[Talk-GB] Quiet lanes and "one car per minute"

Richard Mann richard.mann.westoxford at gmail.com
Thu Jan 20 13:37:57 GMT 2011

Traffic planners typically measure motor-vehicles-per-day (and quote
it to the nearest thousand), so I'd do traffic=<1000, with advice
somewhere that you can use 1000* off-peak cars-per minute as an

10* motor-vehicles per peak-hour is also a common rule-of-thumb (but I
wouldn't propose standing around for an hour to measure it).


On Thu, Jan 20, 2011 at 12:48 PM, Richard Fairhurst
<richard at systemed.net> wrote:
> Hi all,
> Sending this to talk-gb@ first (rather than tagging@ or talk@) as I'm just
> floating an idea...
> I've long wanted to get motor traffic levels on rural roads into OSM.
> Traffic levels make a huge difference to the enjoyability of rural cycling,
> and would enable really fun rendering and routing possibilities.
> OpenCycleMap could highlight quiet minor lanes even if they weren't in the
> NCN. CycleStreets could prefer them. I could do a lovely cycle touring map
> in the style of the old quarter-inch OS maps. And so on.
> Traffic levels are, also, a real pain in the saddle to record.
> OSM's iterative; always has been. We start as a broad-brush survey and get
> more detailed as time goes on. So it doesn't matter if we don't get detailed
> hour-by-hour traffic averages to begin with - it'll get better once people
> are used to recording it. But how to do that?
> Looking at some Sustrans and Countryside Agency design documents, it turns
> out that they share a criterion for quiet lanes: 1000 vehicles per day.
> Let's say (remember, we're talking really broad-brush here) that traffic is
> reasonably even between 6am and 10pm, i.e. 16 hours, and absent at other
> times. That's 1000/16=62.5 vehicles per hour.
> One car per minute.
> So, how about it? Find a country lane. If you're standing there at a typical
> time of day, and there's less than one car per minute, that's a quiet lane.
> Tag it traffic=quiet, or if you'd like to be precise, traffic:hourly=<60 (or
> whatever). Really simple.
> We could do great things with this. As time went on, no doubt people would
> get into surveying it with more and more detail. Comments welcome!
> cheers
> Richard
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