To better plan for future transportation needs, the Birmingham area MPO collects and analyzes data to support transportation and air quality planning activities, and to forecast future travel conditions using sophisticated computer modeling within the Birmingham metropolitan area. Travel data and forecasts are used by:
- Transportation engineers and planners throughout the region to identify existing and future traffic problems and solutions
- The Alabama State Legislature and U.S. Congress to make decisions regarding the allocation of state and federal funds
- Regional, state and federal air quality experts to monitor traffic-related pollutants and conformance with air quality standards
- Private sector marketing specialists as measures of accessibility and exposure
Annual Traffic Count Program
The Birmingham MPO, along with some of its member jurisdictions, regularly collect traffic counts on major roads and intersections throughout the region. To maximize the value of this data, the Birmingham MPO annually compiles and distributes all of the traffic counts collected throughout the Birmingham metropolitan planning area. These data are available in a number of formats, including:
- The Birmingham MPO’s annual traffic volumes map, a large (25×40 inch) display of recent 24-hour weekday traffic counts on major roads in the Birmingham Area MPO’s study area. Poster-size printed copies of the most recent map are available at the RPCGB’s office. Historical maps going back as far as 19xx can also be viewed online. Traffic count maps can be found under the Traffic Volume and Traffic Count Maps page.
- The Birmingham Area MPO’s annual traffic count report listing the most recent traffic counts on major roads in the MPO study area.
Transportation System Performance Measures
Transportation System Performance Measures are important for assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of the transportation system as a whole so as to identify the proper multi modal solutions to the traffic congestion problems.
MPO sets the programs to collect the traffic and travel data to develop performance measures for monitoring the current traffic congestion; employs the modeling and other techniques to forecast the travel pattern change and traffic congestion evolution; and, works with member jurisdictions to develop the transportation plans to mitigate traffic congestion in the region.
Transportation Data Center
The Data Center is the repository of the most requested and/or specially created transportation information. The online retrieval system provides the Birmingham Area MPO and Heart of Alabama RPO member governments and agencies, the consulting and business community, and the general public traffic count data via a user-friendly web-based tool. The Transportation Data Center also provides for storage, efficient management, update, analysis and retrieval of available transportation system data and performance measures to include transportation control device inventories and travel times through the Birmingham MPO and its rural counterpart, the Heart of Alabama Rural Planning Organization (HARPO). New transportation data and data management tools will be posted on the site as a part of the ongoing transportation data development effort.
Commuting and Travel Characteristics
2000 Birmingham-Hoover MSA Journey-To-Work Data – the 2000 Census collected and reported data on the commuting patterns and characteristics of workers 16 years and older.
BJCTA 2010 Onboard Survey — In September 2010, the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham, in conjunction with the Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority, conducted an On Board Origin and Destination Survey of the passengers on the fixed route transit services in Birmingham, Alabama. The survey included the BJCTA transit system (MAX). The purpose of the survey was to collect data on the system travel patterns and demographics of transit riders.