A traffic study is conducted to evaluate the transportation system serving an area and to identify any improvements necessary to accommodate existing or projected traffic volumes.
The study consists of
- Data collection, including existing traffic volumes and turning movement counts
- Identification of required improvements such as traffic calming devices
- Projected traffic volumes
- Alternate alignments
- Feasibility analysis, including identification of impacted properties
- Impacted structures
- Physical constraints
- Roadway design criteria to be used
Traffic counts measure the volume of traffic, the type of vehicles, and vehicle speeds for a roadway.
This information can be gathered either by an automated tube counter or manually by county staff.
For an automated traffic count, the information is recorded in a tube counter placed along the roadway. The tube counter is a metal box connected to a black tube laid across the travel portion of the roadway. Each time a vehicle crosses the black tube, data is collected in the tube counter.
Another way to perform traffic counts is to position personnel at intersections, usually during the morning or evening rush hours, to count the volume of traffic passing through an intersection and record the turning movements of the vehicles.
The information gathered during a traffic count is used to determine:
- Changes in traffic patterns
- Intersection improvements
- Need for future capital improvement projects
- Traffic calming measures