BOZEMAN, Mont. - You might have noticed counters around town. They're part of an annual study to track growth and determine whether traffic patterns have changed.
Folks with Bozeman's street department tell us it's important to do the study on an annual basis since driving behaviors can change quickly.
The data is averaged over a year and sometimes over several years. The Department of Transportation uses that data to see if improvements need to be made, like traffic signals, due to an increase in traffic. Developers and businesses can also use the information to see where they should build or put in a business, based on traffic flow.
Folks with the city say without that data, traffic signals could go up unnecessarily.
"Traffic signals can be in excess of three quarters of a million dollars, so there's no sense putting something up like that for that cost...If it's not needed or warranted, traffic's going to go a different way or traffic behaviors could change in a way that may not be safe," explains Bozeman Street Superintendent John Van Delinder.
Van Delinder says if you see a counter, please don't park on it. It prevents the device from taking accurate data.