Traffic Monitoring

MRMPO employs several data sources to establish a picture of roadway conditions in the region. This helps to understand current travel conditions, past trends, and future conditions as well as trip patterns and congestion hotspots. To project future conditions, MRMPO uses a travel demand model which uses socioeconomic projections and the planned roadway network to evaluate transportation system needs. This combined approach helps identify infrastructure needs and guide the programming of transportation funding. A snapshot of existing conditions data that MRMPO collects is provided here. For more on future conditions, see Travel Demand Forecasts.

Traffic Counts Data

MRCOG collects traffic counts at all major roads in Bernalillo, Valencia, Torrance, Sandoval, and southern Santa Fe counties. The resulting traffic data is used to support local, state, and federal transportation planning activities and to produce annual Traffic Flow Maps for the entire areas within the boundaries of the MRCOG planning area (including both metropolitan and rural areas). 

Most traffic counts are performed using portable traffic monitoring devices with rubber tubes that stretch across the roadway (pneumonic tube counters). 

Additional traffic data is collected by the New Mexico Department of Transportation through a series of permanent count stations on Interstates and certain arterials. These locations provide continuous data-reporting which is also used for seasonal factoring for annualized data averaging from the short-term counts as noted above. 

All major roads functionally-classified as collectors or higher are counted on a periodic schedule every three years. Traffic monitoring devices are placed at a location for 48 hours to produce average daily and peak period traffic volume levels, as well as directional split values (the percentage of travel in each direction for the day or peak period). Devices are set out on Mondays or Tuesdays and picked up on Wednesdays or Thursdays. Growth factors are applied in the intervening years and seasonal factors are applied based on the time of year the count was taken to generate yearly data.

View current Roadway Functional Classification Map for the AMPA.

View Roadway Functional Classification Map that includes the entire MRCOG region. 

The following five types of traffic flow data are available: 

  1. Observed Traffic Counts
    Raw counts representing a daily average of a given date of the count. These counts represent total volumes and include more detailed directional, peak period, and peak hour information.
  2. Average Annual Weekday Traffic (AAWDT)
    Daily averages for Monday -Thursday of traffic volumes adjusted to represent the annual average for a weekday.
  3. Average Annual Daily Traffic (AADT)
    Daily averages for the entire week (including weekends) of traffic volumes adjusted to represent the annual average for the entire week. These volumes are typically lower than AAWDT.
  4. Vehicle Classification 
    Specific vehicle type using the Federal Highway Administration’s ’s 14 categories of vehicle types ranging from motorcycles, autos, and multiple categories of truck traffic. Typically, 30 percent of counts taken by MRCOG include vehicle classification.
  5. Speeds 
    Site-specific speed counts are usually taken when vehicle classification is recorded. Data include averages by day and time period. 

Transportation Analysis and Querying Application (TAQA)

Traffic counts data is also acquired and available for querying and download as part of the Congestion Management Process (CMP) which relies on INRIX-sourced data. INRIX gathers data from mobile devices, included in new automobiles, and in fleet and commercial vehicles. INRIX relies on a combination of observed data at the point and time in question and historical reference data. The data is most reliable when assessing longer stretches of a roadway and is particularly useful in determining relative differences across locations (through measures such as Travel Time Index) or for evaluating conditions in the same location at different times of the day or parts of the year. 

Learn more on the CMP and INRIX data, including how to query and download it.

More Information

Additional statistical information is available upon request. MRMPO occasionally collects traffic data for special studies, requested by our member agencies. Additionally, there are summary reports that include vehicle classification, Vehicle Hours Traveled (VHT) and Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) for the region.

Non-motorized counts are also taken for the region.
Learn more about Bicycle and Pedestrian count data available from MRMPO.

  1. Nathan Masek

    Senior Transportation Planner

Traffic Counting Device