TagADT

Finding data about traffic and roads in Illinois

There are two good websites that provide information about roads, traffic, and their many attributes. One is provided by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) called Getting Around Illinois (GAI). The second is the Traffic Count Database System (TCDS).

Both provide Average Daily Traffic (ADT) counts with TCDS making the information easier to find and presents more of it.

The GAI map has an important layer: jurisdiction. With that information you can determine who has “ownership” of a road. Jurisdiction has been an important factor in the nearly year-long delay of the Jackson Boulevard protected bike lane segment from Ogden Avenue to Halsted Street. IDOT has jurisdiction over this segment (which continues east to Lake Shore Drive; the road is also known as Route 66) and is requiring that the Chicago Department of Transportation do more analysis and revise their designs.

If you are looking for ADT counts, I highly recommend TCDS as it uses the more familiar Google Maps and doesn’t require the Microsoft Silverlight plugin (which is slow and often denigrated with poor usability applications).

GAI has truck routes and crash information as well.

You asked for it, you got it – Chicago bike count data

Note: This post doesn’t have any analysis of the data or report, nor do I make any observations. I think it’s more significant to hear the ideas you have about what you see in the map or read in the data.

A lot of people wanted the Chicago bike crash and injury data overlaid with bike counts data.

In 2009, Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) placed automatic bike counting equipment at many locations around the city. It uses pneumatic tubes to count the number of bicyclists (excludes cars) at that point in the street – it counts ALL trips, and cannot distinguish between people going to work or going to school. This is dissimilar from Census data which asks respondents to indicate how they go to work.

Well, good news for you! CDOT today released the bike counts report from data collected in 2009 (just in time). There has been overwhelming response about the bike crash map I published – this shows how rabid the public is for information on their environments (just yesterday someone told me that they switched bike routes based on the crash frequency they noticed on their original route).

The size of the blue dot indicates the bicycle mode share for that count location. Mode share calculated by adding bikes and cars and dividing by bikes.

Get the data

A photo of the EcoCounter counting machine in action on Milwaukee Avenue (this was taken during testing phase, where CDOT compared automatic and manual counts to determine the machine’s accuracy).

How to use this map:

  1. Find a blue dot (count location) in an area you’re interested in.
  2. Zoom into that blue dot.
  3. Click on the blue dot to get the number of bikes counted there.
  4. Then observe the number of purple dots (crashes) near that count location.

What do you see that’s interesting?

What else is coming?

Now let’s hope the Active Transportation Alliance and the Chicago Park District release their Lakefront Trail counts from summer 2010. CDOT may have conducted bicycle counts in 2010 as well – I hope we don’t have to wait as long for that data.

I hope to have a tutorial on how to use GeoCommons coming soon. You should bug me about it if I don’t post it within one week.

Photos of Chicago bike commuters by Joshua Koonce.

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