The summer is just about here and that means construction season is in full swing. There are basically two season in New York State; winter and construction.

If you drive, not only will you see delays and detours, you will probably see rubber strips stretched across the road or highway you are on. Ever wonder what those are? They are very important for multiple reasons.

From stores who want to pick a new location to build in, to transportation officials, knowing how many cars pass a certain area can be very helpful. Those rubber strips help count the traffic that passes over them.

A pair of tubes can be stretched across several lanes of traffic. The data logger can establish vehicle direction by recording which of a pair of tubes the vehicle first drives over.

This method is popular here in New York State but has it's limits with the seasons here. Snow plows would rip these strips right off the roads. Once the summer comes, the strip get back on the pavement.

But there are also ways to count cars that you may not see. "Piezoelectric Sensors" are used to count cars with magnetic forces.

When a car drives over the piezoelectric sensor, it squeezes it and causes an electric potential – a voltage signal. The size of the signal is proportional to the degree of deformation. When the car moves off, the voltage reverses.

You'll definitely see more of these traffic counters on roads around New York State and here in Buffalo over the summer. As the need to repair or replace the infrastructure and roads grows, traffic counters will help to determine which roads may need immediate attention. As big chain stores and restaurants consider which location to build, traffic counters will also be in place.

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