counts here.
Our goal is to have counting locations in all 13 communities in the NRPC region.
Areas that can be great for counting include:
- 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!
NH.GOV Walking and Bicycling Accommodations in NH PDF https://www.nh.gov/dot/programs/bikeped/documents/NHDOT_BPGuide.pdf
Bike-Walk Alliance of NH https://bwanh.org/
Central NH Bike Coalition https://www.cnhbc.org/
Gate City Bike Coop https://gatecitybikecoop.org/
The League of American Bicyclists https://www.bikeleague.org/
Some Useful Links...
- Federal Highway Administration: Small Towns and Rural Multi-modal Networks
- Federal Highway Administration Small Town and Rural Design Guide
- PACTS Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System
- Washington County Bicycle Facility Design Toolkit
- Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Guide
- NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide
- Portland Bicycle Master Plan for 2030, Appendix D
- FHWA, Bicycle Facilities and the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices
- Bike-Walk Alliance of New Hampshire
- Friends of the Souhegan Valley Rail Trail
- New Hampshire Rail Trails Coalition
- Granite State Wheelers
- The National Center for Bicycling and Walking
- League of American Bicyclists
- Associations of Bicycle Professionals (APBP)
- Rails to Trail Conservancy
- National Complete Streets Coalition
- Safe Routes to School National Partnership
- Context Sensitive Solutions Clearinghouse
- Cities for Cycling