Products, Services, and Data
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.
COMPASS has developed a regional bicycle and pedestrian map of current and future pathways across the two-county area to identify gaps in the regional pathway system (see Bike Walk Compass, below). COMPASS is also identifying both supply and demand of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. The “supply” data are derived from the Bike Walk Compass, which shows existing and planned sidewalks and bike routes. The “demand” data are derived from bicycle and pedestrian counts and other data, as described below.
The Bike Walk Compass, an interactive bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure map application, was created by COMPASS to inform member agencies, elected officials, residents, and visitors about the existing and planned bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure within Ada and Canyon Counties. Infrastructure within this map are either existing or a reflection of local agency planning documents. Each feature on the map has additional information including the name, facility type, jurisdiction, and plan source, and can be identified with a single mouse click.
To complement the Bike Walk Compass, COMPASS has created four regional bicycle and pedestrian libraries for quick reference to the region’s active transportation future goals and existing services.
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 COMPASS Complete Streets Policy (2009) (PDF)
Link to Complete Streets Level of Service Report (PDF)
Currently across the nation, there are an estimated 2,032 open Rails with Trails routes, for a total of 22,753 miles. Within Idaho, 22 Rails with Trails routes exist, covering 437 miles. However, few are in southwest Idaho.
Through the COMPASS Rails with Trail Workgroup, planners, elected officials, business owners, active transportation advocates, police officers, health professionals, and other members of the community are exploring the potential of a dedicated, off-street, low-stress, bicycle and pedestrian route along the Union Pacific Boise spur line (the Boise Cutoff).
Find out more information on Rails with Trails here.
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 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.
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 Braden Cervetti at firstname.lastname@example.org or 208/475-2233.