Chapter 8.3 Traffic Surveys Authors: John Reid and Louise Baldwin
The recording of the movement of people and vehicles continues to be an integral requirement of practitioners working in traffic engineering, transport planning and infrastructure services, the modern day “data scientist” in this sector.
Infrastructure sector data scientists needs to answer many questions: What is it? Where is it? Where did it come from? Where is it going? How fast was it? How long was it delayed and at what point in the journey? Who was it?
This chapter introduces traffic survey methodology and explores recent technological developments in data collection. We are in the midst of an era of enormous technological change in the availability of traffic data. This era will (a) establish context, where convergence of the definitions of traffic come together, where (b) provides significant contribution along with a range of new age and evolving technologies to enable not only the production of simple traffic engineering count data, but a plethora of more valuable information.
This increase in data may impinge on individual privacy. It can only be obtained while managing compliance with privacy and surveillance laws. After reading this chapter, you should be able to:
- Recognise the need for traffic surveys
- Become familiar with characteristics of significant traffic survey types
- Recognise the strengths and weaknesses of common survey methods and technologies
John Reid is Managing Director Austraffic, past National President and life member of AITPM. Louise Baldwin is General Manager Austraffic and member of AITPM.