Determination of Traffic Adjustment Factors for Florida’s High Tourist Activity Sites
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Determination of Traffic Adjustment Factors for Florida’s High Tourist Activity Sites

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      Florida experiences heavy traffic demand on its roadways during the peak tourist season, especially near popular tourist destinations such as beaches and coastal areas and on weekends and holidays; thus, their monthly traffic adjustment factors are likely to be different from other roadways in Florida. The major objectives of this research were to determine accurate monthly traffic adjustment factors for roadways leading to major tourist/beach attraction areas in Florida. Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) collects either continuous traffic data through permanently-installed traffic counters or short-term traffic data through temporarily-placed traffic counters. FDOT transmitted hourly traffic count data from July 2017– June 2018 collected through these counters at count station sites to researchers at the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at the University of South Florida (USF). Eight coastal locations comprising 12 count station sites with high tourist activity in Florida were selected for analysis and determination of monthly traffic adjustment factors. Before the evaluation of adjustment factors, select analysis site were visited, and traffic count data spot-checks were conducted for traffic count validation purposes during peak season hours, where sites with heavy queue back-ups might have traffic count discrepancies due to the limitations of traffic counting hardware. In this validation study, it was determined that most FDOT counts and manual (video) traffic counts were in agreement, with some minor deviations that were deemed acceptable. However, it should be noted that both permanent and temporary count stations undercounted vehicles once bumper-to-bumper traffic on these counters was observed at these tourist/beach locations. After the calculation and comparison of monthly traffic adjustment factors for each site, it was determined that factors computed by the USF research team were found highly comparable with the monthly traffic adjustment factors posted by FDOT, where data were available.
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