To help simplify picking which tools make sense for you to use while collecting transportation data, we’ve put together The Data Collection Tool Selector. The matrix shows the type of data collected vs. the kind of facility, with the appropriate devices in each cell.
The vehicle’s loaded, you set up 14 of your 15 count locations and… you run out of gear! You were minutes away from wrapping up the workday, but now you have to drive back to the office. Or, if you’re lucky, run into a nearby hardware store to get what you need. We’ve all been there.
The process of collecting turning movement counts, the basis of most if not all of our transportation studies, has certainly evolved. Originally, the process consisted of sitting at an intersection corner and essentially taking notes with paper and a clipboard. Works for sleepy intersections with little traffic, but not effective for many downtown and suburban areas.
The City of St. Louis Park, Minnesota had a neighborhood reconstruction project planned for 2018 with significant resident concerns about traffic issues. The situation is not unique, but the engineering staff’s approach to the project was.
We can’t afford to strand a field tech three hours away from the office. Our 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan has a well earned 140,000 miles on it and we’re concerned about the coming costs to keep it working reliably. It’s time to replace Traffic Data Inc’s mini-van with a new work vehicle.
One really exciting and enjoyable aspect of Transportation Engineering is the constant influx of new technologies. For our projects, we are continually examining how to improve our data, our analyses, and ultimately, our recommendations to make the world a safer place.