Traffic counter data now available

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There were 8,400 trips on Edgartown–Vineyard Haven Road Wednesday, 800 of which came between the hours of 4 and 5 pm, according to one of the six newly up and running permanent traffic counters installed this fall by the Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC).

The counters are able to break down traffic counts by speed groups and vehicle length classes, which will help inform pavement management plans and fiscal planning for town highway departments and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). 

The MVC installed the permanent counters, which cost approximately $18,000 each, to get better insights into the year-to-year demands placed on Island roadway infrastructure, much of which is designed for far smaller volumes than exist in the summertime peak season. The information can also potentially be used to make stronger cases for state and federal funding for infrastructure projects. It will also be available to Island towns and the public.

The six sites around the Island were decided by a vote of the Island’s joint transportation committee. The project is funded through state and federal Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) funding.

Eagle-eyed drivers will recognize the counters, which are set back from the road and painted forest green.

While the MVC is working to get data available on its website, data are available on MassDOT’s public-facing Transportation Data Management System, which can be accessed at bit.ly/permtrafcounts.

By searching Dukes County or any of the Island’s towns, people can get up-to-date traffic counts broken down by day, hour, and 15-minute intervals.