If you live in some parts of Old Town and think you’re seeing less traffic than in the past, or in some sections of Orono where there’s more traffic, you’re probably right.

During warm weather months, travelers often see small rubber tubes running across roads in many locations. Those tubes register a click for a counter every time a vehicle goes over them; the data collected is used to generate traffic counts for the Maine Department of Transportation, which uses that information to help assess and prioritize future traffic project needs. The counts take place annually at hundreds of locations, with those locations varying; it often is two or three years or more between counts.

In the count for 2014, which was released last month by the DOT, data collection was done at numerous locations in area towns. In most places, counts were roughly the same as they were when counts were last done, in most cases two or three years previously.

But the data did show that most locations in Old Town saw less traffic than their most recent previous count. There was less traffic at 18 of 22 locations where data has been taken in the past five years on Stillwater Avenue, Bennoch Road, Main Street, and Rte. 43 – in some instances, hundreds of cars less. Measurements were taken on several other streets well, but there was no recent data available for comparison.

Orono, however, saw a little more traffic in some locations, particularly on the Park Street section of Rte. 2, at its intersection with Crosby Street, where about 1,000 more vehicles were counted – most likely, because of the influx of students brought there by The Grove in 2012. Other areas of Rte. 2 were either up or down slightly; traffic on Forest Avenue and Essex Street, was virtually unchanged from the most previous data collection. As with Old Town, data was drawn on several streets where it had not been collected in the recent past.

In terms of sheer volume, the busiest place locally was by the off ramp of I-95 onto Stillwater Avenue in Orono, where $17,850 vehicle were counted. Not far behind was the intersection of Stillwater Avenue and Abbot Street, where there were 17,080 vehicles. The only places with more traffic in Penobscot County where data was measured were both in Bangor, along Broadway and in the vicinity of the Bangor Mall.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.