In 2005, the City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department was working to promote their alternative transportation plan and get funding to implement trail projects that are a part of this plan.
To assist in these efforts the Eppley Institute designed a two phase research process with the goal of providing the parks and recreation department with information about levels of use on the Clear Creek Trail, the only multi-use trail in the city. The research design included the installation and monitoring of infrared counters along the trail to obtain trail traffic counts. The second phase involved an intercept survey, in which researchers stopped people at trailheads and asked them to participate in a survey, which assessed their general trail use patterns.
The trail traffic counts provided the parks and recreation department with an estimate of trail use, which in turn demonstrated to the Board of Commissioners the value and benefit of the trail to the community. The Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department has since received a grant to construct another trail in their downtown corridor and the trail traffic data was a factor in this award. The intercept survey confirmed this benefit through user preferences and opinions and highlighted management areas for improvement.