San Diego unveils new highway traffic monitoring tool


The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), the region’s primary public planning, transportation, and research agency, has unveiled its Highway Hot Spots & Volumes Tracker, a one-stop data source tracking weekday month-by-month vehicle miles travelled on local highways. The data available on the tracker includes March through October 2020, and users can also compare current data to the same time in 2019. The SANDAG tracker will be updated monthly. 

“This new tool is intended to be a resource to assist community members and local leaders with current traffic data to make regional decisions,” said SANDAG director of research and programme management Dr. Cynthia Burke. “The Highway Hot Spots & Volume Tracker has shown us that the greatest drop in traffic volumes this year were seen in April when we were down 44%, compared to the same time last year.”

The SANDAG tracker also shows that between June and October, traffic volumes hovered between 14% and 17%. The number of vehicle miles traveled on our eight local highways also reflected this general pattern. Data shows that in October, the number of vehicle miles traveled remained lowest on SR 163, which was down 29%, compared to October 2019, and that SR 78 and I-805 were the closest to last year’s figures at this time (down 11% and 13%, respectively).

The Tracker offers multiple ways to interact with and explore the data, such as filtering to focus on points of interest and selecting data points in the chart to make simultaneous comparisons. For a guide to help navigate through the Highway Hot Spots & Volumes Tracker, visit

The ten San Diego region hotspots monitored in the Highway Hot Spots & Volumes Tracker include:

• Southbound I-15 at Deer Springs Road
• Eastbound SR 78 at Barham Drive
• Southbound I-5 at Manchester Avenue
• Northbound I-805 at Governor Drive
• Westbound SR 52 at Mast Boulevard
• Westbound I-8 at Waring Road
• Northbound I-805 at I-15
• Northbound I-5 at E Street
• Southbound I-5 at Sea World Drive
• Northbound 1-805 at El Cajon Boulevard

Speed data at each of the hot spots during morning peak periods revealed that in October, speeds were up an average of about 6 MPH, compared to March. The biggest increases were seen at Northbound I-805 at I-15 (13.7 MPH faster in October) and Westbound I-8 at Waring Road (10.5 MPH faster). The average speeds at these ten locations on average was 57.5 MPH in March, then varied between 64.2 and 65.6 April through September and was down to 63.6 in October.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).