Traffic in populous areas such as towns, main routes, and city centers can create numerous problems to both the environment and people. In order to pinpoint the root cause of certain traffic-related problems, as well as to assess the scale of these problems including the safety of pedestrian and road congestion, traffic surveying is conducted.
Factors to Consider When Surveying Traffic Flow
Traffic surveyors normally look at the following:
The location where they will conduct the survey
The most appropriate time(s) and day(s) to survey the flow of traffic
The duration of counting and analyzing vehicles (This can vary from 5 minutes to 20 minutes depending on the size of the area)
The vehicle type to count (some vehicles are more dangerous than others because of their size, weight, or quantity)
It is the discretion of the surveyor company on how many they will deploy for a particular traffic surveying project. Usually, surveyors come in pair (or more) depending on the project size. For instance, they will survey the traffic in the central business district. One person will record the traffic flow into that area, and another person will record the traffic flow out of it.
It is also essential in data collection to record where the surveyors are located, as well as the current road conditions when they conduct the survey.
The data collected in this survey is interpreted and used for many things such as:
Academic records (compiled as case studies)
Developing local transport schemes in a certain area
Evaluating transportation either for development or maintenance
Target monitoring for local transport plans
Road planning (for future roadway improvements including the applications for roadway operations as well as safety improvement projects)
Importance of Traffic Surveying
Traffic surveying is important and beneficial because it ensures the safety of motorists in general. The survey is also expedient in analyzing the flow of motorists in a certain area during a specific date and time. This can be used to identify the necessary adjustments in case the area is too congested and is causing traffic-related problems.
The survey is also used to improve the local city’s traffic operations. This is to make certain that the city is maintaining the set standards for traffic signage, signals, speed limits, striping, parking regulations, as well as road bumps.
Lastly, traffic surveying is also useful to improve the transportation engineering of the area. The data will be used to design improvements for roadways, traffic signs and signals, bikeways, and guardrails.