The US Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released their annual Urban Congestion Trends for 2010, which shows an increase in congestion and traffic levels overall within US urban cities. Twenty cities are measured annually and the latest report shows an 18 minute increase in daily delays from 4:20 to 4:38. Congestion levels have been steadily increasing since 2008 when levels dropped due to the downturn in the economy. However, they haven’t reached the levels previously seen prior to the recession in 2007.
Last week, Miovision attended the Transportation Research Board’s 91st Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. We setup shop at booth #1507 and showcased our traffic data collection equipment. Each year, this event attracts over 11,000 transportation professionals from around the world. With such a worldwide and diverse audience, there were so many different events to attend ranging from poster sessions to workshops to exhibits.
Road tubes have been used for decades for average annual daily traffic (AADT) counts (also average daily traffic (ADT), automatic traffic recorder (ATR) counts, midblock counts or link counts). They have been effective in capturing ADT counts in the past, however, improvements in technology have made road tubes the “VHS” of data collection.
The American transportation network is in dire need of highway maintenance and reconstruction. Valued at $1.75 trillion, it has endured years of wear and tear, increased traffic, inconsistent maintenance and varying weather conditions. All of these variables, along with higher construction costs and reduced government funding have contributed to only half of the nation’s roads being in good condition.
The Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) has issued a request for proposals to develop guidance on how to improve on providing decision support for agencies. The goal is to create a plan where Departments of Transportation (DOTs) can aid agencies to preserve, maintain, operate, and improve transportation infrastructure and services.
Manual traffic counting is time consuming. It can take even longer and reduce accuracy in certain weather conditions. Whenever there is poor weather, there is a higher chance for lower quality data as the onsite counter just wants to get the study done and go back to the office.
Many urban cities around the world are dealing with constant growth and as a result, traffic in city centers is becoming a challenge to manage. In Toronto, there are discussions on how to decrease the strain in the downtown core. Gas and parking prices have all increased, but traffic seems to be getting worse. One suggestion is implementing a congestion charge. This is where a fee is paid to travel within a certain area during peak hours in an effort to decrease unnecessary traffic.
Over the past few years, there has been more pressure from cyclists demanding that drivers share the road. Community groups are getting the attention of public agencies to include cyclist-focused initiatives in urban areas. These initiatives can be difficult to execute based on limited expansion space for roads, cyclist vs. driver demands, increased cars on the road and fixed budgets.
In the past month, the world’s population surpassed 7 billion people. Celebrations were underway to commemorate this new height in population, however, what are the impacts on the world’s infrastructure?
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