Capital District Multi-Use Trail User Counts


CDTC Regional Trail Perspectives Update

Parks & Trails New York, with support from the Capital District Transportation Council (CDTC), is conducting trail counts on multi-use trails throughout the Capital District during the month of September. These counts will help inform trail usage trends in the region as part of CDTC’s Regional Trails Perspectives update. The data will be especially helpful in determining future improvements and expansions of the regional multi-use trail network.

On which trails are these counts occurring?

  • Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail (Albany and Bethlehem)
  • Erie Canalway /Mohawk Hudson Bike-Hike Trail (Albany, Watervliet, Colonie, Niskayuna, Schenectady, and Rotterdam)
  • Albany Shaker Trail (Colonie)
  • Ballston Veterans Trail (Ballston)
  • Zim Smith Trail (Malta and Round Lake)
  • Delaware Ave/ Black Bridge Trail (Cohoes)
  • Uncle Sam Trail (Troy)
  • Railroad Run (Saratoga Springs)
  • Spring Run (Saratoga Springs)

Why are these counts being conducted?

The Capital District Transportation Committee (CDTC) is updating their 2006 Trail Perspectives document. This data will help show usage trends and inform funding decisions regarding trail enhancements and expansions across the region.

Who is CDTC?

CDTC is the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady Counties. CDTC is a forum for local elected officials and transportation representatives to share ideas and make decisions about major transportation capital investments, including bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.

Why is usage on these trails being counted?

CDTC chose nine of the Capital District’s most regionally-significant multi-use trails in each of the MPO’s four counties. CDTC also counted three of these trails in 2006 as part of their previous Trail Perspectives plan. Due to the fact that some trails have multiple count locations, 22 locations along these nine trails will be counted.

Who will use this data?

CDTC and PTNY will use this data to show trail usage trends on these multi-use trails. Municipalities will use the data to make the case for grants and other funding sources to help expand and enhance the regional multi-use trail network.

Why is each trail being counted twice?

PTNY uses the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project’s (NBPDP) methodology, which requires that counts be conducted in two-hour periods during peak usage on at least one weekday and one adjacent weekend. Peak usage for most trails occurs between 5 and 7 PM on weekdays and 12 and 2 PM on weekends. The data obtained during these two periods will be supplemented by PTNY’s automatic trail counters that will be installed at the same location and monitor usage continuously for seven consecutive days. PTNY will use both counts to get a number that accurately represents annual usage for the trail count location.

Who can I contact for more information?

If you need more information about the counts, contact Greg Francese at Parks & Trails New York by email ( or phone (518-434-1583). For more information about CDTC’s Trail Perspectives update, contact Jennifer Ceponis by email at ( or visit CDTC's website for the update.