Tracking Visitors in Acadia

Tracking Visitor Traffic Behavior

We also had this beautiful Ford F-150 to pull the Pendleton trailer. Riding in style!

The 2019 WPI team will continue the work started by the 2018 WPI team. The goal of the National Park’s Traffic Congestion Management Plan is to improve visitor enjoyment, visitor access, visitor safety, and resource protection. To achieve this, Acadia National Park has implemented various monitoring and observational strategies designed to collect data on visitor numbers, behaviors, and traffic patterns over the years. The Park’s aim is to:

  • reduce wait times for visitors entering the park
  • reduce searching time for parking spots
  • reduce overflow parking and social pull-offs on road shoulders near popular areas
  • reduce vehicle congestion on the Park Loop Road

cadillac-6546To accurately track the behavior and patterns of visitors, it is necessary to effectively monitor the numerous navigational and destination options available in Acadia National Park. One of the most popular methods over the past several years was to use physical car counters as well as extensive observational data. While there is merit in these methodologies, it is difficult, if not impossible, to infer the numerous navigational options afforded to visitors. Furthermore, the ability to collect data on temporal patterns, such as ‘how long’ visitors spend in the park and at particular locations has not been available. In general, data collection on visitor traffic behavior and patterns has been elusive.

The WPI team will develop a vehicle tracking phone application. The phone app will be capable of automatically determining, storing, and archiving the geographic location and time stamp of a vehicle while in the Park. This data will then be managed, analyzed, and made available to Park officials. The purpose of the app is to begin accurately tracking, logging, and analyzing visitor behavior and maxresdefault-1traffic patterns in the Park. Monitoring and analyzing visitor behavior is one of the most vital tools in informing and supporting traffic congestion policy in the Park.