To determine the frequency of use across the berm, we made observations of four eroded trails and the Paved Path. Trail 1 was located the furthest away from the Paved Path, at approximately 40 meters north. Trail 2 and Trail 3 were 2 meters close together at approximately 11 and 20 meters north of the Paved Path. Trail 4 runs diagonally across the berm with the end closest to the road at approximately 32 meters south of the Paved Path, it was also the longest of all the trails. Our methods of observation are described in the Methodology section above.
On the Paved Path there were more users on Monday (701), but this did not vary greatly from Wednesday or Friday, with 676 users and 699 respectively (Figure 6.1, Appendix B and D). The amount of overall use on the Paved Path was considerably higher than all other routes across the berm.
On Monday, Trail 1 had considerably more users (309) than the Trails 2, 3 and 4. The number of people crossing on Trails 2, 3 and 4 ranged between 10 and 137, considerably less than the Paved Path or Trail 1. The Paved Path, Trail 1 and Trail 4 all had the most use on Monday but dropped on Wednesday. The number of people crossing the berm increased on Friday for the Paved Path and Trail 1 but there was a considerable decrease for Trail 4, from 121 users on Monday to just 10 on Friday. Trail 2 had the most people of all trails on Friday (90) and Trail 3 had the most on Wednesday (137). From the tally we determined the significance of people deterring off the designated Paved Path. Knowing how many people use the alternative trails provided us with data on which to base recommendations.
Figure 6.1: Tally of All Routes During Peak Hours
In total, the use of all trails is as follows:
Trail 1 = 784
From these figures, it is apparent that Trail 1 receives the most use of all the trails, with 461 more users than the next highest trail (Trail 3). Therefore, we have decided that it would be reasonable to make this trail into a permanent path in order to enhance the usability of the site. We hope that this change would help funnel users of Trails 2 and 3 effectively onto this new permanent path, in addition to structural measures such as deterrent vegetation and signs to keep people off the other trails. Trail 4 is on the opposite side of the Paved Path from the other trails, and although its existence suggests a need, there are relatively few users of this path. Hopefully, they could be redirected onto the Paved Path with the use of structural changes.
Our survey included questions to determine the route that people take while crossing the study site. It also asked why people choose the Paved Path or Trail to walk on, and their opinion on the appearance of the berm area (Appendix C).
We went to the site on two separate days between 11:30 and 13:30. On day one we questioned 40 people on the Paved Path and on day two we questioned 10 people on each of the four trails. On the Paved Path, we found that 22% (9/40) of the people stareted their route from the University Plaza and 12% of people started from the Married Student Apartments, Math and Computer, or other locations on University Avenue. Only 5% came from the Philip Street / Co-op housing, contrary to our expectations. 17% of people were travelling to the Math and Computer building, 15% were going to other buildings on campus, 14% were going to the Davis Center and the Plaza, and 10% were heading home to the Philip Street / Co-op (Figure 6.2 and Appendix C).
Figure 6.2: Survey of the Paved Path Indicating Starting and Finishing Locations
Our destination findings for the four trails varied from those for the Paved Path. There were 30% of people coming from the Philip Street / Co-op or other buildings on campus (Figure 6.3 and Appendix C). The other starting locations were each 10% and these included the Davis Centre, Engineering Lecture Hall, and Parking Lot B. The Philip Street /Co-op and the Married Student Apartments had the highest destination percentage, both at 20% (Figure 6.4). Other destinations both on and off campus had percentages of 10%.
Figure 6.3: Survey on Trails Indicating Where People are Coming From
Figure 6.4: Survey on Traily Indicating Where People are Going To
With our tally we made observations of the number of non-pedestrian transportation. This included 3 people using rollerblades on Monday, 1 on Wednesday, and 4 on Friday. There were also a number of people riding bicycles, the majority remained on the Paved Path. We felt that this was likely because it was the easiest route and there was no time spared (Figure 6.5 and Appendix B).
Figure 6.5: Tally of the Number of Bicycles on all Routes
We had hoped to use the starting point and destination infromation to chart the most used routes across the berm. However, we decided that this would be invalid, due to the time of day we were able to survey (lunchtime). This limitation is more fully explained in section 8.0, Limitations.
On the survey we asked people to rate the aesthetic appearance of the berm area using a scale that ranged from very unattractive to very attractive. The rating overall was unattractive, but most people using the Paved Path were neutral about the appearance. Respondents who selected a neutral position indicated that there were both attractive and unattractive features on the berm or they said they did not care much about the look of the site (Figure 6.6 and Table on Paved Path, Table of Trails).
Several respondents who thought the site was attractive said they liked the natural look of the site, indicating that the trees were appealing. Respondents who said the berm was unattractive did not like the many worn trails or the extent of erosion because it looked disorderly and unkempt. Some respondents indicated that they preferred the rugged look of the trails to the Paved Path, and some indicated that the erosion and exposed roots made the trails unsafe, especially in the winter.
The responses to our survey assisted us in evaluating the perception that pathway users have about the aesthetic appearance of the site. Because the overall opinion was that it is unattractive, we felt the some mitigation measures to improve its appearance are called for.
As previously mentioned, discussion with key contacts indicated that the aesthetic appearance fo the campus is an important issue.
Figure 6.6: Survey of All Routes Showing Appearance Rating