The French company ECO Counter has created and deployed sensor networks to count pedestrians and cyclists in urban and natural environments. The system is made up of three parts that include a sensor to detect pedestrians or cyclists, a data logger that saves detection data, and software to analyze and share the data. The system is being used extensively in city parks, natural areas and preserves, as well as in shopping areas and urban settings.
With the counting data, policy makers are able to rank sites based on usage, evaluate park use to justify investment, and adapt infrastructure based on use and need. With hard numbers, transportation and park planning agencies can confirm anecdotal evidence with hard numbers to directly compare different areas, and to determine the impact of investment as well as where further investment is needed.
With direct documentation of use and demand, the positive benefits of investments in these modes of transportation can be compared to other transportation modes.