Traffic Impact Studies—Current Practices from Cities' Perspective

by Daniel B. Rathbone, George Mason Univ, Fairfax, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Site Impact Traffic Assessment: Problems and Solutions


The results of a nationwide survey conducted among a sample of city traffic engineers are described. Information and opinions about current practices in traffic impact studies were obtained. The main results of the survey are as follows: Very little standardization was found among different cities regarding: a) Criteria used to determine when traffic impact studies are required, b) procedures used to determine the size for a traffic impact study, and c) what reductions in trips generated by new developments are allowed and how much reduction is allowed. Political and economic considerations were used to relax traffic impact mitigation requirements in a large percentage of cities (84%). Most city traffic engineers (72%) feel that consultants are not always objective and 'will try anything they can get away with to reduce the impact of their client's development.' A significant percentage of cities are not happy with their impact-study process, particularly in terms of its ability to take into consideration the incremental impacts of new developments.

Subject Headings: Traffic models | Traffic surveys | Traffic signals | Traffic analysis | Consulting services | Travel patterns | Political factors | Economic factors

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