Bower Ponds was buzzing with activity Friday as Red Deerians try to soak up the higher-than-seasonal temperatures. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Group to count cyclists and pedestrians in Red Deer for national survey

Starting in June, a group of volunteers in Red Deer will be counting cyclists and pedestrians on the city’s trails and roadways.

In a news release, the Red Deer Association of Bicycle Commuting said the count runs from June 1 to 6, as part of a national program to gather data on active transportation.

According to the release, Red Deer is the only city in Alberta of 14 cities across the country to be designated as a pilot count city by Vélo Canada Bikes and its academic partners in Canada’s first national study on cycling numbers.

The group is working with the City of Red Deer to identify count points in the city where a group of at least 32 volunteers will collect data through eight hours at each point, spread over the study timeline.

The study aims to inform policymakers across Canada about the population that uses the city’s infrastructure for active transportation, especially in the context of COVID-19. Volunteers will also record demographic data on age, gender and ethnicity they observe, which can inform policies and programs that might encourage underrepresented groups to get more active.

The group is still looking for volunteers to help with the count. For more information, check out www.bikereddeer.com or canadabikes.org.