By Diane Morabito, PE, PTOE
Just as many Mainers have recovered from Coronavirus, our traffic volumes are also recovering. In early March, after the Governor’s Stay-at-Home order, traffic volumes on Maine’s highways were less than 50% of normal volumes. Volumes have been increasing and rebounding steadily since April.
Now, in October, Maine is about to enter the fourth and final stage of our recovery and reopening plan. Most schools and universities are back to in-person learning (at least some days of the week). Based upon statewide traffic data from MaineDOT’s automatic continuous count stations, traffic volumes the first week of October were:
- Still generally down anywhere from 1 % to 20 % from 2019 volumes
- Traffic volumes are up small amounts or the same in several northern Maine locations
- There are only two locations in Southern Maine where volumes were up over 2019
- Many of the locations that are down greater percentages, in the 13 – 18 % range, are on I-295 or I-95 in southern Maine – our urban arterials
- Other state routes are generally down less, in the 2 – 14 % range
- The overall change in volumes in all locations was – 11%. The overall change in volumes the last week of September was – 13 % showing a measurable weekly increase.
- With many employees switching to remote work, it may be years until we are fully back to overall 2019 volumes