Deployment and Operation of Passive Infrared and Inductive Loop Pedestrian and Bike Counters Can Cost From $11K -$25K in the First Year.

In Addition to Capital Costs, Systems Counting Pedestrians and Bicycles on Sidewalks and Bike Trails Estimated to Have an Annual Cost of up to $3,400.

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Summary Information

North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is seeking to incorporate bicycle and pedestrian counting technologies to further evaluate traffic facility usage over time. This study assessed the feasibility of multiple bicycle and pedestrian counting technologies for the growth of the North Carolina Non-Motorized Volume Data Program (NC NMVDP). Researchers interviewed government agencies, commercial vendors, and private firms to determine the availability of various non-motorized counting technologies, where specific technologies are deployed, and the level of customer satisfaction with each piece of technology. Six technologies were evaluated for a qualitative cost-benefit analysis:

  1. passive infrared sensors
  2. inductive loops
  3. piezo-electric
  4. pneumatic tubes
  5. video processing; and
  6. depth cameras.

Measurement accuracy and the quality of the software tools provided by the vendor were considered as the benefits of these technologies. Therefore, the calculation of BCR is conducted in qualitative terms. Based on the analyses results, benefits, costs, and BCRs ranged from very low to very high. The analysis used the costs of commercially available products and based benefits on system accuracy and quality. The accuracy of passive infrared sensors and inductive loops were compared to that of standard piezo-electric, pneumatic tubes, video processing, and depth cameras technologies.

Using 2020 USD values, researchers calculated the costs of four systems utilizing passive infrared sensors and inductive loops to varying degrees. All systems utilized passive infrared sensors. System 1 and 2 included two inductive loops with 1 only placing them on unpaved bike trails and 2 placing them on each side of the roadway, System 3 included four inductive loops on each side, and System 4 included wooden posts on each side. The study assumed that two site visits are required annually to maintain and validate a given system. The following wages were also assumed: an intern hourly wage of $13, maintenance technician hourly wage of $51, data technician hourly wage of $60, and planner and researcher hourly wages of $70.

The costs of four systems are tabulated below in Table 1.

Table 1. Deployment costs of each system type.

Cost Type

Cost Frequency

System 1: Trail

System 2: Sidewalk/Bike Lanes – 2 loops

System 3: Sidewalk/Bike Lanes – 4 loops

System 4: Sidewalk only

Equipment

One-Time

$7,093

$15,704

$19,499

$10,571

Software

Annual

$420

$480

$840

$840

Replacement Batteries

Biennial

$125

$450

$900

$250

Site Selection

One-Time

$500

$500

$500

$500

Installation

One-Time

$1,350

$1,350

$1,350

$1,350

Maintenance and Validation

Annual

$1,140

$1,140

$1,140

$1,140

Data Management

Annual

$1,420

$1,420

$1,420

$1,420

Total (One-Time Costs)

-

$8,943

$17,554

$21,349

$12,421

Total (Annual Costs)

-

$2,980

$3,400

$3,400

$3,400

Total (Biennial Costs)

-

$125

$450

$900

$900

Grand Total for First Year

-

$11,923

$20,954

$24,749

$15,821

State-of-the-Art Approaches to Bicycle and Pedestrian Counters

State-of-the-Art Approaches to Bicycle and Pedestrian Counters
Source Publication Date
03/01/2021
Author
Ozan, Erol; Sarah Searcy; Blythe Carter Geiger; Chris Vaughan; Chris Carnes; Craig Baird; and Aaron Hipp
Publisher
Prepared by East Carolina University and North Carolina State University for the North Carolina Department of Transportation
Other Reference Number
Report No. FHWA/NC/2020-39
System Cost

Passive Infrared Sensor and Inductive Loop-based Bicycle and Pedestrian Counting Systems: $11,923 - $24,749 (depending on configuration).

System Cost Subsystem