What level of tourism traffic should be planned for in North Carolina’s major tourism areas

Joseph Wilck, Paul Kauffmann, Paul Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: The purpose of this research is to provide the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) with an execution strategy for using traffic counts in high tourism areas to aid in the development of Comprehensive Transportation Plans (CTPs). Due to the high variability of traffic counts in these localities, it is arbitrary to apply the typical weekday traffic count as the reference metric for developing the CTPs for these areas. Methods: A literature review and assessment of best practices, forecasting models, and implementation strategies are provided. The first and primary recommendation with respect to Average Annual Daily Traffic (AADT) calculations and planning is to incorporate peak-usage and directionality; whether it be hourly or monthly. Urban areas will have AADT values similar to the design value. However, seasonal areas, such as tourist locations, will have significant differences between the design value and the AADT. Results: While other states (notably Nevada and Florida) have incorporated peak-hour usage ratios into their planning forecasts, the recommendation in this report suggests using an average of the two busiest months (as shown in the case studies) when peak-hour usage rates are unknown. Conclusion: The primary recommendations should be addressed tactically (i.e., 3-5 years), and phased-in as resources are available. Other recommendations should be addressed strategically (i.e., 5-10 years), and phased-in as resources are available. Future work, including simulation modeling could be completed to test different levels of funding and to compare different approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-226
Number of pages14
JournalOpen Transportation Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Transportation


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