DOT Traffic Counters To Concentrate On Northwest Iowa This Year

Ames, Iowa — It’s time for the Iowa DOT traffic counters to go out again and collect data.

The Iowa Department of Transportation tells us that each year, they canvas a specific quadrant of the state to collect information on the number of cars, trucks, and other vehicles using the state, county, and city roadways. Using this data, they say they can better predict traffic volume and weight trends, allowing DOT officials to plan improvements that will give you the most benefit for each tax dollar spent.

The DOT tells us that this year’s efforts are concentrated in Northwest Iowa, but occasionally crews will work elsewhere in the state. You may see employees in DOT-marked vehicles sitting at various locations counting the morning, noon, and evening traffic. They count and classify vehicles, record vehicle turning movements, and gather other data necessary to assist in planning the future of Iowa’s roadway system.

They say other employees will be placing and checking portable traffic recorders in the same general areas where you may notice a black rubber tube running across the road. When the recorders are set, they usually record data for one or two days and are checked periodically. Employees responsible for the recorders work various shifts, including hours outside of a traditional business day.

Additional statewide work scheduled for this summer includes the installation, upgrading, and maintenance of permanent traffic recorders and weigh-in-motion equipment at continuous count station locations.

While this work is going on, you can expect to see Iowa DOT employees and vehicles in your communities all hours of the day. DOT officials say that all of this work is critical to the future of the state’s transportation system.