Recent data from the Iowa Department of Transportation shows traffic throughout Mt. Pleasant has grown.
According to a news release, the data showed over 35,000 vehicles travel through the community on any given day. This is a 10 percent growth — an added 3,500 vehicles a day — from the last time data was recorded.
Kristi Ray, executive vice president of the Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance, said the last time the Iowa DOT collected traffic data was in 2014, and they repeat the process every four years.
She said she gives credit to businesses in the area, especially those in heavier traffic flow, for this increase.
“We’re fortunate in Mt. Pleasant that people in the surrounding counties, the surrounding towns, come here to shop,” she said.
Iowa DOT collects traffic data by putting counters across the road that mark when cars drive past them, Ray said. These counters were laid out in the fall of 2018, and the data collected was released this month.
Some of the data counted include how many vehicles travel on a section of road, how fast vehicles are driving, what types of vehicles travel on a section of road and how much each vehicle weighs, according to the news release.
The news release said Mt. Pleasant’s downtown area saw the most traffic pass through, with 13,500 vehicles traveling around the Main Street area.
Grand Ave. also saw an increase of 1,000 cars a day between Mapleleaf Drive and Winfield Avenue, which the news release credited to the retail and service businesses located along that strip.
The Grand Avenue area has been a big pull for customers with the businesses and restaurants located there, Ray said. She also included Hibbett Sports, Gordmans and Walmart as some of the biggest attractions.
The 2014 opening of the Pilot truck stop also has helped increase traffic, she said.
Traffic also increased on the west side of Mt. Pleasant due to a growth in manufacturing businesses in that area, the news release said.
The only area the news release noted where traffic flow decreased was at the Washington St. and Iris St. intersection near Crossroads Industrial Park. However, the news release said this can be seen as a positive thing, since the City of Mt. Pleasant made improvements to Winfield Avenue in order to decrease some of the semi traffic near Crossroads Industrial Park.
With the pull to go to bigger cities to shop or purchase things online, Ray said it’s important to shop locally to support the community. It feels good that so many people are doing their shopping in Mt. Pleasant, she said.
“Having people here locally using our stores — it’s priceless,” she said.