Summary of Existing Traffic Conditions
Prior to analyzing any facility, traffic data in the form of traffic volume counts must be obtained. The ADT data collection criteria must comply with the NMDOT Data Collection Bureau’s Traffic Monitoring Standards and FHWA requirements.
Actual ADT and intersection turn counts were taken at key locations throughout the corridor by our subconsultant Mike Henderson Consulting, LLC. The following exhibit shows the count locations.
Future Growth Projections
The Mid-Region Council of Governments (MRCOG) was reached out to in order to provide growth rates for Torrance County and Mountainair. The only data available was socioeconomic data that shows approximate growth of 100 persons by 2040. MRCOG recommendation was to hold forecast growth rates fairly flat. With those recommendations we used an annual growth rate of 0.06% to 1.00%. The table below lists current and projected traffic volumes along the US 60 corridor for current year of 2019, design year (2029) and horizon year (2040) conditions:
Traffic Operational Analysis
As traffic volumes along roadway segments continue to increase over time, the flow rate of the vehicles tends to also increase causing the mean speed of passenger cars to decrease. This ultimately causes delay and “congestion” along highways.
Intersections, signalized and un-signalized, are analyzed to determine the approach delay and capacity for existing and future conditions. The future condition scenarios consider the projected peak hour volumes utilizing existing, as well as, proposed roadway or intersection improvements.
In order to efficiently analyze the volumes of operation elements previously described, the use of various traffic analysis computer software packages is required. These software programs are all developed using the Highway Capacity Manual 6th Edition accepted concepts. Standard commercial software programs such as the Highway Capacity Software version 7 (HCS7) by McTrans for roadway operations, Synchro 10.0/Simtraffic by Trafficware.