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BJMA Policy on Gathering Trail Use and Security Information

It is the intent of the Bedford Joint Municipal Authority (BJMA) to periodically gather information regarding trail usage. Information to be collected include counts of the numbers of trail users as well as selected information regarding that use such as where users are from; how often they use the trail; the times of greatest use; the days of the week of greatest use; purpose of trail use; incidental spending related to trail use and so on. The data will serve three purposes:

  1. Enable comparisons between actual usage to estimates done prospectively before trail construction and actual versus prospective estimates of economic impact.

  2. Used to aid future extensions, improvements, and/or maintenance needs related to the trail.

  3. Help with trail rule compliance.

BJMA will use different methods for collecting data including, but not limited to, the use of one or more cameras, and in person surveys approved by BJMA and conducted by volunteers.

In regard to the use of trail camera(s), the BJMA policy is as follows:

  •  The trail is public space and most legal decisions hold there is no inherent right to privacy when using a public space.

  •  The reason for using a trail camera is the cost effectiveness of this method of data collection.

  •  The camera(s) will collect data periodically, not continuously; in order to obtain sample data that BJMA can use to project aggregate information.

    • Data collection will occur across a spectrum of time during the day.

    • Data collection will occur so that representative samples are available for each day of the week.

    • Data collection will occur so that representative samples are available for each month of the year.

  • The camera operator will review the pictures, eliminate duplicates, and record selected information such as the number of users, whether they are walking, running or biking, whether they have dogs and what directions they are going when they first appear in the picture.

  • The operator will distribute the pictures to BJMA members and Borough police only in cases where illegal activity is suspected.

  • The operator will delete extraneous pictures from any device so that only the data needed by BJMA for operational purposes.

The BJMA amended this policy August 12, 2022.

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