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For the week of May 30 through June 5, 2001

Survey finds half of commuters are workers


By PETER BOLTZ
Express Staff Writer

About half the weekday traffic on Highway 75 in the Wood River Valley carries people commuting to work, according to preliminary results of a highway origin-destination study.

Other reasons for being on the road were trips to and from home, shopping, and trips to construction sites.

Chuck Green, supervising transportation planner for PB, said more specific results were unavailable because the "raw data" is still being analyzed.

He cautioned that the preliminary results are generalizable to traffic on the highway from 6:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. This means that the finding that half the traffic is commuting to work will vary according to time of day.

The study, conducted by the engineering firm Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) for the Idaho Department of Transportation (ITD), is part of the National Environmental Policy Act process ITD needs to complete before redesigning and rebuilding Highway 75 from Timmerman Hill to Ketchum.

The intercept study’s purpose is to "understand who is using the highway, where they are coming from and where they are going, why they are traveling and when."

Green said PB is using the data from the survey to create models that will estimate traffic volumes in the future and predict highway congestion points.

Some other preliminary results are that the primary origins of highway traffic are Bellevue and Hailey, and that the primary destinations are Hailey and Ketchum.

PB conducted 300 surveys on March 27 and another 300 on March 28, from 6:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. on both days.

On the first day, interviewers intercepted commuters at the historical marker north of Bellevue. On the second day, they intercepted them at the old weigh station along Highway 75 north of the Ohio Gulch entrance.

PB will do a similar survey in late July or early August to gather information about summer traffic and highway users.

 

 

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