ITE Journal - April 2021 - 35

Figure 6 represents relative monthly bicycle and pedestrian
traffic in Orlando tourist zones. It is expected that the tourist zones
would have a heavy amount of foot traffic, considering Orlando
has multiple amusement parks where visitors typically spend time
walking throughout most of the day. At the beginning of the year,
pedestrian traffic percent change in tourist zones was greater in 2020
than in 2019, and appears to have been increasing from January
to February. After the state began a phased reopening, pedestrian
traffic gradually increased from July to September and appears to be
on track to match the previous years' pedestrian traffic activity.

Average Daily Bicycle Traffic

Figure 6. Bicycle and Pedestrian Activity in Orlando Tourist
Zones from January-September for Years 2019 and 2020
16,000
14,000
12,000
10,000
8,000
6,000
4,000
2,000
January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August September

60%
40%
20%
0%
-20%
-40%
-60%
-80%
-100%

Average Daily Pedestrian Traffic

- 2019 - 2020 - % Change

250,000
200,000
150,000
100,000
50,000
0

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August September

60%
40%
20%
0%
-20%
-40%
-60%
-80%
-100%

- 2019 - 2020 - % Change
Source: StreetLight Insight

Like pedestrian traffic, bicycle traffic in tourist zones was
also greater from January to February in 2020 compared to 2019
and then steeply declined in March and April. Bicycle traffic in
tourist zones does not appear to be recovering at the same rate as
pedestrian traffic-the percent change of bicycle traffic from 2019
is approximately 40 percent lower, compared with approximately 5
percent lower pedestrian traffic for September.
Since bicycle trip purpose is unknown and the bicycle traffic
data include pass through trips, not just trips that begin and end
in tourist zones, the bicycle traffic patterns may be indicative of

broader Orlando bike traffic trends. Due to these factors, it is
difficult to draw verifiable conclusions from the bicycle activity
in Orlando tourist zones. On the other hand, since the phased
reopening was announced in June, pedestrian traffic trends indicate
that pedestrian activity in Orlando's tourist zones should return to
last year's pedestrian activity levels, which is promising in terms of
Orlando's tourism recovery.

Conclusion
Following a rapid decline in tourism beginning in mid-March, the
data indicates a trend that is slowly moving towards a return of
pre-COVID traffic counts, travel speeds, and ped/bike movements.
Traffic counts continue to steadily increase along I-4 in Orlando
and other locations. The frequency of slower daily travel speeds
is increasing, with more daily 5:00-5:59 p.m. speeds closely
resembling those measured pre-COVID. Average monthly travel
speeds are also decreasing. However, traffic volumes and travel
speeds have not yet returned to those observed in January and
February. Uber travel times appeared to have decreased in the
earliest days of the pandemic, though data is insufficient at this time
to show a rebound in tourism. Pedestrian movements appear to be
approaching pre-COVID levels, and bike movements are trending
in that direction, albeit slower than for pedestrians.
As tourist numbers steadily increase, so too will commuting
as more employees return to work in the tourism-related service
industry, likely resulting in a continuation of the observed transportation trends. It is worth noting, however, that the state legislature's top economist anticipates that it will take Florida's tourism
industry two to three years to rebound fully.7 Whether it takes this
long for Orlando to recover remains to be seen. In the meantime,
transportation data and analytics can serve as key indicators that
monitor continued progress toward post-COVID-19 normalcy. itej

References
1.	 U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
Air Carrier Statistics Database 2020. https://www.transtats.bts.gov/
Tables.asp?DB_ID=111&DB_Name=Air%20Carrier%20Statistics%20
%28Form%2041%20Traffic%29-%20All%20Carriers&DB_Short_
Name=Air%20Carriers (Accessed March 5, 2021).
2.	 " Orlando Hotel Occupancy Rate Shows Improvement During Pandemic. "
WFTV.com, July 20, 2020. https://www.wftv.com/news/local/orlandohotel-occupancy-rate-shows-improvement-during-pandemic/72MNVLS
EGNCVXD2D5BXEGI2PKU/ (Accessed March 5, 2021).
3.	 Florida Department of Transportation, Transportation Data and Analytics
Office. Real-time traffic counts March-September 2020.
4.	 INRIX/University of Maryland Regional Integrated Transportation
Information System (RITIS). National Performance Monitoring Research
Data Set (NPMRDS), January 1-November 30, 2020. https://ritis.org
(Accessed March 5, 2021).
w w w .i t e.or g

Apri l 2021

35


https://www.transtats.bts.gov/Tables.asp?DB_ID=111&DB_Name=Air%20Carrier%20Statistics%20%28Form%2041%20Traffic%29-%20All%20Carriers&DB_Short_Name=Air%20Carriers https://www.transtats.bts.gov/Tables.asp?DB_ID=111&DB_Name=Air%20Carrier%20Statistics%20%28Form%2041%20Traffic%29-%20All%20Carriers&DB_Short_Name=Air%20Carriers https://www.transtats.bts.gov/Tables.asp?DB_ID=111&DB_Name=Air%20Carrier%20Statistics%20%28Form%2041%20Traffic%29-%20All%20Carriers&DB_Short_Name=Air%20Carriers https://www.transtats.bts.gov/Tables.asp?DB_ID=111&DB_Name=Air%20Carrier%20Statistics%20%28Form%2041%20Traffic%29-%20All%20Carriers&DB_Short_Name=Air%20Carriers https://www.wftv.com/news/local/orlando-hotel-occupancy-rate-shows-improvement-during-pandemic/72MNVLSEGNCVXD2D5BXEGI2PKU/ http://www.WFTV.com https://www.wftv.com/news/local/orlando-hotel-occupancy-rate-shows-improvement-during-pandemic/72MNVLSEGNCVXD2D5BXEGI2PKU/ https://www.wftv.com/news/local/orlando-hotel-occupancy-rate-shows-improvement-during-pandemic/72MNVLSEGNCVXD2D5BXEGI2PKU/ https://www.ritis.org http://www.ite.org

ITE Journal - April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ITE Journal - April 2021

ITE Journal - April 2021 - 1
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 2
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 3
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 4
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 5
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 6
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 7
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 8
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 9
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ite-journal-june-2021
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ite-journal-april-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_Mar2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_Jan2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_Dec2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_Nov2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_Oct2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_Sept2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_Aug2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_July2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_June2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_May2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_April2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_March2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_February2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_January2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_December2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G110939_ITE_November2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G110110_ITE_October2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G110109_ITE_September2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G108559_ITE_August2019
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G103582_ITE_February2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G102868_ITE_January2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G100155_ITE_December2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G100154_ITE_November2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G99495_ITE_October2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G98028_ITE_September2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G97366_ITE_August2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G96287_ITE_July2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G94315_ITE_June2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G93877_ITE_May2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G93065_ITE_Apr2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G91484_ITE_Mar2018
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