Seamless Travel: Measuring Bicycle and Pedestrian Activity in San Diego County and its Relationship to Land Use, Transportation, Safety, and Facility Type


This paper provides the data collection and research results for the Seamless Travel project. The Seamless Travel Project is a research project funded by Caltrans and managed by the University of California Traffic Safety Center, with David Ragland, PhD., as the Principal Investigator and Michael Jones as the Project Manager. The project is funded by Caltrans Division of Innovation and Research and is being conducted by the Traffic Safety Center of University of California Berkeley and Alta Planning + Design. Measuring bicycle and pedestrian activity is a key element to achieving the goals of the California Blueprint for Bicycling and Walking (the Blueprint). Meeting these goals, which include a 50% increase in bicycling and walking and a 50% decrease in bicycle and pedestrian fatality rates by 2010, and increases in funding for both programs, will require a quantifiable and defensible base of knowledge. This research helps meet two of the Blueprint’s major strategic objectives: (1) collecting data on volumes and facilities, and (2) determining the most cost-effective methods of estimating bicycle and pedestrian collision rates. Understanding why people walk or ride bicycles, how the type and quality of facility influences these trips, and how adjacent land uses, density, access, roadway traffic volumes, and other items impact walking or bicycling, are all critical to meeting the goals of the Blueprint. Good baseline information on walking and bicycling is important to answer questions like that posed in the title of this research: are Class I bike paths so attractive to potential commuters that they should be given priority over Class II bike lanes, Class III bike routes, or other facilities? Counts and surveys conducted throughout California since 2000 consistently show a substantially higher demand for and use of Class I bike paths than on-street facilities. Is this due to inconsistent on-street systems, a lack of riding expertise by the public, perceived or real safety concerns, recreational versus commuter use, high roadway traffic volumes and speeds, and/or other factors?

Publication date: 
February 1, 2010
Publication type: 
Technical Report