News Flash

City Newsroom

Posted on: July 21, 2022

TDOT Traffic Counts

TDOT TRAFFIC COUNTS IN GALLATIN
 
City Officials Note Traffic During Pandemic Impacts 2021’s Estimated Counts

Gallatin – You may have noticed rubber tubes across the streets of Gallatin. These devices, called pneumatic road tube sensors, are used by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to count cars along area roads. The data, collected at these count stations and released every year, gives local planners and traffic engineers information to make recommendations for congestion mitigation strategies.

City Engineer Nick Tuttle says traffic counts often show the difference between perception and the reality of traffic issues. “People will say something needs to be done about too much traffic on roads like Lock 4, Peach Valley or Cairo Road, but a look at the capacity of the roadway determined by common engineering metrics shows that there is still room for more. People who have lived here for 40 years understandably think traffic is crazy now compared to what it used to be, and I am one of those people!”

City officials say while the raw data is useful, there are problems with drawing quick conclusions from the raw data including the following:

2020 Pandemic – The closure of businesses and public gatherings drastically altered traffic patterns. City engineers and planners say this column (2020) is likely unreliable even after TDOT adjusted these numbers to compensate for irregular travel patterns.

Traffic Studies vs Traffic Counts – Traffic studies include more comprehensive data than gathered at a one-count station and are required with major road projects or developments. An intensive service analysis evaluates specifics of turn movement along a segment of road and times of peak use, which gives a better understanding of actual flow of traffic. Developers must often provide a comprehensive traffic study to the city before proceeding with a commercial development.

*Estimated Capacity (below in chart) – The estimated capacity is based upon a chosen Level of Service that takes into account the volume of cars counted on a roadway and how that effects the average travel speed. Capacities are built around roadway characteristics. For example, a four lane road is going to carry more traffic than a two lane road. If a four lane road has several intersections and conflict points such as driveways, adjustments are made in the calculation.
 
Average Annual Daily Trips 
 YELLOW SHADING = Segment over capacity    *2020 reflects TDOT adjustments due to the pandemic

Street

*Estimated Capacity

2021

*2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

Airport Road S of US 31E

16727

9644

6101

7849

7336

6615

7098

6928

6199

6007

5169

Broadway W of Joann

17700

20807

14601

14196

15119

15080

13876

15090

13608

12781

13787

Cairo Rd. E of CSX RR

9576

2029

1674

1751

1609

1511

1437

1396

1341

1295

1238

Lock 4 Road N of Hancock

10656

9383

9094

7627

8178

8000

6919

6878

6325

6714

6518

Long Hollow Pike
 E of Walnut Creek St.

15540

22075

16541

18953

19380

17780

16510

16347

14900

13903

14360

Main Street W of Hume

15540

16730

15398

16520

16076

15198

13840

15450

15179

14492

13512

Nashville Pike (US 31E/SR 6) at City Limits

32400

 n/a

13222

21010

21216

20530

19802

18547

18324

16403

32400

N. Water N of Franklin

11840

7191

5476

6193

6617

6037

6435

5493

5987

6030

5224

Peach Valley

9576

909

828

1325

1119

478

430

488

451

393

460

Red River Rd.
 W of Dorothy Jordan

15540

21725

17246

17914

17290

15268

14898

15760

14640

15019

13982

Veterans Parkway
 E of BSCB & W. of
 Green Lea

74400

48687

35179

42590

42237

38438

38155

39702

36409

29805

31540


Despite the drawbacks, city officials say TDOT’s traffic counts are still an important tool to observe trends and changes to roadway volume. Tuttle says the data serves as historical markers showing the impact of new roads or mitigation measures that change the routes people take as they shop or drive to work.

“For instance, taking a look at the count on Lock 4, north of Hancock, traffic on this road used to be worse than it is now. Instead of using the 109 interchange at 31 East, people were cutting off on Hancock and going up to the signal on Lock 4 to go toward Nashville,” says Tuttle. “You had some 8,000 cars on Lock 4 and then it drops when 386 is opened. Now people are going on up to Long Hollow Pike and getting on 386.”

For the complete report, including additional roadway information like peak hour volumes and historic trends can be found on the TDOT at https://tdot.public.ms2soft.com/tcds/tsearch.asp?loc=Tdot&mod=TCDS

 

Despite the drawbacks, city officials say TDOT’s traffic counts are still an important tool to observe trends and changes to roadway volume. Tuttle says the data serves as historical markers showing the impact of new roads or mitigation measures that change the routes people take as they shop or drive to work.

“For instance, taking a look at the count on Lock 4, north of Hancock, traffic on this road used to be worse than it is now. Instead of using the 109 interchange at 31 East, people were cutting off on Hancock and going up to the signal on Lock 4 to go toward Nashville,” says Tuttle. “You had some 8,000 cars on Lock 4 and then it drops when 386 is opened. Now people are going on up to Long Hollow Pike and getting on 386.”

For the complete report, including additional roadway information like peak hour volumes and historic trends can be found on the TDOT at https://tdot.public.ms2soft.com/tcds/tsearch.asp?loc=Tdot&mod=TCDS

 

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