Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sifting through the numbers

For those that are interested in transportation statistics and how different municipalities stack up in the CRD, check out their Origin and Destination Travel Survey reports. Some things to keep in mind about the numbers:

The information was collected as trip diaries among randomly sampled residents of the region, so it will be a pretty accurate snapshot of how people moved around the region during the survey period.

The survey was done in late October and early November, so for those interested in cycling and walking statistics, the numbers may under-represent traffic share in more hospitable seasons.

The numbers are from 2006 so they are getting pretty dated. Again, for those interested in cycling statistics in particular, growth in all-purpose bike trips grew by an average 8% annually from 2001 to 2006, so current numbers may be significantly higher. Commute trips (to and from work), grew by a little less than 5% per annum, still significant enough but not quite as dramatic as the all trip purpose figures.

Surveys only account for residents, so the considerable traffic numbers generated by visitors are not captured in this data. Only physical counts will provide complete information on actual volumes. Technology used for vehicle counts is also known to be less reliable for bicycle counts and will totally miss pedestrian trips (most commonly used are pressure hoses laid across the road that often may not detect bicycles).

The CRD data is consistent with StatsCan data from the census, although much more detailed.

For those interested in traffic share for cyclists, they are largely concentrated in core municipalities of Victoria, Oak Bay, Esquimalt and urban Saanich.

It takes some digging into the reports but the information is very useful and patterns can be extrapolated from the data.

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