FCDOT tracks usage of multiuse trail in Mount Vernon


Credit: FCDOT

The Fairfax County Department of Transportation’s (FCDOT) Active Transportation team has begun capturing data about usage of the Mount Vernon Memorial Highway Trail, which opened last May after the completion of missing trail segments and the construction of a pedestrian bridge over Dogue Creek.

According to FCDOT spokesperson Robin Geiger, the agency’s long-term plan is to gain year-over-year data to analyze changes in use of the trail, which runs from Richmond Highway to George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

Last summer, the Active Transportation team installed a counter box at a bridge near Grist Mill Park. The counter uses infrared technology to capture movement by users who pass by in either direction — whether on foot or by bike. The counter does not differentiate between types of users or track them individually, so it would count the same person on a return trip, said Geiger.

Bridge near Grist Mill Park along Mount Vernon Memorial Highway Trail

Between late July and mid-December 2023, FCDOT found that an average of 102 people used the trail on weekdays and 120 on weekends. Peak usage was 357 people in one day, with around 4,000 trips recorded per month during the summer, said Geiger.

That data was in line with FCDOT’s expectations, she said, though usage is “likely to increase over the years as more users become aware of this new facility.”

FCDOT has since moved the counter box to a different location but plans to bring it back to the same place on the Mount Vernon Memorial Highway Trail later this year.

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