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I-95 Commercial Vehicle Toll Evasion Survey

Location: I-95 Toll Plaza and Surrounding Area, Delaware Client: Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT)

JMT performed an Origin-Destination survey as part of an analysis regarding truck travel patterns and the potential for toll evasion.

Following a toll increase at the I-95 toll plaza, which became effective October 1, 2005, a study was performed by DelDOT in early 2006 to determine if the toll increase created significant toll evasion. The study involved performing pre- and post-toll increase traffic counts along potential toll evasion routes. As part of the project, JMT was assigned to perform data collection and analysis during early 2007 and determine whether any significant change in traffic pattern and toll evasion existed within the study area.

JMT performed an Origin-Destination license plate survey. The purpose of the study was to observe heavy vehicle traffic at the interchanges north and south of the toll plaza and to determine the extent of truck traffic using a potential route to evade the I-95 toll.  Daily Automatic Traffic Recorders (ATRs) were installed at ten locations in the study area to collect vehicle volume and classifications at 15-minute intervals. Vehicles were classified according to the FHWA 13 - Category Classification System. The Origin-Destination (O-D) data was collected at interchange locations at the beginning and end of the suspected toll evasion route. The study was conducted by recording license plates of vehicles entering and exiting at the interchange ramps that corresponded with the suspected evasion route and then matching the license plate information of the starting and ending ramps.  To supplement this license plate data and to identify vehicles whose plates were missing or unreadable, and to help simplify the identification process, general vehicle information such as size or class, cab color, trailer color, and any other identifying marks such as text, cargo, etc. were also recorded.

Comparison of the 2006 and 2007 traffic data indicated that there was only moderate variation in the traffic and truck percentages. From the O-D study there were only a handful of trucks using the two evasion routes which was similar to the 2006 study.  From the review of JMT data, it was evident that while there was a reduction in volume from the 2006 traffic counts over the same study period, there were only moderate variations in truck percentages and volumes.  Therefore, it was concluded that truck travel patterns had not changed from the prior study period and there was no significant truck evasion of the Delaware I-95 toll plaza.

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