CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Charleston Moves, a non-profit organization with a goal of improving safety for vulnerable road users such as walkers and bikers, is conducting research along some busy Charleston County corridors to compile data to use for upcoming projects.

“We’ve got this pretty long list of areas throughout the county that we are targeting,” said Katie Zimmerman, Director of Charleston Moves.

The group is counting the number of pedestrians and bikers utilizing the corridors and intersections.

“We don’t often get those numbers so we are going out to get those numbers so that we have them.”

Charleston Moves is not only counting pedestrians, they’re also studying what areas need improved infrastructure, dangers that face vulnerable road users, and more.

“How does that space currently look and function for people who are walking and biking? How many people are actually currently walking and biking through that area per hour? Are they crossing at the crosswalk or is there something that is sort of an impediment to them? Do they feel unsafe at the crosswalks and so they’re crossing in a different location? Should the signals be a little bit different to accommodate people who are crossing? How many families are going through there?”

After collecting the data, Zimmerman says it will be used for a number of purposes.

“To look at what projects that we wanna advocate for, projects that we think should be coming along over the next few years,” explained Zimmerman.

At one particular intersection, Huger St. and Rutledge Ave. in Downtown Charleston, Charleston Moves counted 332 bikers and walkers in a 4-hour period. Zimmerman describes the intersection as “stressful” for vulnerable road users.

“That particular intersection, we want to use that data to encourage the agencies to develop an improvement project.”

She also says the numbers will be available to any local or state agency that wants to access them.

“In the past, as the state has conducted road safety audits for dangerous corridors for pedestrians, if we have done a count that relates to that corridor we have handed that off to the agency as well and they have used that information in their recommendations which is great,” said Zimmerman.

A road safety audit was conducted throughout the City of Charleston and some recommendations from that report included updated infrastructure to improve safety for bikers and pedestrians.

“Some areas we have our flashers at crosswalks and some recommendations are to change to the rapid flashing beacons which gives more awareness to the motorists,” said Robert Somerville, the Transportation Director for the City of Charleston. “We’re also looking at a signal re-timing program on the peninsula. That’s to help with our pedestrians, to help with our transit, our motorists, basically everyone downtown.”

Somerville says the city is working in conjunction with the South Carolina Department of Transportation to make pedestrian improvements across the peninsula such as adding bike lanes and more.

Zimmerman says their work isn’t finished until connectivity is improved across the Lowcountry and everyone has a transportation choice.