If you were walking around downtown at noon on Friday April 1, 2016, you might have contributed to the highest quarterly downtown pedestrian count since 2011 – along with over 1,000 other people. The total count for this point in time measurement hit 1,061.
Staff in the Planning and Development Department have conducted quarterly pedestrian counts in downtown Eugene since 2011. During the count, 12 staff members volunteer to count pedestrians as they pass a specific spot in 12 different locations throughout the downtown core. This count is conducted at noon for 15 minutes – rain or shine.
Weather, of course, can and does play an important role in pedestrian counts. Even in Oregon, fewer people are out during the colder and wetter winter months, and this is reflected in the seasonal dip in the pedestrian counts. However, the winter counts have shown an increase in the number of pedestrians from 2011 to 2015.
Pedestrian counts are one measure of downtown activity and vitality. Over time, they can help measure the impact of new development and revitalization efforts, indicate areas for possible streetscape and amenity projects, and help encourage prospective retailers and businesses who are interested in locating downtown.