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DOT numbers show traffic up in Dickinson

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Traffic is up over 30 percent from previous years on some Dickinson streets, according to a recent count by the North Dakota Department of Transportation.

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City Engineer Craig Kubas presented numbers at the Dickinson City Commission meeting on Monday, calling the growth “exponential.”

The count was conducted over several days in April as part of the DOT’s annual counts of traffic in western North Dakota. The agency previously looked at traffic just once every two years, but increased the frequency to keep up with growth in the region, DOT communication division director Peggy Anderson said.

Traffic along State Avenue saw a sharp increase: from 2012 to 2014, traffic on the southern end of the Empire Road intersection increased almost 38 percent from 8,440 to 11,615 cars per day; on State Avenue north of Empire Road, traffic grew by roughly 16 percent.

Average daily traffic on Highway 22 just below South 8th Street went from 6,135 cars in 2013 to 8,120 in 2014, a 32 percent increase.

“Traffic (is) really increasing coming into town from all directions,” Kubas said Monday.

He pointed out that not all areas have been experiencing growth — traffic along the top of the Highway 22 and I-94 interchange fell by 5 percent since 2013 — but throughout the city, traffic has been consistently increasing.

The numbers are just raw data, however, Anderson said.

“We analyze it to look at traffic patterns,” she said. “It will take a couple of months to go through everything.”

The DOT provides the information to city “to help local leaders look at what’s going on for future transportation needs,” she said, such as traffic lights and stop signs.

Kubas said the data needs to be taken with a grain of salt until more analysis can be made.

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