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Creating and Integrating Relevant Nonmotorized Datasets


Practitioners have access to an increasing amount of nonmotorized data from varied datasets. These can be broadly divided into three tiers: travel monitoring data (volumes), travel Behavior data (surveys) and other (infrastructure and crash data). However, the lack of standards for formatting such data make data integration challenging. Practitioners are left to their own devices to consolidate and analyze the data, resulting in multiple formats and strategies that cannot be easily shared.

FHWA’s Traffic Monitoring Guide Chapters 7.9 and 7.10 provide a standard data format for nonmotorized travel monitoring data, but this format is not universally adopted and does not seamlessly integrate with other data sets such as crash data or facility information such as sidewalk inventories. The lack of standards results in clear limitations for current analyses dependent upon nonmotorized data. Following are examples of specific needs for nonmotorized data integration:

· A lack of crash typing for bicycle- and pedestrian-involved crashes and varying standards for crash data make it hard to compare between jurisdictions and between data types, despite the need for such integration for broader safety analyses.

· Sidewalk inventories, often missing in datasets despite being critical to understanding pedestrian travel, must be integrated with transportation models if pedestrian routes are to be properly considered.

· GPS trace data from mobile apps is increasingly seen as a way to supplement continuous and short duration bicycle count data to understand bicycle travel on a network, yet clear and standardized guidance for combining the various data sources has not been developed.

Time and resources spent on data integration by researchers and practitioners around the country means that time and resources is not spent on safety analysis, travel modeling, and project prioritization.


This research will create guidance for integrating nonmotorized data from all tiers and pilot this data integration format in three communities. It will highlight how data are gathered, processed, archived, and disseminated. It will create a user-friendly resource to help translate data so it can be applied in a standardized manner to inform decision-making across disciplines, improve the planning and design process, and allow for greater comparability between municipalities. The three pilot communities will test the guidance and demonstrate its utility.


Defining data standards and common formats will allow cross cutting research in nonmotorized transportation and allow jurisdictions to seamlessly integrate their datasets into a common platform. This will reduce the time wasted on bicycle and pedestrian data integration tasks by transportation professionals around the nation, and thus, provide the opportunity to increase the time spent on studying bicycle and pedestrian travel for design, operations, planning, maintenance, economic impact, performance measurement, health and safety study.

Related Research:

FHWA Traffic Monitoring Guide Chapter 7.9 and 7.10, 2016

FHWA Pedestrian and Bicycle Crash Analysis Tool (PBCAT), 2006

General Bikeshare Feed Specification. https://github.com/NABSA/gbfs


Grover, D., Wygonik, E., Bucossi, S., Bell. A, Piper, S., & Brewer-Colie, K. Estimating Current and Potential Bicycle Use for Statewide Planning. TRR: Journal of the TRB, No 2587, 2016.

Creating a CSCRS Clearinghouse for Bicyclist and Pedestrian Safety-Related Data, Phase I: Inventory & Framework, Collaborative Science Center for Road Safety 2018 funded research project https://www.roadsafety.unc.edu/research/projects/2018r14/


1. Identify relevant bicycle and pedestrian datasets through survey of practitioners and researchers.

  1. Document existing practice for how these data sets are currently gathered, processed, archived, and disseminated.

  2. Create a set of data formats to enable data integration between datasets.

  3. Create a draft user-friendly guide documenting these formats.

  4. Pilot the formats in three communities distributed across the nation of various sizes (one small community, one medium to large city, and one metropolitan region to test the guidance and demonstrate utility.

  5. Modify the guide based on experience with the pilot communities.

  6. Conduct in-person workshops and remote webinars to assist other communities in nonmotorized dataset creation and integration and provide for on-call responses to community questions from guidebook authors.


The guidance will be implemented in three pilot communities, and the knowledge will be spread via in-person workshops and remote webinars to communities throughout the country, as well as continuing on-call consultation with authors of the guide for communities who request it.


Standardized non-motorized traffic data are foundational to understanding nonmotorized traffic and safety patterns. This guidance has the potential to improve all study of nonmotorized traffic.

Sponsoring Committee:ACH20, Bicycle Transportation
Research Period:24 - 36 months
Research Priority:High
RNS Developer:Krista Nordback, Sirisha Kothuri, Rebecca Sanders
Source Info:Committee Members and friends: Krista Nordback, Sirisha Kothuri, Rebecca Sanders
Date Posted:05/24/2018
Date Modified:12/04/2018
Index Terms:Nonmotorized transportation, Data files, Data quality, Data collection, Data analysis, Crash data, Travel behavior, Traffic data, Pedestrians, Cyclists,
Cosponsoring Committees:ACP70, Highway Traffic Monitoring; ACH10, Pedestrians
Pedestrians and Bicyclists
Data and Information Technology
Safety and Human Factors

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