Traffic Research

Transportation planning relies on good data to understand existing traffic conditions and changes to conditions, whether one is measuring traffic volume, the types of traffic using a facility (e.g. vehicles, trucks, bikes), traffic speeds, traffic congestion or delay, or other information. Measuring traffic operations—whether on a highway, bike trail or sidewalk—is critical for addressing questions that residents, elected officials, and transportation professionals have about the relative safety, mobility or accessibility of transportation infrastructure in their community or jurisdiction.

One application of traffic data is assessing the suitability of particular safety improvement, such as crosswalks. Source: Federal Highway Administration

SWRPC has a robust traffic research program that is used for a variety of purposes including monitoring traffic trends, planning, project development, public policy and even funding. SWRPC partners with the New Hampshire Department of Transportation Bureau of Traffic to conduct traffic counts using pneumatic tubes that are typically installed for a weeklong period. On an annual basis, SWRPC conducts these “spot studies” or short-term counts at about one third of almost 400 sites throughout Southwest NH. In addition to collecting traffic count data, SWRPC also conducts “turning movement” counts to understand traffic patterns at intersections and windshield surveys to understand trends in carpooling.

The majority (but not all) of SWRPC’s traffic data is available via NHDOT’s Traffic Data Management System (TDMS):

  • The TDMS is a web-based interactive map that allows you to searches, view and download traffic count data.
  • Once a station is selected, click “View Detail” to show all records associated with that count station in the panel on the left side.
  • Various report types can be generated by clicking the icon to the left side of each study dates.

If you’re interested in traffic data for a particular location or have other questions about SWRPC’s traffic research program, don’t hesitate to contact us. Also, SWRPC’s long-range transportation plan Southwest Connects, contains lots of traffic count information for transportation corridors across the Monadnock Region.

SWRPC also has capacity to respond to a limited number of requests from municipalities to research traffic characteristics at other locations including municipal roads, rail trails, and sidewalks. If that is of interest, please complete the Traffic Study Technical Assistance Request Form to provide details about your request and be contacted by SWRPC.