StreetLight Unveils 2021 U.S. AADT Traffic Counts in Time for Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) Investments

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“Validated, comprehensive Metrics are essential for planners, consultants and other stakeholders who make important decisions about transportation infrastructure,” said StreetLight CEO Laura Schewel.

For the fifth straight year, StreetLight Data, Inc (StreetLight) is making its latest Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) counts for the U.S. available to transportation planners looking to make data-driven infrastructure decisions. The availability of 2019, 2020, and 2021 AADT captures recent changes in traffic patterns driven by the pandemic.

Over the past few years, some Departments of Transportation (DOTs) in the U.S. have used StreetLight’s AADT Metrics to meet their federal reporting requirements, including Highway Performance Reporting System (HPMS). The AADT 2021 Metrics include updates from the 2020 U.S. Census, enabling traffic studies on almost all road types, including recently developed roads, providing the most up-to-date insights to help inform applications for BIL investment opportunities.

Traditional traffic data collection methods have always been cumbersome (involving planning, collection, and a lengthy approval process), costly, unsafe for staff, and hard to obtain, especially for rural roads. Not only does StreetLight make the counts readily available on your computer, but they have also undergone essential and rigorous validation against traditional and industry-standard methods, ensuring transparency and validity of their methodology.

Furthering its commitment to modern transportation analytics, StreetLight participated in a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) pooled fund study which evaluated non-traditional methods of obtaining vehicle volume and class data. Results from the study further informed StreetLight’s algorithm updates, and its new AADT Metrics meet or exceed industry benchmarks for all road sizes, spanning urban and rural roads.

“Validated, comprehensive Metrics are essential for planners, consultants and other stakeholders who make important decisions about transportation infrastructure,” said StreetLight CEO Laura Schewel. “In addition, traffic volumes are the key input to accurate and detailed transportation greenhouse gas emissions calculations, and having precise measurement is critical in the societal and BIL goal of managing down those emissions.”

I-35 is a crucial, heavily utilized corridor that runs through the center of Austin. With the population boom in Austin, it has become one of the most congested highways in Texas. StreetLight’s team conducted an independent study on the I-35 corridor to understand congestion during pre-pandemic days and compared it with trends in 2020 and 2021. Results from StreetLight’s platform indicated a high 2019 volume, an expected drop in vehicle trips during the pandemic, with signs of recovery and increasing traffic in 2021. Early trends in 2022 suggest that road traffic will only continue to rise. Similar to this, planners can employ insights specific to their region and support their infrastructure plans with data-driven decisions.

AADT is the industry’s fundamental metric for analyzing infrastructure projects and congestion, estimating road safety, and enabling empirical measurement for approving highway funds. StreetLight’s validated AADT Metrics cover virtually every roadway, urban and rural, filling an important gap for transportation planning. With 2021 AADT, agencies can access the latest trends to advance projects via BIL funding. Before StreetLight, AADT counts were collected via permanent or temporary physical sensors, limited to a fraction of roadways.

Based on over 40 billion monthly location records across the country, collected from smartphones, connected cars and trucks, StreetLight’s algorithms draw on 365 days of data on more than four million miles of roadway. Available for all road types big and small, the company’s 2021 AADT counts outperform industry-standard accuracy targets, as published today in StreetLight’s 2021 AADT Methodology and Validation white paper, available on request.

About StreetLight Data
StreetLight pioneered the use of Big Data analytics to shed light on how people, goods, and services move, enabling smarter, data-driven transportation decisions. Applying proprietary machine-learning algorithms to more than four trillion spatial data points over time, StreetLight measures diverse travel patterns and makes them available on-demand via its SaaS platform for mobility, StreetLight InSight®. Acquired by Jacobs as a subsidiary in February 2022, the company continues to provide innovative digital solutions to help communities reduce congestion, improve safe and equitable transportation, and maximize the positive impact of infrastructure investment.

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