BHJ doesn’t freeze traffic count work during winter weather

BHJ doesn’t freeze traffic count work during winter weather

Tricky winter weather might discourage driving, but that doesn’t mean the work on BHJ traffic counts stops!

Transportation Study Director Dave Snelting, PE, recently presented the map of the 2017 traffic counts to the Transportation Study Policy Commission, and the annual report is soon to follow.

BHJ engineers collect traffic data at points throughout the tri-county area on a three-year rotating basis, so points that are being calculated for 2017 were last counted in 2014. That way, we are able to demonstrate trend data going back decades on roads throughout our region. In 2017, a total of 451 traffic counts were completed.

To put it simply, Dave explains that, for example, when reports come out that offer national statistics like “summer travel is down this season,” our traffic counts are one of the many sets of data that feed into calculating that information.

On the technical side, data gathered and reported by BHJ engineers is put into the regional “travel demand model” that compares our on-the-ground data with information computers generate based on census and employment data throughout the Weirton-Steubenville Metropolitan Statistical Area.

That data finds its way into many reports, finally ending up at the Federal Highway Administration, the source from which our federal transportation monies ultimately spring.BHJ’s traffic count data is posted annually to our website, and was updated last year with interactive maps that allow users to look at roads close to their home or work (if you work in the tri-county area).Traffic counts are used locally on occasion, as well. BHJ provides data upon request to economic development agencies, companies and commercial retailers, as they undertake various economic development activities.