A Statistical Comparison of Traffic Measurements from the Moving versus Stationary Observer Methods

Abstract

Data of traffic flow, speed and density are required for planning, designing, and modelling of traffic stream for all parts of the road system. Specialized equipments such as stationary counts are used to record volume and speed; but they are expensive, difficult to set up, and require periodic maintenance. The moving observer method was proposed in 1954 by Wardrop and Charlesworth to estimate these variables inexpensively. Basically, the observer counts the number of vehicles overtaken, the number of vehicles passed, and the number of vehicles encountered while traveling in the opposite direction. The trip time is reported for both travel directions. Additionally, the length of road segment is measured. These variables are then used in estimating speeds and volumes. In a westbound direction from Interstate Highway 30 (I-30) in the DFW area, this study examined the accuracy and feasibility of this method by comparing it with stationary observer method as the standard method for such counts. The statistical tests were used to test the accuracy. Results show that this method provides accurate volume and speed estimates when compared to the stationary method for the road segment with three lanes per direction, especially when several runs are taken.

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Alhomaidat, F. and Ardekani, S. (2015) A Statistical Comparison of Traffic Measurements from the Moving versus Stationary Observer Methods. Journal of Transportation Technologies, 5, 204-213. doi: 10.4236/jtts.2015.54019.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

References

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1680/ipeds.1954.11628
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