BTPO Traffic Counts
Why we conduct traffic counts?
The Bannock Transportation Planning Organization (BTPO) counts vehicles for vehicle miles traveled calculation, travel demand model validation, and planning studies.
Vehicle Miles Traveled – The Federal Highway Administration requires BTPO to conduct travel counts as part of the Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS). The HMPS creates a system of road segments that are counted every three years. These segments are used to determine annual vehicle miles traveled for the region.
Travel demand model validation – The region uses a travel demand model to predict future travel patterns within the Pocatello/Chubbuck region. This model uses current and future demographic data to determine vehicle travel of major roadways. Traffic counts are used in ensuring that the model predictions are accurate.
Planning Studies – BTPO conducts traffic counts for project-specific reasons. Planning studies include corridor studies, traffic signal justification studies, and subarea planning analysis.
When do we conduct traffic counts?
Bannock Transportation Planning Organization conducts traffic counts throughout the year, but most counts occur between April and October. The traffic counts shown in the table below are 48 to 72 hour Annual Average Daily Traffic Counts (AADT). AADTs are determined by averaging two or three days of traffic and converted to that average to an annual average by multiplying a seasonal factor. Typically the counts are conducted on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. BTPO completed a Traffic Data Program report, which outlines the procedures and quality assurance program used in the BTPO planning area. Travel Data and Operations Manual.
How do you conduct traffic counts?
BTPO uses three primary methods to conduct traffic counts, they are:
Road Tubes – A pneumatic rubber road is stretched across of road and is connected to a collection device called a counter. The counter detects the air pulses and logs when the vehicle was determined. Road tubes can collect direction traffic volume, speeds, and vehicle classification.
Radar – A radar unit is attached to a fixed object on the side of the road. The counter uses a doppler radar to detect vehicles and determine their speed and classification.
Video – A video recorder is mounted on the side of the road or at an intersection. The video is post-processed to determine the number of vehicles for that location. Cameras can collect volume and vehicle classification.
Traffic Count Map
The traffic count map shows the location of all counts from 2017 – 2020. Counts collected in 2020 from January to May are during the COVID-19 pandemic and should be used with caution. BTPO uses counts from the year to adjust the Annual Vehicle Miles Traveled for the entire urban area. Traffic counts during the shutdown are important to show the decrease in vehicle traffic during the year.
The important fields are:
- Year Count = the year the traffic count occurred
- 2017 – 2020 = the Average Annual Weekday Traffic Count for that year. Zeros indicate no traffic count occurred in that year
- Traffic Count Map (Last Updated November 3, 2020)
Idaho Transportation Department Automatic Traffic Counts
The Idaho Transportation Department has released a traffic tracker that shows vehicle trips in Idaho. ITD Traffic Tracker
The following is a list of the traffic count locations which run continuously in our community.