Why are there traffic counters set up in Farmville?

Published 4:10 pm Thursday, May 11, 2023

FARMVILLE – All around Farmville, you may have noticed traffic counters sitting across several roads. Those are courtesy of The Traffic Group, which was contracted to put them up by the Virginia Department of Transportation. There’s no hidden plan here. The reason is pretty simple. They’re collecting data for the state.

“We count traffic on all primary routes every year and 25% of the secondary routes every year,” said Len Stevens. He works as communications manager for VDOT’s Lynchburg District, which includes Farmville. “We count it with various methods. The traffic counters people are seeing in (Farmville and) Prince Edward County are part of that work.”

Each town and county in the region is preparing to update its six-year plan when it comes to what roads they want fixed and what transportation projects they’d like funded. There’s just one caveat with that. First, they have to show the projects are needed, in terms of how many people travel through specific areas. That’s where The Traffic Group comes in.

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“The traffic information to be collected by these counts is very important for management of the road network,” said Chuck Kraft. He works as project manager of the Traffic Group’s Data Division.

Kraft said counters were installed across the area during the week of April 24. But don’t expect a quick finish for this. The counters will remain in place through September 22. And when we say counters, we mean the traffic road tubes that look like garden hoses, stretched across the road at different points. These pieces are tied to a traffic counting division, somewhere on the roadside.

There will be 48-hour volume checks taking place in addition to the regular traffic counts. That means if you think traffic at specific intersections gets bogged down at certain parts of the day, if you believe stoplights need to go up at certain locations, a volume check is used to help determine if that’s true. The group will be conducting those over the next few months, again with a goal of finishing collecting data on everything in this area by September.