Note from the Engineering Department: What is a traffic counter?
A key responsibility of the Town of Penfield Engineering Department is the oversight of Town-owned roads. While you might not associate this work with our department, it’s a critical function to ensure roadways operate safely and efficiently. Traffic counters are one of the most important tools in this work.

It’s quite likely you’ve passed a traffic counter recently and did not even notice it. The counter generally looks like a small plastic box with two black rubber tubes adhered to the road.

So, what data do we collect and why is it needed? The counters collect information on traffic volumes and speeds. Data collected helps us better understand traffic patterns and make decisions related to infrastructure improvements and development. By using the traffic counters, we can also identify areas where speeding is a prevalent issue and implement changes if warranted, or inform law enforcement of the times of day speeding is occurring for enforcement.

It's important to note what traffic counters do not do as well. We are not collecting any personal data and the counters do not capture images. They are strictly used for monitoring vehicle counts and speeds.

While the Town of Penfield is only responsible for collecting data on Town of Penfield roadways, you’ll also often see traffic counters being used on county and state roadways for the same purpose. The New York State Department of Transportation and Monroe County Department of Transportation use counters to gather data much like we do.

If you have traffic concerns, I encourage you to contact our department via email at Your concerns will be reviewed by our department and discussed at an upcoming Town of Penfield Transportation Committee meeting.

Mark Valentine,P.E., Town Engineer
(585) 340-8681