Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A look at where people walk in Somerville

Now that you know our methodology for counting cyclists andpedestrians, let’s get to the numbers.

As you might expect, pedestrian counts were highest surrounding T stops – points near Davis Square, Porter Square, and Sullivan Square were among the highest count locations. The Elm Street corridor from Teele Square to Davis Square as well as intersections around Union Square showed high numbers.  This year’s count also showed a large number of pedestrians at Pearl Street and Cross Street. The Community Path, once again, also counted among the most popular walking locations.

Top AM intersections for pedestrians:

Intersection
Cross
Pedestrians/Hour
College Avenue
Winter Street
713
Community Path
Grove Street
421
Mossland Street
Somerville Avenue
398
Somerville Avenue
Washington Street
392
Cameron Avenue
Holland Street
373
Beacon Street
Somerville Avenue
295
Buena Vista Road
Community Path
287
Community Path
Willow Avenue
266
Cross Street
Pearl Street
265
Broadway
Lombardi Street
253




If you compare these numbers to the 2011 pedestrian counts, you can see that several locations showed increased activity on respective counting days. Beacon Street, Union Square, Pearl Street, and the Clarendon Housing points increased significantly. Other locations decreased (represented with blue dots at right). 

Why?  We can't say for sure.  Some increases and decreases in close proximity seem to indicate that similar numbers of people are walking but choosing different routes, possibly because of physical conditions on the ground there- perhaps easier crossing, more shade, etc.  As we gather data from year to year, it may be possible to ascertain whether these are sustained trends or outliers.

Since our counts also analyze movements through each intersection, we can see where many of these walkers are heading – and, no big surprise, they are largely headed from residential areas to commercial areas and transit in the morning, while the opposite is true in the evening. 

The counts also take a look at popular jogging spots in the city. Whereas it does not stand out as particularly busy for either pedestrians or cyclists, Powderhouse Circle was the top location for joggers between the AM and PM counts this year, followed by Teele Square and the Community Path.  Active Tufts students have likely have a powerful impact on the jogging counts.

Top Jog Intersections
Cross St
Total Count
College Avenue
Powderhouse Rotary
97
Cedar Street
Community Path
93
Community Path
Grove Street
69
Beacon Street
Somerville Avenue
58
Somerville Avenue
Elm Street
56
College Avenue
Winter Street
56
Elm Street
Willow Avenue
54
Broadway
Holland Street
50
Mossland Street
Somerville Avenue
50
Buena Vista Road
Community Path
47



Now that we’ve collected the data, we want to hear from you. What goes into deciding which route you’ll walk? Are you loyal to your one route or do you mix it up from time to time?  Are you walking more or less often than before?

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