Sampling Surveys for Estimating Local, Rural and Urban Vehicle – Miles of Travel
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Sampling Surveys for Estimating Local, Rural and Urban Vehicle – Miles of Travel

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  • English

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      Reliable estimates of vehicle-miles of travel (VMT) on each highway system within a State continue to be required for many purposes. Traffic data provide a basis for producing independent estimates of vehicle-miles on the major highway systems in a State. The reliability of State estimates of vehicle-miles (VMT) has become increasingly important in recent years. This results partially from the increasing emphasis on safety programs and the need to determine the effectiveness of safety programs in different States. In developing new highway programs and financing procedures it is important that the estimates of travel for rural and urban areas provide a reliable basis for comparison. A sound documented basis for the VMT values for each State is essential for meaningful comparisons and forecasts. The most desirable method for satisfying this need for statewide VMT estimates would be to have representative traffic counts on every section of highway, both urban and rural. This, of course, would be prohibitively expensive. In addition, many highway departments do not have counting programs on roads and streets that are not on Federal-aid or State systems. Traditionally, total statewide travel is estimated on the basis of fuel consumption and a single average miles per gallon figure; the VMT for the major systems are computed from traffic counts. The remainder becomes the local road and street travel because many States do not have reliable estimates of travel for local rural roads and local city streets based on recent traffic counts. With the lack of data, considerable judgment is necessary to arrive at the average miles per gallon figure.
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