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It is the phase of transportation engineering that deals with the planning, geometric design and

traffic operations of roads, streets and highways, their networks, terminals, abutting lands, and
relationships with other modes of transportation.
Traffic Characteristics
Overview
Information on traffic characteristics is vital in selecting the appropriate geometric features of
a roadway. Necessary traffic data includes traffic volume, traffic speed, and percentage of
trucks or other large vehicles
Average daily traffic is the volume of traffic counted on the roadway(two way) over a given
time period (greater than one day but less than one year) divided by the number of days in
that time period. AADT: Average annual daily traffic is obtained by adding daily traffic counts
over one year divided by 365 days.
Traffic speed is influenced by volume, capacity, design, weather, traffic control devices,
posted speed limit, and individual driver preference. For design purposes, the following
definitions apply:

Low-speed is 45 mph [70 km/h] and below

High-speed is 50 mph [80 km/h] and above

Design elements such as sight distance, vertical and horizontal alignment, lane and shoulder
widths, roadside clearances, superelevation, etc., are influenced by design speed.
Service flow rate: The maximum hourly rate of a roadway section during a given period under
prevailing roadway condition. LOS: Qualitative measures that characterize operational
conditions within a traffic stream and their perception by motorists and passengers. (Highway
capacity manual, 1994)
Directional distribution refers to the percentage of traffic flow in one direction during a
particular time of day. This factor is particularly important in the case of commuter roads,
where maximum flow occurs in one direction in the morning and the other in the evening. This
also needs to be considered for efficient geometric design
PURPOSES Improvement purposes: To allocate limited maintenance budget rationally; to
improve the roadway operating condition; to examine the existing operating/service condition;
to determine the type of improvement measure need to be taken etc. Planning Purposes:
Accurate information on the amount of traffic on the roads is vital for the planning of both road
maintenance and improvement policies
Origin-Destination Study

Uses
Information from these studies can be used to anticipate present and future traffic patterns,
especially the demand to be placed on the road network in the future. When compiling data
the percentage of interviewed should be converted to represent a 24-hour day. The studies
provide information concerning:
The number of trips into, within, and through an installation; and time of day, mode of
travel and number of occupants in a vehicle during a trip.
Present travel patterns; areas that generate the most traffic; and efficiency of traffic
lanes concerning flow and safety.
Evaluation of the general road plan and present or foreseeable problems.
Determining need for revised flow patterns, alternate routes, new streets and parking
areas.
Help determine parking patterns in major functional areas of the installation.
Future travel patterns can be determined by being aware of future projects or
changes. By anticipating changes, potential traffic problems can be avoided. This
might include changes in population, new residential areas or service facilities
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Methodology Automatic Counting Method Traffic volume study Contact system based
Contactless system based Direct Method Manual Counting Method indirect Method
14. Manual Counting Method: Direct method Data is counted by using hand tally and manual
counters/enumerators. Advantages: By this method traffic volume as well as vehicle
classification and turning proportions can be obtained. Data can be used immediately after
collection. Disadvantages: This method is not practicable for long duration count and when
flow is high. Error is common especially when volume is high. Count cannot be cross
checked. Count cannot be done in bad weather.
15. Mechanical Counting Boards Mechanical count boards consist of counters mounted on a
board that record each direction of travel. Common counts include pedestrian, bicycle,
vehicle classification, and traffic volume counts.

16. Electronic Counting Boards Electronic counting boards are battery-operated, lighter, more
compact, and easier to handle. They have an internal clock that automatically separates the
data by time interval.
17. Instruments used in Direct method Hand Counter Instrument to Measure Distance
18. Example of data collection in tally method.
19. Direct method A Typical Data Sheet of Manual Method
20. Manual Counting Method: Indirect Method In this method, data is collected using video
camera. Video is captured for long time and data is collected later by rewinding.
Advantages: Besides traffic volume, several traffic parameters can be obtained from recorded
film. Data can be cross checked and quality can be ensured. This method is applicable when
volume is high. It is suitable for non-lane based traffic operation. Disadvantages: A suitable
elevated place is required for filming operation. Data cannot be used immediately after
collection.
21. Manual Counting Method: Indirect Method Video cameras are mounted to record the
traffic condition on a road.
22. Automatic counting method: In this method, vehicles are counted automatically without
any human involvement. Contact system based (pneumatic, mechanical, magnetic or
piezoelectric method) Contactless system based (electrical/optical, ultrasound/infrared
radar, micro wave, CCTV/video image processing method etc.) Advantages: This method is
suitable for long duration or continuous count. Count is not affected by bad weather condition.
Disadvantages: It requires strict lane discipline. Non motorized vehicles are hard to detect
23. Equipment used for Automatic counting method: Contact system Motion sensors
Pneumatic Road Tube Counter
24. Equipment used for Automatic counting method: Contactless system Vehicle numbers are
recorder using ultrasound, light beam or other infrared technology.
For instance, a forecast may estimate the number of vehicles on a planned road or bridge, the
ridership on a railway line, the number of passengers visiting an airport, or the number of ships
calling on a seaport. Traffic forecasting begins with the collection of data on current traffic. This
traffic data is combined with other known data, such as population, employment, trip rates,
travel costs, etc., to develop a traffic demand model for the current situation. Feeding it with
predicted data for population, employment, etc. results in estimates of future traffic, typically
estimated for each segment of the transportation infrastructure in question, e.g., for each
roadway segment or railway station.
Traffic forecasts are used for several key purposes in transportation policy, planning, and
engineering: to calculate the capacity of infrastructure, e.g., how many lanes a bridge should
have; to estimate the financial and social viability of projects, e.g., using costbenefit analysis

and social impact assessment; and to calculate environmental impacts, e.g., air pollution and
noise.
Transportation system management (TSM) refers to a set of strategies that largely
aim to reduce GHG emissions by reducing congestion, primarily by improving
transportation system capacity and efficiency. TSM strategies may also address a
wide range of other externalities associated with driving such as pedestrian/driver
safety, efficiency, congestion, travel time, and driver satisfaction. Some TSM
strategies are designed to reduce total and systemic congestion and improve
system-wide efficiency, while other strategies target particularly problematic areas
where improvements could greatly affect congestion, safety, efficiency, and GHG
emissions.