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Assessing the Impact of Weather on Traffic Intensity

Mario Cools, Elke Moons, Geert Wets
2010 Weather, Climate, and Society  
This paper focuses on the effect of weather conditions on daily traffic intensities (the number of cars passing a specific segment of a road). The main objective is a general examination of whether or not weather conditions uniformly alter daily traffic intensities in Belgium, or in other words whether or not the road usage on a particular location determines the size of the effects of various weather conditions. This general examination is a contribution which allows policy makers to assess
more » ... makers to assess the appropriateness of countrywide versus local traffic management strategies. In addition, a secondary goal of this paper is to validate findings in international literature within a Belgian context. To achieve these goals, the effects of weather conditions on both upstream (towards a specific location) and downstream (away from a specific location) traffic intensities of three traffic count locations, typified by a different road usage, are analyzed. The most interesting results of this study for policy makers are the heterogeneity of the weather effects between different traffic count locations, and the homogeneity of the weather effects on upstream and downstream traffic at a certain location. The results also indicated that snowfall, rainfall and wind speed clearly have a diminishing effect on traffic intensity, while maximum temperature has an increasing effect on traffic intensity. Further generalizations of the findings will be possible by studying weather effects on local roads and by shifting the scope towards travel behavior. 3
doi:10.1175/2009wcas1014.1 fatcat:zgfr2vdp7zgxnhgtufdzeaybv4