Traffic Impact Studies – Current Practices
Date published: Mar 04, 2005
Survey consists of responses from 82 city and county traffic engineers about current practices in traffic impact studies. Topics/questions include:
- What is the present population of your city/county?
- For approximately how many years has your city/county required traffic impact studies?
- At present, when does your city/county require traffic impact studies?
- Does your city/county charge a developer in filing fees and/or review fees for a traffic impact study?
- Which organization controls/specifies the “background” traffic volumes to which site-generated traffic is added?
- Can consultants doing a traffic impact study adjust this “background” traffic (before adding site-generated traffic)?
- How is the size for a traffic impact study determined (i.e. the distance from the development site within which capacity analysis should be conducted)?
- Does your city/county allow reductions in trips generated for each of the following and, where possible, what is the maximum percentage or amount of reduction allowed: Transit usage, ridesharing, passer-by trips, staggered working hours, bicycle/walking trips, telecommuting, other (please specify)?
- Does your city/county follow up later to see if reductions allowed in traffic impact studies actually have been realized?
- Does your city/county, through a binding agreement, and where appropriate, restrict a developer to a certain amount of trips generated in future years?
- Do you recognize additional capacity “created” through the optimization of signals that are not optimized presently — for the benefit of the developer’s traffic?
- Do you allow a reduction in traffic generation rates when redevelopment takes place (e.g. deduct the “old” development’s trips)?
- How often over the past year have you been forced to relax traffic impact mitigation requirements because of political/economic considerations (“to attract business to the city/county”)?
- What is your opinion about the following statement regarding consultants who do traffic impact studies for private developers. “Most consultants are not objective — they will try anything they can get away with to reduce the traffic impact of their client’s development.”
- Would you officially make your staff available to do traffic impact studies for developers, thereby, in effect, competing with consultants? Why?
- Which of the following are applied to mitigate the traffic impact of new developments in your city/county: install traffic signals, additional turning lanes, access management restrictions, left turn restrictions, widening of roads, develop additional points of access, signal coordination, transportation demand management programs, relocation of driveways, contributions for unspecified street improvements, floor area ratio is limited, improve transit service, other?
- What major changes if any, have been made to your traffic impact study process during the past few years?
- Are you satisfied with your city/county’s traffic impact study process in terms of its ability to negate the traffic impact of new developments? If not, why not?
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