Day-of-year scaling factors and design considerations for nonmotorized traffic monitoring programs

Steve Hankey, Greg H Lindsey, Julian Marshall

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

42 Scopus citations


General procedures, including the estimation of annual average daily traffic (AADT) from short-duration counts, have not been established for nonmotorized traffic monitoring programs. Continuous counts of nonmotorized traffic were collected at six locations on the off-street trail network in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 2011. A new approach for estimating AADT values from short-duration counts, the use of day-of-year factors, is demonstrated. Analyses of variability in count data can be used to design a monitoring program that uses both continuous and short-duration counts of nonmotorized traffic. Five core conclusions may be useful for developing nonmotorized monitoring programs: (a) day-of-year scaling factors have smaller error than does the standard (day-of-weck and month-of-ycar) method of AADT estimation, especially from short-duration counts (<1 week); (b) extrapolation error decreases with short-duration-count length, with only marginal gains in accuracy for counts longer than 1 week; (c) errors in estimating AADT values are lowest when short-duration counts arc taken in summer (or spring, summer, and fall) months (April through October); (d) the impact of sampling on consecutive (successive) versus nonconsecutive (separate) days on AADT estimation is minimal but may reduce labor requirements; and (e) the design of a traffic monitoring program depends on the acceptable error, equipment availability, and monitoring period duration. Trade-offs in short-duration-count lengths and estimate accuracy will depend on resource constraints. Analysts can use day-of-year factors to improve the accuracy of AADT estimation. Analyses of variability in traffic counts can strengthen the design of monitoring programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTransportation Research Record
PublisherNational Research Council
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780309295659
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NameTransportation Research Record
ISSN (Print)0361-1981


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