In the summer of 2021, the City of Montreal promoted the temporary conversion of 14 commercial streets into pedestrian zones. The goal was to create open spaces where people could safely eat, drink, and shop outdoors during the pandemic.
To evaluate the success of the initiative, the City commissioned Eco-Counter to analyze data from more than 25 counters distributed throughout seven of the participating commercial streets.
What Eco-Counter did
Initially, Eco-Counter worked with the participating organizations to develop the study’s methodology – from identifying counting sites to equipment selection and maintenance operations – to obtain meaningful pre- and post-conversion data. Our data analysts then validated and reconstructed the count data, investigating outliers and cleaning the data set accordingly. They were then able to assess various aspects of pedestrian traffic, such as average daily traffic volumes, weekday and weekend traffic patterns, and the impact of weather on pedestrian activity. By comparing the counts to the results of an on-site survey, our team was also able to estimate the share of typical modes used to access the commercial streets.
The analysis concluded that Montrealers embraced the initiative and made good use of the pedestrianized streets:
• Foot traffic increased between 17% and 86% when streets were closed to cars.
• Bicycle sensors indicated that the pedestrianized streets were also popular with cyclists. The average daily number of bicycles during pedestrianization was similar to that on established bike paths in the area.
• In general, there were more pedestrians on the streets on Fridays through Sundays, while the number of cyclists was higher on weekdays.
• The influence of weather varied by location and day of the week, with fewer pedestrians counted on rainy weekend days.
• Local streets were less sensitive to rain and high temperatures than major destinations that typically attract people from further away.
Turning numbers into actionable advice
By comparing pre- and post-pedestrianization numbers, Eco-Counter was able to answer the City of Montreal’s questions about the initiative’s effectiveness and provide business owners with information about the best hours to open, how to allocate staff, and the best times to plan successful events.
The data could also be used to make streets and stores more inviting to shoppers by, for example, improving street design to provide shelter from the rain and relief from the heat. And by linking foot traffic, survey data, and transactional data, it’s possible to understand from where users are traveling, what they like about the pedestrianized space, and how the street can meet everyone’s needs.
Our lightest and most versatile counter is the ideal solution for counting people walking on sidewalks, shared paths, pedestrianized streets and urban trails.
• Complete solution for analyzing attendance: key indicators, attendance reports
• Robust, energy self-sufficient, waterproof
• Two years of battery life with replaceable battery
• Remote maintenance and update possible
Mobile bicycle counter, designed with short-term bike volume studies in mind.
• Simple and quick installation
• Turn-key solution
• Measures the direction of travel
• Battery powered – 10-years battery life
Mobile counter for short-term traffic and mode-share studies.
• Stand-alone and mobile bicycle/pedestrian counter
• Count and classify users
• Quick installation (< 30 minutes)
• Non-intrusive technology
• Range: up to 6m (20′) for bicycles and 4m (13′) for pedestrians
Highly accurate multi-user counter based on artificial intelligence.
• Counts and differentiates several types of users (pedestrians, cyclists, motorized two-wheelers, vehicles)
• Direction detection
• Long range and high precision (up to 15m)
• Easy to install
Our counters operate in all weather conditions and seamlessly transmit data to the Eco-Visio software.
How is your data working for you?
Great data means nothing if you don’t know what it’s telling you.
Eco-Counter’s data analysts can help you understand the data you collect so you can use it to manage your business and make better decisions.