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Communities in Motion 2040 2.0: Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning

Appropriate bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure is an integral part of a comprehensive transportation system. Providing for bicyclists and pedestrians contributes to a healthy community by reducing air pollution through reducing the number of vehicles on the road, as well as by increasing the individual health of those who walk or bike. Bicycle and pedestrian use also supports other transportation modes by reducing the number of cars on the road – thus reducing both congestion and maintenance needs – and providing for the “first and last mile” – that portion of a trip before and after a person uses public transportation or parks their private vehicle.

The Active Transportation Workgroup advises COMPASS on regional bicycle and pedestrian planning efforts, including providing feedback on infrastructure and level of service maps, bicycle/pedestrian demand, public transportation connectivity, and freight conflicts.

Bicycle and pedestrian issues are discussed in Communities in Motion 2040 (CIM 2040; the current long-range transportation plan) in Chapter 5.

Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan

COMPASS is developing a regional bicycle and pedestrian plan to map the locations of current and future pathways across the two-county area, identify gaps in the regional pathway system, and establish regional priorities for pathway funding to create a more comprehensive, useable pathway system across the valley. Part of this planning effort will be to identify both supply and demand of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. The “supply” data will be derived from a regional trails map compiled by COMPASS that shows existing sidewalks and bike routes. The “demand” data will be derived from bicycle and pedestrian counts and other data, as described below. COMPASS will be able to look at the supply and demand data together to see where improved bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure is needed.

Interactive Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure Map

The Interactive Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure Map application was created by the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho (COMPASS) in an effort to inform member agencies, elected officials, residents, and visitors about the existing and planned bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure within Ada and Canyon Counties. Access to the portal coming soon!

Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan Libraries

To complement the Interactive Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure Map, COMPASS has created four regional bicycle and pedestrian libraries for quick reference to the region’s active transportation future goals and existing services.

Complete Streets Level of Service

All transportation needs should be considered when designing roadways, and means of meeting those needs must be intentionally built into the transportation system design. COMPASS uses a Complete Streets Level of Service model to evaluate the completeness of transportation corridors for bicycle, pedestrian, and public transportation services. A level of service letter grade (A – F) is provided for each transportation mode. In 2013, COMPASS completed an initial complete streets analysis of all principal and minor arterials and select collector roadways to identify the level of service for pedestrian, bicycle, and public transportation. This analysis sheds light on one aspect of the “supply” side of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.

Link to Complete Streets Level of Service Report (pdf)

Complete Streets Level of Service, Idaho Street Video (YouTube)

Bicycle and Pedestrian Counters

COMPASS has installed 14 permanent bicycle/pedestrian counters to collect data on bicycle and pedestrian use around the valley. The counters provide information such as the numbers of bicyclists and pedestrians using certain routes, and the days of week and times of day they are using them. The permanent counters will help track trends over time, to see if and how the numbers of users change by time of day, day of week, and month of year. View a larger version of the bicycle/pedestrian counter location map.

The permanent counters are the first of their kind in Idaho. The locations for the counters were chosen with input from the Active Transportation Workgroup, along with other considerations including vendor-supplied data and bicycle and pedestrian crash statistics.

In addition to the permanent counters, which will focus on dedicated biking and walking paths and bike lanes, COMPASS has also purchased portable bicycle/pedestrian counters which can be used on trails, roads, and at intersections. These portable counters can capture a lot of information about a small area, then be moved to do the same in a different area. When several portable counters are used together, they can measure all the bicycle and pedestrian movements at an entire intersection at one time.

Access bicycle and pedestrian count data here.

Does your agency need bicycle and pedestrian data?

The portable counters are available for temporary use by COMPASS members and other public agencies in the valley. COMPASS will install the counters and collect data upon request using the various types of counting equipment available. Learn more about on- and off-street counting equipment and request specific locations for installation.

COMPASS is augmenting its counter data with purchased vendor-supplied data on bicycle use across the Treasure Valley and with manual bicycle counts conducted twice each year by the Treasure Valley Cycling Alliance and Bike Walk Nampa.

For more information on regional bicycle and pedestrian planning, contact Tom Laws at 208/475-2233 or tlaws@compassidaho.org.