Archive for Thursday, May 10, 2001

KDOT studies Eudora traffic

May 10, 2001

The Kansas Department of Transportation recently paid a visit to Eudora, collecting data of city and rural roads.

For the last two-weeks, KDOT has monitored traffic flow in Eudora's streets and outer roads. Terry Barnes, KDOT traffic counting coordinator, said the count would help prepare for future developments.

"The main reason we do the counting would be for future planning for the roadways," he said. "It's the best outlet for that."

KDOT used a traffic counting information study in its Major Corridor Study, held from 1997 to 1999.

The study examined major roadways between Topeka and Kansas City to determine when and what upgrades would be needed on the heavily traveled roadways.

David Schwartz, KDOT long-range planning engineer, said the study showed an increased activity on both I-70 and K-10 highways and both would require expansion in the future.

Schwartz said there are currently no plans to upgrade within the next 10 years, but the study confirmed the need for more space was imminent.

"While nothing has been programmed, it's almost a certainty that K-10 will need to be widened or have enhanced capacity lanes," Schwartz said. "Probably, we would need to expand K-10 to six lanes."

Barnes said the state is divided into six districts and the department counts two of the six districts every three years. Most of the counters, which are noticeable by their black strips of tubing stretched across a road, stay down for at least 24 hours. After the designated areas are counted, KDOT makes a map highlighting the counts in each area.

After the maps are made, KDOT determines what highways, bridges and roads need to be upgraded, Barnes said.

KDOT traffic and field operations engineer Alan Spicer said the traffic counts are also used to determine how money from the state motor fuel tax is distributed. From the tax, 57 percent goes into the state highway fund and 43 percent goes back to cities and counties for road improvements and projects.

The money is distributed on three criteria: average daily miles of travel, total road miles and motor vehicle fees based on the portion a county collects.

"Every year I send (the results) to the state treasurer by July 1," Spicer said. "The state treasurer distributes the funds."

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