Case Study: How the Michigan Department of Transportation uses MS2 Non-Motorized Database System

Monday, June 7, 2021

This report by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) documents the state’s initiative to “establish a strategic, coordinated, and efficient approach to collecting and analyzing nonmotorized volume data in Michigan.”

MDOT published a report prepared by Toole Design and the University of North Carolina’s Highway Safety Research Center that documents the development of MDOT’s Non-Motorized Monitoring Program and how they use MS2 NMDS in this project. MDOT’s undertaking of a statewide non-motorized monitoring program is expected to support the Michigan Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Action Plan 2013-2016, the Bicycle and Pedestrian Travel Plan for Southeast Michigan and other state and regional initiatives.

The MDOT team surveyed 25 local and regional organizations and agencies across Michigan about their non-motorized count data collection efforts, and the survey findings are detailed on pages 6 and 7 of the report. The participants answered questions pertaining to their current collection of non-motorized data, and the purposes of count data collection, as well as other topics.

enter image description here Source: Michigan Department of Transportation – Nonmotorized Data Collection and Monitoring Program Guide and Implementation Plan

The goals of MDOT’s Non-Motorized Monitoring Program include:

  1. Define program roles and establish MDOT as the centralized resource for non-motorized monitoring efforts in Michigan
  2. Implement permanent counters to develop factor groups and support other planning and analysis needs
  3. Create a statewide data collection standard for short-duration counts
  4. Manage non-motorized count data to support state, regional, and local planning processes
  5. Identify standard metrics and analysis approaches
  6. Supplement count data with related datasets

MS2 is involved in Goals 3 through 6.

Goal 6, detailed on page 25 of the report, demonstrates MDOT’s visionary thinking in leveraging big data for better insights and actionable intelligence. MDOT currently plans to evaluate the use of crowdsourced data to provide a more thorough understanding of non-motorized traffic volume. And by 2025 MDOT plans to integrate non-motorized counts with crash data to enable major improvements in bike and ped crash analysis.

Page 14 of the report explains why MDOT selected MS2’s Nonmotorized Database System (NMDS) to serve as a statewide repository for non-motorized volume data, and the key features used.

The key capabilities of the NMDS for MDOT’s ongoing non-motorized data management and analysis needs include:

More details about MDOT’s use of MS2 NMDS is included in the Implementation Plan and Appendix C of the report.

To download the report, visit our Resource Library.