Volunteers can sign up for two-hour shifts this week

Calling all trail lovers — volunteer for a shift this week and help count how many people are using trails throughout the region.

Each September, volunteers gather along trails to count and survey people biking and walking.

The count is part of the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project’s ongoing effort to gather accurate trail-use data to help decide where and when to build new trails and respond to the needs of trail users.

Metro councilors have volunteered for trail counts, getting a firsthand look at how the data takes shape.

“You get what you measure,” said Metro Councilor Kathryn Harrington, who assisted with trail counts last year. “By showing that people use trails, these counts help us make the case for future investments in transportation choices. There are many people walking and bicycling in our community, and more who want to do it if they have safe and comfortable pathways to use.”

Metro Councilor Shirley Craddick, who frequently walks, runs and bikes on the Springwater Corridor, wanted to satisfy her curiosity about who’s using regional trails — and how that number changes over time. She says she enjoys visiting with the parade of people who pass by during trail counts: bicyclists, recumbent bicyclists, bicyclists pulling children or animals, walkers, parents pushing baby strollers, in-line skaters, skateboarders and even one person on a riding lawnmower.

“The trail is not only a place to exercise and be with nature, but a meeting ground for the community — a place to visit with people in your city,” Craddick said.

You can help count. Shifts are two hours long, and you can choose a weekday evening from 5 to 7 p.m. or a weekend morning from 9 to 11 a.m.

For more information about the project, visit or send an email to Shawn Bacon at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to volunteer.

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