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Mobility analytics company releases daily traffic counts for US roadways

StreetLight Data claims its validated Annual Average Daily Traffic metrics cover virtually every US roadway, filling an important gap for transportation planning in a year impacted by Covid-19.

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Due to Covid-19, traffic patterns reflected anything but typical conditions
Due to Covid-19, traffic patterns reflected anything but typical conditions

Analytics platform StreetLight Data has published its 2020 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) counts for US roadways which seek to fill in ‘critical’ data gaps for transport agencies from the year impacted by Covid-19.

 

According to StreetLight, pandemic shutdowns upended traffic, kept agencies from deploying counts, and threw transportation data collection for a ‘loop’.

 

Traffic patterns

 

For transportation agencies able to collect data, none of the traditional approaches of extrapolation were appropriate for 2020; for others, normal collection was limited due to safety concerns and traffic patterns reflecting nothing like typical conditions.

 

StreetLight claims its validated AADT metrics cover virtually every US roadway – urban and rural – filling an important gap for transportation planning, for the fourth year in a row.

 

“It has never been more valuable to have real, timely, nationwide AADT data,” said Laura Schewel, CEO, StreetLight Data.

 

“Expansion factors were rendered useless given last year’s unprecedented traffic volatility, and long-range planning was handicapped by the lack of a pre-pandemic baseline for many of America’s roadways. With another year of validated AADT available from a desktop computer, StreetLight InSight offers planners a wealth of traffic data unavailable anywhere else.”

StreetLight's insight draws on 365 days of data on more than four million miles of roadway
StreetLight's insight draws on 365 days of data on more than four million miles of roadway

As an example of how different AADT was in 2020, the Golden Gate Bridge Operations website said that the bridge typically carries around 112,000 vehicles per day while StreetLight’s 2020 AADT reports just 81,000 vehicles per day. This represents a 37 per cent decrease.

 

Looking into the Ballard Bridge in Seattle that reportedly can carry approximately 59,000 vehicles each day, the AADT for 2020 via StreetLight is 40,500 which is a 45 per cent decrease. The Ballard-Interbay area is one of the city’s major industrial centres with a mix of maritime, industrial, commercial and service jobs, so COVID may have impacted the traffic and there was less commuting downtown.

“With another year of validated AADT available from a desktop computer, StreetLight InSight offers planners a wealth of traffic data unavailable anywhere else”

The 2020 pandemic disrupted measurement and placed a new premium on field personnel safety: both issues are addressed by StreetLight’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that delivers AADT for virtually any roadway in mere minutes.

 

Based on over 40 billion monthly location records across the country, collected from smartphones, connected cars and trucks, StreetLight’s algorithms draw on 365 days of data on more than four million miles of roadway.

 

For 2020, training data was captured from 25 states across the US, with an improved an improved R2 value of 0.98, indicating a “very strong” relationship between StreetLight’s AADT and permanent counters.

 

StreetLight claims its AADT 2020 exceeds industry accuracy standards, including improved estimation accuracy across a wide range of roadway functional classifications and improved performance on low- and high-volume roads.

 

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