NJDOT releases Route 206
Origin and Destination Survey
The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) today announced the release of an Origin and Destination (O&D) Survey for truck traffic on Route 206. The survey found that more than three quarters of the trucks passing through a check point on Route 206 were making local pick ups or deliveries within Mercer or Somerset counties, while just over one tenth of the trucks surveyed were making trips that began and ended outside New Jersey.
"Clearly, most trucks using Route 206 are conducting business along the corridor, such as deliveries to restaurants and other commercial establishments," said Commissioner Frank J. Wilson. "However, we will continue to do all that we can to encourage the 11 percent of trucks passing through on Route 206 to use the Turnpike."
The survey was done between Orchard Road and Opposum Road in Montgomery Township, Somerset County, on July 16, 1996. It was conducted for eleven consecutive hours (between 8 AM and 7 PM) in both northbound and southbound directions. The primary objective of the study was to determine the travel characteristics of truck traffic traversing this corridor. It is intended to supplement results from a previous O&D Study done on Route 202/31 in September of 1995.
As in the previous study done on Route 202/31, the type of vehicles surveyed during this effort was limited to trucks having three or more axles. The percentage of trucks passing through the region on Route 206 was less than half that on Route 31.
During the Route 206 survey period, 446 trucks were surveyed, which equates to 83 percent of the total truck volume on the highway during the eleven hour period of the survey. Each truck driver was asked a series of detailed questions pertaining to his or her trip, starting point, ending point, intermediate stops (if any), and purpose.
The Route 206 survey found that:
Last summer, the NJDOT announced a six point action plan to address truck safety concerns on both Route 206 and 31. The plan includes making speed limit reductions, ranging from 5 to 10 mph, on sections of Route 31 in Hopewell Township and on Route 206 in Princeton Borough and Princeton Township; implementing a truck safety inspection plan by the State Police; pursuing a permanent truck inspection station, with the concurrence of local officials, in East Amwell Township on Route 31/202; forming a truck safety advisory group including municipal and county representatives, NJDOT, NJ State Police and the Division of Highway Traffic Safety; and working with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority on a truck-friendly policy to enhance the desirability of the Turnpike as a major through corridor for commercial traffic.
- 76 percent of the trips had an origin and/or destination within Mercer or Somerset counties;
- 11 percent of the trips had neither an origin or destination within New Jersey; and 13 percent of the trips had an origin or destination within New Jersey, but outside of the Mercer/Somerset area.
AWe will continue to work with communities along Routes 206 and 31 on this issue,@ Wilson said. AWe are also working closely with the N.J. Turnpike Authority on this issue and we recently participated in a truck symposium at the Turnpike. We believe our action plan represents a diligent, comprehensive effort to enhance safety.@
A continuous 24-hour vehicle classification count was also performed on the date of the study for Route 206. This count determined that 18,626 vehicles traversed this section of Route 206. Of that total, 774 (approximately 4 percent) were trucks having three or more axles. Verification and documentation of both the survey and count were obtained through the use of a video camera mounted on the traffic signal at Orchard Road. Videotaping was performed for a 72-hour period before, during and after the study period. NJDOT also conducted 72-hour video monitoring of Route 202/31 during the same period to confirm that truck travel patterns were representative of a typical week day.
On Route 202/31, the truck survey taken in 1995 found that 44 percent of the trips had a specific origin or destination in the Hunterdon, Mercer or Bucks County areas in close proximity to where the survey station was located. Trucks passing through the state with no origin or destination within New Jersey’s borders represented 25 percent of those interviewed. The remaining 31 percent of the trips had an origin within New Jersey, excluding Hunterdon or Mercer, and a destination outside of New Jersey.