Automatic traffic counters positioned by the South Dakota Department of Transportation (DOT) at entry points to the City of Sturgis showed traffic in the area during the 65th annual motorcycle rally, Aug. 8-14, fell by 4% compared to last year.
The counters - set up at 22 locations on Interstate 90, U.S. Highway 14A and S.D. Highway 34 - don't show how many people attend the event, only how many vehicles travel in and out of the town each day.
This year's count averaged 74,951 vehicles per day, or 524,657 for the week-long event, according to the DOT report. Traffic peaked on Friday, Aug. 8, when 96,676 vehicles were counted, and fell each day to a total of 30,055 vehicles on Sunday, Aug. 14.
Last year, a total of 547,370 vehicles were counted. While the daily average is down from 2004, it is still above the 10-year average of 69,980 vehicles a day. The best-attended event took place in 2000, when 604,000 vehicles were counted during the week.
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