As a leader with over 20 years experience, TERRA Engineering is focused on providing a full spectrum of engineering services using effective and innovative processes. They wanted to implement a solution that could reduce labor costs and safely collect bicycle and pedestrian data, alongside vehicle volume and classification data. TERRA strives to obtain high customer service and accuracy standards with their innovative data collection methods. TERRA has office locations in Illinois, Missouri, and Wisconsin.
For projects that require traffic data collection, TERRA utilizes traditional counting equipment and manual counters for intersection counts and average daily traffic (ADT) counts. Both of these methods limit the results TERRA is able to obtain, specifically classifications for bicycle and pedestrian.
TERRA is often involved in the design of Complete Streets projects which incorporate all modes of transportation including vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic, providing a corridor to serve multip‐ urposes. Traditional counting equipment is costly due to the labor hours spent having field personnel collecting data on vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle usage. In order to meet their project requirements, TERRA requires a solution that will:
- Collect traffic data such as intersection counts and road volume data with vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian classifications;
- Allow for collection of additional useful data such as gaps in traffic;
- Provide high data accuracy for all traffic studies, any time of day and during inclement weather;
- Allow technicians to deploy equipment safely without entering the roadway or disrupting traffic;
- Allow collection of data for longer, non-traditional periods of time up to several days at a time.
In working on a Complete Streets planning and design process contract for the City of Peoria, Illinois, TERRA purchased Miovision’s Scout Video Collection Units for traffic data collection. They also rented units to increase their capacity for a larger study. Using the Scout unit allowed TERRA to collect additional user data at a reasonable cost and to provide their clients with additional data to study for planning.
Not only did the Scout units provide the data they needed, TERRA also decreased study lead time while increasing data accuracy, safety and profitability. After their first study, they adopted the Scout solution for their other traffic data collection projects including a large yearly ADT contract for the State of Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).
In 2011, TERRA began collecting Intersection Count data at intersections and extrapolating Road Volume data from the Intersection Count reports to satisfy the needs of the IDOT contract while providing additional data. The unique solution was very well received and as a result, the Miovision Platform adopted a Road Volume reporting feature for 24-hour Intersection Counts.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Counting Capabilities
TERRA is now able to collect bicycle and pedestrian data at intersections with sidewalk facilities by using the Scout unit. Many smaller municipalities are unable to collect this data on their own due to cost and lack of resources. This data is used for planning and design, specifically in school areas. Being able to collect this data allows TERRA to provide their clients with additional and valuable information at a reasonable cost.
Bicycle and Pedestrian information is used for planning and designing a solution which incorporates multi modal transportation within a corridor, but this data is often overlooked in the planning process even though it is an important piece of a Complete Street project.
TERRA now provides real and accurate data on all modes of transportation and has a video record of existing pedestrian and bicycle activity which exists in the corridor. This video record often proves to be beneficial when presenting findings to their clients and the general public.
Decreased Traffic Data Collection Costs by 54%
Multiple cameras were rented to collect data at numerous sites simultaneously which eliminates the need for data balancing. In one project, 21 intersections were setup with Scout solutions over a three day period. Based on a study time of eight hours at each intersection, this resulted in a 75% reduction in field technician time alone, not including the additional time that would be required for post-processing data balancing.
Efficient Data Collection Process Decreases Lead Time by 20%
Traffic data collection setup is completed in 10-15 minutes by one technician at TERRA. The Scout solution is non-intrusive and setup is done safely on the road side without requiring the technician to enter the roadway. Data collection is scheduled on the unit and once completed, it is uploaded and processed by Miovision.
Within days, traffic study reports are available on Miovision’s traffic data management Platform. They are available in various industry standard reports along with a video record of the count. This process is executed by one technician and can be completed in 20% less time than manual efforts. In turn, this creates direct cost savings.
Additional Traffic Analysis Benefit
“Many of our urban areas have complicated intersections with combinations of one-way and two-way streets, driveways, and pedestrian or bicycle facilities,” notes Lynn Moe, GIS Analyst at TERRA. “By reviewing the video and count detector locations, we can ensure that the data is collected for all the necessary movements.”
Value-Added Features of Miovision
Miovision’s online traffic data management portal provides TERRA with additional value-added features which align with their goals and those of their customers. TERRA’s previous data collection methods provided classifications that were limited to cars, medium trucks and heavy trucks. With Miovision, TERRA collects classifications for vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians. Classifications for bicyclists and pedestrians are important to their customers where sidewalks and trails are present as well as for future planning of areas such as school zones. As the movement to provide facilities for all users continues to gain momentum throughout the US, this data becomes increasingly more valuable.
Chris Hutchinson, PE, PTOE
Chris Hutchinson, PE, PTOE
Lynn Moe, GIS Analyst
By adopting Miovision’s Scout solution, TERRA was able to collect numerous classifications, increase their capacity and accuracy of traffic data collection while also providing customers with value added benefits, such as access to an online data management portal and videos.
Overall, TERRA achieved the following with their traffic data collection projects:
- Ability to collect vehicle classifications and bicycle/pedestrian data
- Ability to collect intersection data for longer non-traditional periods, up to several days at a time
- Decreased costs by 54% or more by automating traffic data collection for turning movements
- Decreased lead time by 20% for data collection
- Increased visibility and accuracy of data and video collected
- Gained additional benefits to the traffic engineering team when analyzing intersections