Traffic data collected around the Island in 2022 showed one section of road cementing itself as the busiest stretch of asphalt for the second year in a row.

According to the data from the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, which first placed traffic counters at various points on the Island in 2019, Edgartown-West Tisbury Road near the Martha’s Vineyard Airport saw the most cars in any single hour last year.

From 1 to 2 p.m. on Friday Aug. 12, 1,517 vehicles passed the counter near the Martha’s Vineyard Refuse District, between Barnes Road and the entrance to the airport. Put another way, that’s an average of one car passing by every 2.37 seconds.

The data also showed that at least the top 50 busiest hours in 2022 all belonged to that spot.

“The fact that it was repeatedly the airport was a little bit of a surprise,” said Dan Doyle, the special projects planner at the Martha’s Vineyard Commission.

The traffic counters were put in place as part of the commission’s transportation improvement plans. The other five traffic counters are located at State Road near the West Tisbury-Chilmark line, State Road just north of Old County Road, Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road near the Oak Bluffs town line, Beach Road near Big Bridge and Edgartown-West Tisbury Road near Meshacket Road in Edgartown.

Commission officials previously said that other historically busy intersections, such as the Triangle in Edgartown and Five Corners, were not included because idling traffic can throw off the counters and corrupt the data.

On the whole, the annual daily traffic average across the Island was roughly the same from 2021 to 2022, according to Mr. Doyle. There was a surprising jump in traffic in February 2022, he said, with the daily average traffic up more than eight per cent, or about 370 trips a day.

Predictably, the highest traffic numbers take place in July and August, usually in the early afternoon. The second busiest hour in 2022, according to traffic data, was on Aug. 11, from noon to 1 p.m., with 1,506 vehicles passing the airport.

The highest recording not at that airport counter took place between noon and 1 p.m. on July 30 on State Road near Old County Road, where 1,098 vehicles passed by. 

Mr. Doyle didn’t want people to think that there weren’t potentially busier places on the Island, just that these were the highest numbers picked up by the fixed counter stations.

The traffic on Edgartown-West Tisbury Road has caught the attention of Island planners. The Martha’s Vineyard Commission said it was in the process of designing and completing a study to see if there could be any way to make navigating the section near Airport Road and Barnes Road a little easier.

The traffic in the area has not gone unnoticed by people who commute through the area.

Geoff Freeman, director at the Martha’s Vineyard Airport, said the traffic at the entrance road to the terminal is a concern. There have been studies done and alternatives looked at, but there doesn’t seem to be a simple way to improve the situation, he said.

Arriving and departing flights at the airport obviously add to the traffic, Mr. Freeman said, but the airport doesn’t have a say in flight schedules. Flight patterns can change year-to-year, potentially creating more jams.

“We don’t dictate airlines,” Mr. Freeman said. “It’s difficult for airports like ours that are very seasonal.”

But he felt the corridor had become busier, too, because more people are on the Island in general. There can be traffic there, even when there are no flights are coming in.

“There’s just a lot more traffic moving around from what we are seeing,” Mr. Freeman said. “We’re continuing to review and see what we can do.”