Hartford roads: A million miles a day and counting

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The Connecticut Department of Transportation recently released data on the number of vehicle miles traveled daily on various road types throughout the state. The data is available on the state data portal.

Trend CT has played with this data before as part of a correlation quiz game, but wanted to take a closer look.

Looking at the map above, it’s apparent that the number of interstate miles driven per town is higher where there are interstates that intersect, as in Hartford, New Haven and Greenwich.

Roads such as Route 2 through Glastonbury or Route 9 in Middletown are considered “freeways” because they have more local exits and a lower speed limit compared to an interstate.

Hartford is the single busiest municipality with more than 1 million daily vehicle miles, followed by Windsor and Greenwich.

More than 700,000 miles were driven daily in Trumbull and 500,000 in Glastonbury.

Focusing just on local roads, Stamford, Fairfield and Danbury were the three towns with the most daily vehicle miles driven, at 190,000, 165,000, and 155,000 respectively. Southwestern Connecticut in general has the most daily vehicle miles traveled.

Unsurprisingly, there’s a high correlation (.78) between the population of a town and the daily vehicle miles traveled on local roads.

Does that translate to more traffic stops by police?

It looks like the answer is no. The correlation is only .29.

What do you think?

  • Joseph Brzezinski

    Interesting data. Have you tried some predictive modelling or cluster analyses. Do the data support being able to distinguish among go to towns, go through towns, and bedroom towns?

  • Amanda Kennedy

    I believe this data is not actually measurements of VMT but instead comes from CT DOT’s traffic generation model, which estimates VMT based on a limited number of factors. In Massachusetts and some other places in the country, they’re able to gather data on annual mileage per vehicle based on garaging location, which allows for a more fine-grained analysis of travel behavior than we can do here in CT. And of course, what’s really important is VMT per person or household, not VMT by town.

    • Andrew Ba Tran

      Hi Amanda, I spoke to CT DOT and they said the DVMT is based on length of road type and traffic counts they registered in that area. I wish I had my hands on garaging location data because that’d be amazing.

      • Joseph Brzezinski

        DOT should be getting traffic counts at entrance and exit ramps on the major highways. Such data might be more valuable than garage locations in engineering transportation renovations, Had viaduct, etc.
        Computer models could be created to emulate impacts of potential changes in highways.

        • ctorganizer

          I am fairly sure you can drill down to traffic counts at numerous interchanges, which would include ramps.

  • Don Noel

    Strikes me that this is the source needed to figure out the impact of the new bus system. Hope you’ll focus on that when 2015 data becomes available.