Section 3: AASHTO Guidelines for Traffic Data Programs

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The objective of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Guidelines is to improve the quality of the traffic information that supports decisions at all levels of the transportation profession. The guidelines were developed by a joint task force on traffic monitoring standards representing federal and state government, institutions of higher education, and the private sector. State agency experiences with the Traffic Monitoring Guide were used to develop many of the guidelines in the AASHTO Guidelines. The goal of the document is to establish a process for adoption of national traffic monitoring standards.

The guidelines identify the importance of common and consistent practice, from field equipment to traffic reports, within and among transportation agencies. State transportation agency concerns and the basic national concern for equivalent and comparable traffic data are specifically addressed. The recommendations in the guidelines are flexible, which encourages states to implement them regardless of the condition of a state’s traffic monitoring program.

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The AASHTO Guidelines should be used as a tool to improve the quality of traffic data and to standardize traffic monitoring practice. The document contains both near-term and long-range procedures for improving and standardizing the traffic monitoring system on a range of topics from field equipment to quality control.

The document provides specific recommendations for the following areas of a traffic monitoring program:

  • traffic data collection needs
  • field equipment and procedures
  • editing traffic data
  • summarizing traffic data
  • reporting traffic data
  • retaining traffic data
  • quality control
  • data definition.
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Transportation Planning and Programming Division

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Current Policy: AASHTO Guidelines for Traffic Data Programs, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, 1992

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