ITE Journal - April 2021 - 32

Objective
To quantify the effects of COVID-19 on tourism, this study
analyzes traffic counts and travel speeds along the I-4 corridor
and in the vicinity of Orlando's flagship attractions during 2020.
An analysis of Uber data, which provides travel times and extent
of travel for Uber drivers, is also included. Finally, ped/bike data
is analyzed to examine impacts on bicycle and pedestrian activity
in the area.
Figure 1. Map of Study Area Along Interstate 4 with Real-time
Traffic Count Locations and Selected Traffic Analysis Zones.

FDOT Traffic Counts
Under normal conditions, I-4 carries a high volume of traffic
that includes many tourists in addition to those working in the
tourism-related service industry. This section presents an overview
of the impact of COVID-19 on traffic counts along the I-4 corridor.
The I-4 corridor spans 132 [212.4 kilometers] miles from Daytona
Beach to Tampa, and includes the city of Orlando in Orange
County, a major tourist destination for the state of Florida. As such,
it is critical for the movement of goods, services, and visitors.
The traffic volume data was collected at hourly intervals from
four of the Florida Department of Transportation's (FDOT)
real-time traffic monitoring sites along I-4 located in Orange,
Hillsborough, Volusia, and Seminole counties during the period
from March through September 2020.3 The historical volume data is
a five-year (2015-2019) month-day-hour median.
Figure 2. Weekend Traffic Volume Differences
(Friday-Sunday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST)
Average Percent Difference from 5-year Median Volume

As tourist attractions closed, traffic counts plummeted while
travel speeds increased closer to free-flow, implying reduced
tourist and commuter activity when compared with counts and
speeds measured earlier in the year. Simultaneously, passenger
activity at the Orlando International Airport declined by around
97 percent for both arrivals and departures between January and
April 2020.1 The Orlando area's hotel occupancy rate also declined
significantly, from 76.7 percent in March to 12.3 percent for the
week ending April 11, 2020.2
Later in the month of April, there was an initiative to start
reopening beaches, and by May 18 Governor Ron DeSantis
announced the first phase of reopening for the state, with
Universal Orlando reopening on June 5. Disney followed the next
month, with the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom reopening
on July 11, and Epcot and Hollywood Studios reopening on July
15. As attractions have reopened (at a reduced capacity), traffic
and pedestrian/bicycle (ped/bike) counts are increasing and travel
speeds are decreasing, though not to their pre-COVID numbers.

10
0
-10
-20
-30
-40
-50
-60

- 1-4 Hillsborough County
- 1-4 Orange County
- 1-4 Seminole County
- 1-4 Volusia County

-70
-80

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

Source: Florida Department of Transportation

Sources: Florida Department of Transportation; Uber Movement; OpenStreetMap

Average Percent Difference from 5-year Median Volume

Figure 3. Weekday Rush Hour Traffic Volume Differences
(Monday-Friday, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. EST)
10
0
-10
-20
-30
-40
-50
-60

- 1-4 Hillsborough County
- 1-4 Orange County
- 1-4 Seminole County
- 1-4 Volusia County

-70
-80

March

April

May

June

Source: Florida Department of Transportation

32

Apri l 2021

i te j o urn al

July

August

September



ITE Journal - April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ITE Journal - April 2021

ITE Journal - April 2021 - 1
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 2
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 3
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 4
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 5
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 6
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 7
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 8
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 9
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 10
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 11
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 12
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 13
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 14
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 15
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 16
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 17
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 18
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 19
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 20
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 21
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 22
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 23
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 24
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 25
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 26
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 27
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 28
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 29
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 30
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 31
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 32
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 33
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 34
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 35
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 36
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 37
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 38
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 39
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 40
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 41
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 42
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 43
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 44
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 45
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 46
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 47
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 48
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 49
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 50
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 51
ITE Journal - April 2021 - 52
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ite-journal-june-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ite-journal-may-2021
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_Mar2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_Jan2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_Dec2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_Nov2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_Oct2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_Sept2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_Aug2020
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_April2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_March2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_February2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_January2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_December2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G110939_ITE_November2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G110110_ITE_October2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G110109_ITE_September2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G108559_ITE_August2019
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G107225_ITE_June2019
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G103582_ITE_February2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G102868_ITE_January2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G100155_ITE_December2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G100154_ITE_November2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G99495_ITE_October2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G98028_ITE_September2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G97366_ITE_August2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G96287_ITE_July2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G94315_ITE_June2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G93877_ITE_May2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G93065_ITE_Apr2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G91484_ITE_Mar2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G89434_ITE_Feb2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G86608_ITE_Jan2018
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