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Monitoring Trail Traffic in the Cincinnati Metropolitan Region, Ohio

Greg Lindsey, Lila Singer-Berk, Wade Johnson, Kelley Adcock, Megan Folkerth, Esther West


Recreation managers need information about use of multiuse trails to manage systems effectively. This research note illustrates how traffic monitoring procedures can be adapted for trail monitoring and describes variation in trail traffic across the tri-state, 10-county Cincinnati Metropolitan Region, Ohio. Infrared sensors were used to monitor trail traffic at 78 locations along 15 trail corridors in 2017. Data were obtained from 10 permanent monitoring stations. Short-duration (7-day) samples were completed at 68 locations. Across 78 trail segments, annual average daily trail traffic ranged from 8 to 1,897. Trail users traveled approximately 11.1 million miles over 136 miles of the network. Analyses of traffic patterns indicate trails were used mostly for recreation such as cycling and walking and less for commuting. Recreation managers can use results to track trends and prioritize investments in trail development, safety, and maintenance. Partnerships to implement trail traffic monitoring can be replicated in other regions.

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Planning; recreation; traffic monitoring; trail; transportation

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