Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Traffic Counts Provide Fundamental Planning Data

TMACOG’s summer interns collect essential data used for transportation modeling and planning in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. The work for 2014 summer interns Abby Curtis and Andrew Carden includes counts that are required by ODOT, requests from TMACOG members, and ongoing collection of data on area roadways.

Andrew Carden is a senior at Bowling Green State University in the geography program. He expects to graduate in May, 2015. He is weighing his options between entering the workforce immediately after graduation or pursuing graduate school. He said that the summer internship at TMACOG is a good opportunity to see the kind of work available to people in his field. Andrew also has a captain’s license and his other summer job is with the Jet Express ferry between Port Clinton and Put-in-Bay.

Abby Curtis is a graduate student at the University of Toledo where she is pursuing her master’s in geography. She completed a bachelor of science in city planning at Ohio State University in 2013. Abby decided to pursue graduate school to learn more about GIS and mapping than was included in her undergraduate program. She noted that there are interesting career opportunities in GIS work. At UT, Abby is the president of the Gamma Theta Upsilon Geography Honors fraternity.

The data that TMACOG collects includes the number of vehicles, the type of vehicles (passenger or truck), and the speed of traffic. TMACOG traffic count data is updated to the Traffic Count Database System. Many other agencies and jurisdictions also add data to this site. Information is searchable through a text-driven interface.

Abby Curtis and Andrew Carden are summer interns at TMACOG, collecting traffic counts for TMACOG models and planning programs.

After tools collect data for 48 hours, TMACOG staff members pry up the hoses, collect the data box and then, back at the office, upload the information to the requesting agency and to the traffic count database system. Here, interns are working on Hill Ave., south of Byrne Rd. in Toledo. 

Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments | www.tmacog.org

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