• North Carolina Forecasts for Truck Traffic

    NCDOT Research Project Number: 2004-11

 Executive Summary

  • The project goal is to improve truck traffic forecasts. The approach relies on improved truck traffic data collection, analytical methods tempered by expert judgment, and graphical methods in easy-to-visualize formats that allow integration of multiple factors that affect truck traffic. Standard trend lines can be enhanced by comparative graphics for truck traffic growth on similar facilities in similar urban or rural locations. Besides traditional statistical graphics, GIS graphical techniques keyed to network geography and the developing linear referencing system at NCDOT may prove very useful. GIS databases will also allow direct visual comparison of truck traffic trends to expected population and economic growth in the study area. Thus, an experienced traffic forecaster will be able to compare truck forecasts versus other indicators for growth in the study area. ​

    The scope of the project will be limited to areas and highway facilities within North Carolina. Variables to consider are locations within the state such as eastern, mid and western study areas, highway facilities such as interstate, intrastate, primary and secondary routes. Special locations including bridges and paving projects may be considered depending on the interests of NCDOT pending discussion of project scope. Urban and rural locations with relatively static or dynamic "suburban ring" growth may be considered, as will be locations proximate to truck generators. The study is undertaken with the understanding that all traffic forecasts are uncertain and that the longer the forecast period, the more uncertain the forecast. Yet, uncertainty will not explicitly be considered in the forecasts. Rather, it is hoped that comparative past and future economic development and highway improvement scenarios can be indicated to help the forecaster judge the relative likelihood of alternative forecasts.​

    The specific objectives of the proposed research are:
    • To assess NC truck traffic as functions of facility type, geographic region and other factors.
    • To develop a methodology and tools for evaluating truck traffic trends.
    • To use graphical tools to compare and enhance truck forecasts using other growth indicators such as population and economic development.
    • To demonstrate truck traffic forecasting methods with one or more case studies.
John R. Stone
Joseph N. Springer
Mrinmay "Moy" Biswas
NC State University

 Related Documents

 Report Period

  • July 2003 - December 2004


  • Complete


  • Planning, Policy, Programming and Multi-modal

 Sub Category

  • Traffic Surveys, Modeling and Forecasting

 Related Links

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