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Non-Trunkline Federal Aid (NTFA)
What are non-trunkline roads?
Non-trunkline roads consist of all federal aid-eligible roads that are under the jurisdiction of local agencies such as county road commissions, townships, cities, and villages. These are generally Functional Class 3-5 roads and include Urban Functional Class 6 roads. MDOT coordinates with transportation management areas (TMAs), metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), and the local agencies across the state to conduct our own traffic counts and gather traffic count data collected by local agencies on non-trunkline roads for Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) reporting.
What is the NTFA?
The Non-Trunkline Federal Aid (NTFA) Program was created to meet the additional requirement of the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) HPMS to obtain count-based data to create annual average daily traffic (AADT) volumes on all non-trunkline federal-aid roads.
What is HPMS?
The Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) program is a national level highway information system that contains data on the extent, condition, performance, use, and operating characteristics of the nation's highways. This data is used extensively at the federal level in the analysis of highway system condition and performance but more importantly in the equitable appropriation of federal highway dollars and in support of federal efforts to secure increased transportation funding.
U.S. Code of Federal Regulations Title 23 Part 500.203 sets the general requirements for the state's data collection program. It directs each state to develop and implement a traffic monitoring system for highways program on all roads receiving federal funds. MDOT is required to expand the HPMS traffic data collection effort to include all federal aid roads.
What data is required?
- Count based traffic volume data (hourly counts, average daily traffic [ADTs], or AADTs) on all federal-aid roads.
- The year the traffic data was collected.
- Length of count: 24-hour, 48-hour, seven-day etc.
- Location of the count: Road name and description, or physical road (PR) and PR mile point (MP), or road name with latitude and longitude.
How often is data required?
Three or six-year cycle based upon the type of road:
- Three-year: National Highway System (NHS) and principal arterials.
- Six-year: HPMS sample road segments and any other federal aid-eligible roads that are not NHS or principal arterials.
What kind of traffic data is required?
- Sample and NHS: Classification count.
- Principal arterials and non-sample: Volume count.
What minimal length of count is acceptable?
How should the data be sent in?
Data may be submitted electronically (multiple formats supported), manual upload to MDOT's Traffic Database Management System (TDMS), or a digital data transfer (if supported).
What format should the data be sent in?
- If you are using RoadSoft to manage your traffic count data, the software does allow you to export a shape file that includes the data required (instructions below).
- If you are an MS2 user, there are two ways to submit data:
- Create an export from your MS2 system with the appropriate data elements.
- Coordinate with MDOT to pair system data locations for an agency-to-agency (A2A) data transfer.
- If do not use either of the above:
- Manually upload count data into MDOT's MS2 system (inquire for acceptable formats and process).
- Digitally send data files to MDOT. Acceptable files include, excel, csv, dbf, shapefile, pdf, etc. Contact Edward Potter for specifics.
I have a complete file of all traffic counts collected by my agency. Do I need to separate out only the NTFA data or can I send my complete file?
A complete file may be sent if location information is included (PR, MP, latitude/longitude).
How do I export traffic count data from RoadSoft?
Exporting RoadSoft data:
- In RoadSoft, open your map layer.
- On the lefthand side, in point layers, click in the road layer box (it will grey out).
- Go to the top lefthand corner of screen, right-click on file, go down to export. Right click on export, then choose export layer to shape file.
- An export layer to shape file screen appears.
- Under include, check the following boxes:
- AADT Year
- ADT Date
- Click in save export data to and save file.
- Click in shapefile name, name file: traffic data.
- Click on the export button.
Please indicate the length of time the counts were set for. This can be a summary, i.e. "All counts were set for 24 hours."
What is the difference between an ADT and an AADT?
- ADT (Average Daily Traffic): The 24-hour average daily traffic.
- The total traffic volume during a given time period (more than a day and less than a year) divided by the number of days in that time period.
- AADT (Annual Average Daily Traffic): The 24-hour ADT to which factors (seasonal, monthly, daily) have been applied.
- ADT (Average Daily Traffic): The 24-hour average daily traffic.
MDOT collecting traffic counts on your roads – Outline
- The NTFA program operates on both three- and six-year cycles, so you will be contacted to coordinate the collection of the NTFA traffic data as the cycles re-occur, corrections are made, or new locations are added.
- Once the site/count locations in your area have been scheduled, the MDOT field staff assigned to complete the traffic study will notify you minimally one to two weeks prior to setting the traffic monitoring equipment on the roads.
- The traffic volume counts will be taken with pneumatic tubes and portable traffic counters.
- Typically, the traffic counts will be taken for 48 hours between Monday and Thursday of the week.
- The traffic data will be processed and will be available on MDOT's Traffic Monitoring Program website normally within six to eight weeks after the data has been collected.
- Annually, you will receive the AADT report of the traffic MDOT collected for your review prior to being sent to the HPMS coordinator for FHWA submittal. The AADT will be created from the 24-hour average of the traffic study using a factor of one unless otherwise directed by the agency. If bad data is identified, it will be removed and the location will be scheduled to be re-counted.
What are traffic segments?
MDOT worked with regional planning organizations (RPOs) and MPOs to group segments with similar traffic patterns to form traffic segments. The traffic segments are based on traffic patterns and not on routes, functional classification, or PR. Traffic segments are updated throughout the year using ESRI's Roads and Highways platform to incorporate appropriate segment changes. On an annual basis, the traffic segments are reviewed for data integrity and accuracy of grouped traffic patterns. The traffic segmentation is maintained in a geographic information system (GIS) environment, Roads and Highways, hosted by ESRI.
What if our traffic count program does not collect on all the segments?
MDOT staff has been allocated to collect the uncollected. Once the "don't count" locations are identified, we will work with you to coordinate MDOT staff collecting on your roads. The data collected will be made available to you. You may also choose to add these count locations to your traffic count program, but it is not required.
What is the AADT map and what does it show?
The AADT map is an ArcGIS web-map that displays MDOT AADT and commercial annual average daily traffic (CAADT) (including single unit and combo unit AADTs) information. In contrast to the point-based data available in MODT’s TDMS, the AADT/CAADT information in the AADT map is based on MDOT’s traffic segmentation network. MDOT maintains AADT/CAADT information for the most recent three years and the data can be downloaded from the AADT map itself or by visiting MDOT’s GIS Open Data Portal (also has data prior to the most recent three years).
How will I know what is being submitted to the FHWA?
The end date for the HPMS submittal to the FHWA is June 15. MDOT finalizes the previous year data at the end of summer/early fall. This timeline is dependent on the approval from FHWA of MDOT's HPMS submittal. Once the data is finalized, it is made publicly available through FHWA's website or a variety of online publications hosted by MDOT (web maps and data portals).
The traffic counts that come from outside agencies are uploaded into MDOT's TDMS system and are pushed through MDOT's quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) process. All approved counts will be used for MDOT's annual submittal.
How can I access any counts MDOT has collected?
Traffic counts are stored at traffic stations in MDOT's TDMS as point-based data. To attain traffic data that either MDOT has collected or has received from other collecting agencies, please go to MDOT's Traffic Monitoring Program webpage. This site includes a brief overview of MDOT's traffic collection programs and provides all the necessary resources to view, print, or download all the traffic data MDOT has available. In addition, documentation is also provided for navigating MDOT's traffic data.