We have completed all of our manual trail counts for the year. Though three of the electronic counters had to be taken down due to tampering or connectivity problems, the four that remain (Connellsville, Ohiopyle, Rockwood, and Deal) have given us good data. Manual counts at those four sites has totalled to 14 hours each. During the last of our manual trail counts on the chilly Saturday on October 22, we gathered a good number of ZIP codes from trail users on the surprisingly busy day at Rockwood and Deal. In the first hour of the Deal count, from 2 pm to 3 pm, we actually logged 77 trail users, which is more than what we have counted on many warmer summer days.
Dr. Andrew Herr of St. Vincent College is nearing completion of the 2010 trail economic impact report based on our trail count data. He will begin work on the 2011 report soon after.
Phil has developed specifications and a budget for new wooden posts to hold the electronic trail counters beginning in the 2012 trail season. The wooden posts, which are already being used on the Maryland section of the GAP, will help to safeguard the equipment from vandals and the elements. Coefficients of error should also be more consistent due to similar placement of the counters along the trail.