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< prev - next > Transport and infrastructure Road building KnO 100386_Improving paths and tracks part 1 (Printable PDF)
Improved paths and tracks: Part 1
Practical Action
Traffic surveys are most appropriate where the use of the path or trail is heavy. The survey
point must be chosen carefully to avoid sections of path where there are several alternative
routes. For this reason bridge crossings make good survey points. They should also be located
far enough away from large villages, so that very short local trips do not overwhelm the longer
distance trips. Two enumerators are normally sufficient to carry out the survey. Typically the
following information should be collected:
origin and destination of the traveller;
location of intermediate overnight stops on the journey, if appropriate;
whether the traveller is male or female;
whether a load is carried and, if so, the 'weight, owner, and type of load; and
type or means of transport (pack-animal or bicycle, for example),
It should be borne in mind that the number of users of a path or track can vary significantly
both from day to day and from season to season. Repeat surveys on successive days and at
different times of the year are therefore recommended.
Planning of improvements
Having identified the problem or problems, the following decisions must be made:
What measures are required to rectify the problem?
What resources are required (labour and materials, for example)?
How will the improvements be carried out, including by whom and when?
Desirable widths are shown; minimum recommended widths in parentheses.
All dimensions in metres
One-way path
Low traffic
High traffic
One-way track
Two-way track
Pack animals
Low/moderate traffic
Pack animals
High Traffic
Bicycles (2.5m
Figure 1: Width guidelines for paths and tracks
Motorable tracks
4WD vehicles
Small trucks
Low traffic (passing
places required)