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5 - FYI City of Boulder Arterial Count ProgramMEMORANDUM TO: Members of the TranspoMation Advisory Board Members of the Planning Board Tracy Winfree Michaet J. Gardner-Sweeney t Joe Paulson Bob Major Michelle Cof1'elt Nataly Handlos Micki Kaplan Marni Ratzel Andrea Robbins Randall Rutsch Bob Whitson Noreen Walsh Joan Salas Steve Durian Commander Tom Wickman, Boulder PD - Traffic Biil Fox, Fox Higgins Transportation Group t Steve Tuttle, Transplan Associates Inc. t Jim Charlieq Charlier Associates Inc. t Larry Haas, Colorado Department of Tra~sportation t Mike Thomas, Boulder County Transportafion t FROM: Bill Cowern, Transportation Operations Engineer DATE: Apri1,19, 2002 SUBJECT: ~~~ - City of Boulder Arterial Count Program (2001) The Ciry of Boulder has been collecting traffic count data on the arterial street system since 1982. A se1 of 27 count stations has been consistently counted since 1989. Traffic volumes on these streets have increased, with yearly growth rate increases of beriveen 0 percent and five percent this year, Transportation staff has been following the growth trends on these roadways in an attempt to track progress on Transportation Master Plan (TMP) objectives established in 1996. In 2001, staff began implementing a new arterial count program system, which counts our major arterial streets along significant east-west and north-south screen lines. The transition in program strategies resulted in the 2001 program only counting 17 of the original 27 locations. Continuity of the historical data trends has been influenced by this change. The program will be incrementally expanded from the cureent 17 count stations to an ultimate program of 57 fully automated count stations. Since the adoption of the TMP update in 1996, staff has observed a marked decrease in the traffic growth rate along these arterial roadways. Traffic is still growing but the rate at which it is growing is significantly tower than in prior years. This siowdown in traffic growth is significant as it suggested that TMP strategies may be effective at containing traffic growth. The goal of the City of Boulder's TMP update was to maintain traffic at 1994 levels. Since 1994, traffic volumes have increased and decreased on different roadways, but on the whole have stayed very close to 1994 levels. This consistent level of traffic suggested a trend of slowing traffic growth. Such a trend, sustained over time, might result in an eventual decrease in traffic. However, last year (2000) and this year (2001), the Arterial Count Program has shown more significant increases in traffic volumes ffiroughout the system. In 2000 traffic grew by approximately 1.6 percent. In 2001, there was a further 4:8 percent increase in the seventeen count stations studied. Since 1994, the amount of traffic on our arterial roadways grew by approximately 8 percent or an average of 1.1 percent annually. Future year d7ta will be required to determine if the new trend indicated by 200~ and 2001 data is sustained. One of the ways that staff evaluates the historical significance of traffic count data is to examine the trends of the five-year growth rate. This value is the rate of growth over.any five-year period in the program. It is useful to track whether the five year growth rate increases or decreases with each passing year, to see whether trends over a period of time aze positive or negative. In 200Q the five-year growth rate increased for the first time in five years (rising from 0.06 percent per year to 0.63 percent per year). In 2001, the five-year growth rate increased again (rising from 0.63 percent per year to 1.82 percent per year). Another factor considered is a linear regression analysis of the total count program traffic (see attached table and graph). The results of these analyses indicate that the rate of traffic growth throughout the history of the arterial count program continues to decrease. In 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000; the linear regression growth rate was approximately 2.5, 23, 2.2, 2.1 and 2.0 percent per year, respectively. In 2001, the linear regression growth rate dropped to 1.8 percent. Projected out, this would imply approximately 29 percent higher traffic volume/demand at Year 2020. The "curve-fit" criteria indicate correlation in the data of plus/minus 8.2 percent. Boulder Valley Count Program Comparison The City aiso performs what is called the "Boulder Valley Count Program" on a yearly basis. This program counts traffic at the 18 different loca4ions that traffic enters or exits the City of Boulder. The results of this program are documented separately. In summary, the 2001 program results showed that traffic entering(exiting the City througNout the day is stiN increasing and the rate of growth has increased to 2.9 percent per year (compared to an average growth rate of 2.8 percent per year the past two years), Traffic entering/exiting the City of Boulder is increasing at a much faster rate than traffic growth internal to the City. If you have any comments or suggestions give me a call. t - with attachments * - vpd = vehicles per day