Tidbit Tuesday
Tuesday, October 22, 2019 at 3:23:36 PM
Tidbit #3

Planning Your Data Collection - It's Not Just About Location, Location, Location

When preparing and reviewing data collection schedules for traffic studies, be sure to consider lots of variables. Take holidays - we all love that day off from work! It's customary to consider well-known federal and state holidays in the schedule, but don't forget the atypical ones that happen just in local areas or don't occur every year. Election Day is on even years in November and doesn't normally affect schools statewide, however, both state offices and schools in East Baton Rouge Parish are closed. To make it even more obscure, this closure isn't normally on the school board calendar, but announced to parents through the area schools. Not considering regional holidays like Mardi Gras, Fall Break or even the start of hunting season in a rural parish could create problems in an already tight schedule or skew your data.

Even during data collection, pop-up incidents can have a negative impact on your schedule. Bad weather, political activities, funerals or crashes can significantly affect local and even regional traffic patterns that consequently skew your data and require new data. Knowing when these events happen are important, so it's incredibly useful to have someone monitor incidents during data collection and notice when those pop-up events happen. No one can plan for everything, but understanding how so many variables may impact your schedule can be very helpful during planning.

Thanks for reading!