Motorists may notice wires laying across multiple Mexico streets. They are traffic counters that the Missouri Department of Transportation has placed throughout town to gather traffic data.
Counters are placed in communities approximately every three years as a means to update traffic volumes. “That raw data, (planning) can take that and apply factors that they know,” said MoDOT Area Engineer Brian Untiedt. “They’re counting right now in April, but in June it’s going to raise so much, just from summer traffic.”
Traffic volumes are recorded to factor into the average annual daily traffic count, Untiedt said. This allows the department to compare roads for planning maintenance and other purposes.
“Some road’s (traffic) can bump up, you know, after a couple years if a new gas station comes in or a factory, so that affects how we do our planning with those roads,” Untiedt said.
The data is available on the department’s website, which cities or businesses can use for planning purposes. The department also provides cities with the final data, Untiedt said.
“Those volumes are very handy to have, because it helps us plan our work, but it also helps businesses know that there is this much traffic in an area or where that traffic is at for the business,” he said.
While the raw data is being collected in Mexico this month, a final report will take some time, Untiedt said. It can take anywhere from six months to a year for a final draft to be released.
“What they do is (planning) goes out throughout the year and they compile all that information and they also have permanent counters set out around the state that take counts daily,” Untiedt said.
That yearly data is worked into the report, which is why there is a time gap between data collection and the final report. While Mexico doesn’t have a permanent counter, there is one on Missouri Highway 19 near Laddonia, Untiedt said.