TPM 2006 MS paper

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PRACTICAL MONITORING OF CYCLING: 

PRACTICAL MONITORING OF CYCLING Mark Strong Transport Initiatives LLP Transport Initiatives LLP Office 4 145 Islingword Road Brighton BN2 9SH 0845 345 7623 www.transport-initiatives.com Transport Practitioners’ Meeting 2006

Summary: 

Summary Paper based on work by Transport Initiatives for Essex County Council reviewing locations for bicycle monitoring in five towns in the county Brief review of cycle monitoring research and techniques Use of manual and automatic methods including Automatic Cycle Counters (ACCs) Process for establishing a good cycle monitoring programme Examples of sites

Why monitor?: 

Why monitor? Trends – to detect changes and trends in cycle usage over time Baseline – to establish a starting point for use in target setting and comparison with future surveys Information – to provide details on the levels and characteristics of cycling Scheme-related – to investigate the effect on cycling of new measures such as cycling schemes or changes in policy

Why monitor?: 

Why monitor? And especially to measure progress against LTP targets But remember: monitoring is only a proxy for real levels of cycling since much cycling happens when or where there is no counting

Background: 

Background Cycle monitoring techniques differ widely between local authorities Authorities must use existing research and best practice to set up a monitoring strategy But most general guidance for traffic monitoring uses information based on research into motor vehicles flows Key study in 1999 by TRL gives some guidance on monitoring D G Davies, P Emmerson & A Pedlar, Transport Research Laboratory (1999) “TRL 395 – Guidance on monitoring local cycle use”

Slide6: 

Good monitoring requires large sample sizes and survey conditions to be controlled These requirements have generally not been met for cycle monitoring in the UK: Manual surveys generally carried out without controlled conditions (or even record of conditions) Counts often in locations with very low cycle flows. Most findings more valuable as a ‘snapshot’ of cycling than measurement of long-term trends

Implications of TRL research: 

Implications of TRL research Number of “counting periods” depends on a range of factors, especially estimated levels of cycle use Sites with 100-250 cyclists/day require at least 15 periods to detect an annual change of 20% (i.e. 250% increase in cycling over 5 years) e.g. Essex County Council LTP target is 160% - number of count periods required is approx: 30 for sites with >250 cyclists/day 50 for sites with 100-250 over 100 for sites with <100 cyclists/day.

Slide8: 

No theoretical reason why this level of monitoring could not be carried out using manual surveys But practical reasons of cost rule it out In practice statistically robust cycle monitoring requires the use of ACCs to: give continuous data on cycle flows provide sufficient count periods to establish a robust trend even allowing for errors or malfunctions

Guidance (or lack of it): 

Guidance (or lack of it) Little or no guidance on the number of counters required in an area to provide robust data TRL study recommends that authorities should install “at least one, and preferably several” ACCs (but no definition of “several”) No distinction between different sizes and types of authorities or areas No guidance on how large authorities such as shire counties can determine trends in cycling in towns or other discrete areas

Local authority examples: 

Local authority examples

Monitoring techniques: 

Monitoring techniques Automatic Cycle Counters (ACCs) Accurate, robust, relatively cheap Problems: Coincidence Failure to cross the counting device False positives No details about demographics of cyclists or nature of journey Manual monitoring Interviews Destination surveys

ACC methods: 

ACC methods Inductive Loop Most widespread method But problems!

Types of ACC: 

Types of ACC Radar Infra-red Piezoelectric tube Video/CCTV

Suggested good practice: 

Suggested good practice Empirically-based model for good practice in the provision of ACCs for settlements of different sizes Range to allow for local variation, e.g. density of network or specific section of route Ratios may seem high but should be balanced against other areas with little or no provision Model not intended to be used to set the overall level of ACCs across whole county (made up of dispersed settlements of varying sizes) or large cities of >400,000

Suggested level of provision: 

Suggested level of provision

Manual monitoring: 

Manual monitoring Traditional method for monitoring cycling levels As discussed, not appropriate for establishing long-term trends mainly due to the costs However still has a number of functions: Calibration of ACCs More detailed information on a range of characteristics e.g. gender or age Counts at short notice Counts at complex sites, including details of turning movements

TRL recommendations for manual monitoring: 

TRL recommendations for manual monitoring

Existing situation in Essex: 

Existing situation in Essex 2005 Essex Traffic Monitoring Report - 17 ACCs (plus 3 ACCs not used by Essex - district, Sustrans etc.) Monitored for 2 weeks every quarter – only just statistically valid Average daily cycle flows from 38 to 339 Plus manual counts on 3 yearly basis (9 – 250 cyclists) Month changed from Sept to Aug between counts!

Study methodology: 

Study methodology Desk assessment & site visits Factors for site choice: Location on a cycle route Ability to differentiate cycle traffic from motorised vehicle traffic Locations where relatively high cycle flows occur or might be expected to occur in the future Points where cyclists are channelled in some way and hence cannot avoid crossing the detection zone (or could be channelled e.g. ASL) General comments on cycling also made

Prioritisation: 

Prioritisation Based on site visits and suggested number of ACCs in each town Sites plotted on GIS Three levels of priority: Priority 1 Core network of ACCs for LTP baseline Priority 2 Increased level of monitoring of cycling, to be installed if funds permit Priority 3 Optional sites, to be used to determine level of cycling on specific routes NB recommended sites located to pick up main expected cycle flows hence not necessarily evenly distributed

Case study - Colchester: 

Case study - Colchester Historic town in the east of Essex Population of around 156,000 Currently 5 ACCs 1 counter was not functional at the time of inspection for at least a year due to construction works

Colchester: 

Colchester Existing sites

Colchester: 

Colchester 15 potential new sites Blue – proposed ACC Green – other (manual count)

Colchester: 

Colchester

Colchester - recommendations: 

Colchester - recommendations Recommended minimum of 11 ACCs in Colchester i.e. an increase of 6 Non-functioning ACC on route to Wivenhoe should be replaced Possible extra site on cycle track in the residential development on former hospital site but MUST be in conjunction with improvements to track Total number of new counters required would therefore be 7 Improved cycle parking at station and regular (monthly) monitoring

Strategic recommendations: 

Strategic recommendations Frequency of monitoring a minimum of two weeks in every month (giving 168 days’ counts each year), and ideally continuous All sites to be visited regularly on a six-monthly basis ACCs with very low, erratic or static patterns of usage should be visited as soon as possible

Strategic recommendations: 

Strategic recommendations If ACC site is affected by development, provision of a replacement must form part of planning conditions / S106 agreement Minor sites on one-for-one basis Major sites should include sufficient ACCs to monitor cycling levels as a result of the travel plan associated with development All ACCs provided as part of development should be installed as early as possible, ideally before the commencement of works

Detailed recommendations: 

Detailed recommendations 24 new counters Additional 4 counters replaced or relocated New total of 41 counters across the county as a whole (including the 4 sites not covered by this study) New level of provision in Essex would lie in the centre of the range of good practice (32 counters / million population) Approx capital cost £90,000

Detailed recommendations: 

Detailed recommendations

Detailed recommendations: 

Detailed recommendations All sites to use either inductive loops or radar units with standard counting equipment If inductive loops used these must extend the full width of the surface that might be used by cycles Precise location of ACC site to be determined after discussions with the counter supplier or manufacturer

Detailed recommendations: 

Detailed recommendations Regular programme of counting cycles parked at stations and other key destinations should be introduced Existing programme of manual surveys should be replaced by a more focused programme to support ACC network and provide detail on cycling journey characteristics Roadside interviews of cyclists should be established in the five main towns to establish a baseline split for trip purposes

Examples of existing and proposed sites: 

Examples of existing and proposed sites Basildon Loop on cycle side only (by secondary school)

Examples of existing and proposed sites: 

Examples of existing and proposed sites Basildon Eastern end of link to town centre from Westgate

Examples of existing and proposed sites: 

Examples of existing and proposed sites Basildon Cycle track at hospital

Examples of existing and proposed sites: 

Examples of existing and proposed sites Braintree Install ASLs to channel cyclists

Examples of existing and proposed sites: 

Examples of existing and proposed sites Chelmsford ACC sited on path to left of new access road leading to low counts

Examples of existing and proposed sites: 

Examples of existing and proposed sites Chelmsford ACC sited on closed path through University campus

Examples of existing and proposed sites: 

Examples of existing and proposed sites Chelmsford Chelmer Park

Examples of existing and proposed sites: 

Examples of existing and proposed sites Chelmsford Loop on one side of path only

Examples of existing and proposed sites: 

Examples of existing and proposed sites Chelmsford ACC to be sited at railway bridge (route to University)

Examples of existing and proposed sites: 

Examples of existing and proposed sites Chelmsford ACC to be sited on shared use path by Leisure Centre

Examples of existing and proposed sites: 

Examples of existing and proposed sites Chelmsford Monthly manual surveys at station

Examples of existing and proposed sites: 

Examples of existing and proposed sites Colchester Two counters in Castle Park

Examples of existing and proposed sites: 

Examples of existing and proposed sites Colchester Former location of ACC on Wivenhoe Trail (ringed)

Examples of existing and proposed sites: 

Examples of existing and proposed sites Colchester North Bridge cycle lanes

Examples of existing and proposed sites: 

Examples of existing and proposed sites Colchester Bus/taxi/cycle lane at edge of town centre

Examples of existing and proposed sites: 

Examples of existing and proposed sites Harlow ASDA underpass

Examples of existing and proposed sites: 

Examples of existing and proposed sites Harlow Priority crossing at entrance to hospital

Problems of success!: 

Problems of success!

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