What is a vehicle and pedestrian movement study?

People and vehicles have been sharing the roadways for over a century — a balance of old and new ways of getting to from point A to point B. 

As technology advanced and personal vehicles became more affordable, more cars began to congest city streets and other throughways. As a result, pedestrians and drivers alike had to learn to share space safely — something that we at Carraway continue to focus on today.

When we talk about vehicle and pedestrian movement, what do we mean?

Generally speaking, vehicle and pedestrian movement refers to the number of vehicles and people moving through a defined space as well as the frequency and velocity of their movement. The study of this type of movement looks at the relationship between both parties — how, why, and why they intersect and the outcomes of these interactions. 

Why study vehicle and pedestrian movement?

There are many reasons to examine the movement of people and vehicles through space and time. Many of our clients request a study of pedestrian counts at retail locations to maximize entries and exits at large venues. Others seek to better understand patterns so that they can redirect vehicle and pedestrian traffic during peak periods, or to plan the logistics of intricate construction projects.

Types of study vehicle and pedestrian studies

1. Automated traffic counts

To understand the volume of traffic through a given area, automatic traffic recorders can be installed and monitored. This information can be used for a variety of traffic planning, including redirecting, roadway expansion planning, etc.

  1. Traffic studies
    Traffic includes more than just cars on roadways. People are also part of the equation. To better understand the big picture when it comes to activity in a given area, we study:
  • Intersection dynamics 
  • Bicycle and/or pedestrian presence/movement
  • Licence plates 
  • Origin destinations 
  • Travel times 
  • Turning movement 
  • Signal time 
  • Parking 
  • Cordon counts
  • Queue and gap measurements
  • Radar gun results
  1. Transit surveys
    Other frequent users of roadways and transportation lines are transit vehicles, including buses, trains, and planes. For these modes of travel, we take a closer look at:
  • Occupancy rates
  • Passenger on/off boarding
  • Peak periods

The benefits

For many municipalities and businesses, information around the flow of people and vehicle traffic is invaluable. It helps with the planning and management of projects and ongoing roadway operations.

Ultimately, these studies lead to safer environments for everyone on site, whether they’re on foot or passing through in their vehicle — and that’s something that we are passionate about.

For tips on how to stay safe on the roads, read our blog post 5 tips for sharing the road: vehicle, pedestrian, and cyclist safety.