The COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted our lives. Closed businesses and schools and the rise of telecommuting all impact travel. State and local transportation agencies are facing big questions about how to measure traffic in these uncertain times to keep their planning programs moving. Don’t fear, there is hope. Until travel conditions return to a new normal, DKS staff can provide the expertise on how to best navigate through the wide range of mobility data sources available today.

To help those in need of data to keep projects and development moving, we are sharing our general process for gathering historic transportation data for a variety of analysis applications. These steps progress from using simple and typically free resources to more complex and costly data outputs dependent to your specific needs.

  1. Manually Collected Data

    Agencies have access to historic data collected from local public plans and private development projects. Traffic count vendors maintain a library with data available for a nominal fee. Typically, more data is available for growing areas.

    Types of data:

    • Hourly intersection turn movement counts – all travel modes

    • Hourly intersection operations – vehicle queue lengths, saturation flow rates

    • Daily roadway vehicle volumes and speeds


    State and federal highway agencies along with some regions, cities and counties conduct temporary and continuous counting programs. Catalogues of count data are available online for free. Open data portals may be available from public agencies that share data for free.

    Types of data:

    Annual average daily traffic

    • Seasonal and peak hour volume factors

    • Arterials, freeways, interstates and ramps

  3.  Third-party data vendors

    Data is gathered from mobile sources such as smartphones and connected vehicles. Data from this emerging technology can provide more robust travel data than is available from simple traffic counts. We can access them for free from agencies that already subscribe or purchase them, as needed, from the vendors.

    Types of data:

    Estimated intersection turn movement counts

    • Traffic volume profiles for any time of day or year

    • Roadway speed and reliability

    • Travel times for corridors

    • Bottlenecks – average and maximum delay


DKS staff are expert users of all of these sources and are available to provide guidance to keep your project moving.



To learn more, please contact:

Reah Flisakowski, P.E., Portland Planning Business Development Manager    503.473.3362