Arlington-Almost 6,000 Users in May Minuteman Bikeway Count

More users counted on Saturday, May 18, than any recent count for a single day

Volunteers coordinated by the Town of Arlington Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) and the Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee (ABAC) performed another successful count on the Minuteman Bikeway last month, tallying 1,037 users on Tuesday, May 14, and 4,865 users on Saturday, May 18, for a total of 5,902 people. Cyclists made up the majority at 55% of all users, followed by walkers at 29%, joggers at 11%, children in carriers at 3%, and others making up 2%. Weather conditions were cold and wet on May 14, which depressed numbers, while on May 18 temperatures were mild with sunny skies, and thus thousands of people decided to use the Bikeway. Despite challenging weather conditions at times, the counts show the Bikeway still gets used daily for recreation, commuting, and general purpose travel.

The total number of users counted on Saturday, May 18, is greater than any Bikeway count done since 2011. An average of 400-500 people per hour was counted between 9 AM and 5 PM. The count that comes closest occurred on Saturday, May 21, 2016, when 4,047 people were counted. The May 18 count is more than 800 people, or 20%, greater than this previous count. It demonstrates that the Bikeway continues to gain popularity for a wide variety of user types at all hours of the day.

The Town has conducted counts at different points along the Bikeway since it was completed in Arlington in 1993. Since 2011, every year Arlington has counted users where the Bikeway crosses Swan Place on a weekday and weekend day in both May and September. Counts are conducted over a 12-hour period from 7 AM to 7 PM. This information is submitted to the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization, which has been collecting data about numbers of users of local bikeways and trails since 2007. These data can be used for a variety of purposes, including planning new facilities, targeting maintenance activities, tracking usage trends, and more.

As the Bikeway sees increased usage, it is critical that all users share the path and stay safe. Remember to stay to the right of the yellow line when traveling, announce your intention to pass other users, and slow down to pass. Obey posted signage and be careful when crossing intersecting roads.

For more information, contact Daniel Amstutz, Senior Transportation Planner, at 781-316-3093 or damstutz@town.arlington.ma.us.

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