Regional Traffic Counts

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2015 Iberville Dr. Ocean Springs

GRPC’s Transportation Planning Division has been conducting its traffic volume data collection (traffic counts) program in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties for over thirty years. We collect travel data at sites along major roadways and other routes in support of the regional planning process, as well as to fill a jurisdiction’s particular need. In 1998, GRPC entered into an agreement with MDOT, whereby GRPC began collecting all of MDOT’s scheduled volume counts within the three county region.
Following a detailed schedule, the program staff “Road Warriors” collect traffic data at approximately 1,300 sites. 85% of which, are at MDOT designated count locations. All of the MDOT count sites are scheduled in accordance with MDOT’s triennial schedule. In addition, we collect data on approximately 50 of the higher volume roadways and streets in anticipated growth areas annually, while another 170 sites are scheduled to be counted every other year. This allows us to keep our finger on the pulse of growth and change in our community.
In addition to the regularly schedule traffic counts, numerous other special counts will be taken to support specific transportation planning projects, or at the request of local governments for various reasons.

All traffic counts conducted by GRPC meet MDOT and Federal Highway Administration criteria for data collection activities. They are taken using automated tube counters for a period of not less than 48 hours. The data is then downloaded and processed using specially designed software. Factors developed and provided by MDOT (axle factors, monthly factors and annual increase factors) are then applied to the raw count data to derive the Annualized Average Daily Traffic (AADT) count for each location.
Occasionally, at the request of local jurisdictions and other special circumstances, speed counts are taken, providing various reports on vehicular speed, time of day, etc. Vehicle classification counts have also been taken, wherein the traffic volume is reported in various formats by the type of vehicle (cars, buses, various sized trucks, etc.).

The AADTs for traffic count sites are rounded using the following convention:

Volume Rounded To Nearest
0-999 10
1000-9999 100
10,000 and over 1000

The traffic count data collected is uploaded into a searchable database. Although open and available to the general public, the most common users of the database include local city and county planners, engineers and developers. Traffic count information assists in identifying new economic development areas, assists in selecting appropriate roadways designs during construction projects, can inform planners where new or expanded facilities are needed on existing roadways, alerts planners of growth trends, etc.