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Assessing the Impact of Weather and Season on Pedestrian Traffic

Principal Investigator: Dr. Lisa Aultman-Hall (Director, Transportation Research Center)
Funding Agency: US DOT

Project Summary

Over the course of one year, a TRC team led by Dr. Aultman-Hall gathered automated hourly pedestrian counts from a sidewalk in downtown Montpelier, Vermont to determine if temperature, relative humidity, precipitation and wind affect the number of walkers. This study was unique in that a large amount of data in a single location was collected over an extreme range of weather conditions. The researchers found that, after adjusting for time of day and day of week, weather and seasonal variables explained 30 percent of the variations in pedestrian volume — and that bad weather such as cold temperature or precipitation consistently affected walking traffic, but by only a moderate amount (less than 20 percent).