Traffic Counting

The Program     Click Here to view Local Traffic Counts by Municipality

The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission has been collecting daily traffic count information at sample locations across the 43 cities and towns in Hampden and Hampshire counties under contract with the Massachusetts Highway Department (MassHighway) since 1985. Traffic counts are conducted to collect information about the movement of people and vehicles across specific points along a given roadway. This information is often used as the basis for transportation planning studies, but has a wide variety of applications and uses. Traffic volumes can be used to evaluate the current performance characteristics of existing roadway segments, identify the need for additional transportation facilities to reduce existing congestion and gridlock, and to gauge the effectiveness of new businesses that rely on pass-by traffic (convenience stores, gas stations, and retail establishments). By far, the most important use of daily traffic count information is to identify trends in traffic volumes to assist in the development of seasonal adjustment factors and future growth rates. This information is used as the building blocks for future traffic projections used in transportation planning studies.

Automatic Traffic Recorder (ATR) Counts and Intersection Turning Movement Counter (TMC) Counts

PVPC maintains ATRs and TMCs which are used to collect traffic count information. ATRs are used to collect daily traffic volume information as well as vehicle classification, speed, and gap. TMCs are used to collect intersection vehicle turning movement volumes. PVPC uses the most up-to-date computer software to analyze the collected traffic information.

MassHighway Locations

Every year, at the request of MassHighway, PVPC performs traffic counts at specific locations as part of PVPC’s contract with the state’s Executive Office of Transportation (EOT). MassHighway develops statewide adjustment factors based on the functional classification of the roadways. In order to maintain and update these factors, some locations are counted repeatedly each year.

Local Technical Assistance (LTA) Locations

A member community may request traffic counts under PVPC’s LTA program. Under PVPC's current policy, each community is eligible to receive up to two free traffic counts per federal fiscal year. Communities will be charged for additional counts to defray PVPC's operating expenses.

Download the Traffic Count Request Form

Public/PrivateConsultant and Business Locations

PVPC may be hired to perform traffic counts for public or private organizations. These organizations are charged based on PVPC’s flat hourly rate, which changes according to whether the organization is a for-profit or non-profit entity. The cost of performing a traffic count depends on many factors, such as location, number of counters used, and analysis time.

PVPC Locations

PVPC also selects its own traffic count locations to supplement data collection activities required as part of ongoing corridor studies, the regional congestion management system, the regional pavement management system, and the regional transportation model.

For more information, please e-mail Amir Kouzehkanani.

Click here to access an interactive map of all traffic count data in Massachusetts.