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Northern Region Blog

Each year, the department’s Traffic Data program conducts short-term traffic counts, which typically run from May through September. Each traffic count collects seven consecutive days’ worth of data for a specific roadway. This year, the Northern Region conducted about 700 of these short-term counts on the road system.

The short-term traffic counts work using pneumatic road tubes that detect vehicle axles, sending the impulse to a portable counter located off the roadway. These short-term counts consist of either one- or two-hose setups. In one-hose setups, the counter can collect information about volume, while two-hose setups, such as the one in the photo, can calculate the directional volume, vehicle classification, speed, gap and headway information of passing vehicles.

The department’s Traffic Data program collects this data for planning and design purposes as well as federal reporting.

To view Northern Region traffic counts for past years, visit

A portable/short-term traffic count in Nome.