Transportation Impact Study Guidelines

Part 1 – Getting on the Same Page

When planning starts on a new or re-development project, the Traffic Impact Studies (TIS) assesses the impact on the surrounding network. A comprehensive ‘before’ and ‘after’ of traffic operations is the goal to determine if and when mitigation is needed. For many traffic engineers, the TIS is a key component of their work. This work […]

Case Study: Data Centered Traffic Calming Experiment in a Neighborhood

The City of St. Louis Park, Minnesota had a neighborhood reconstruction project planned for 2018 with significant resident concerns about traffic issues.  The situation is not unique, but the engineering staff’s approach to the project was. They developed a very detailed public engagement process two years in advance of the reconstruction, which included bringing us […]

Vistro Tips and Tricks

by Jonah Finkelstein, PE   PTV Vistro has been a powerful tool for us at Spack Consulting and has helped us save time creating traffic report figures and updating analyses as development plans change. Through this experience we have learned some tips and tricks that we use to help us be as effective as possible when […]

How Your City Should Handle Dockless Scooters and Bicycles

By Mike Spack, PE, PTOE and Max Moreland, PE   Bicycle sharing systems have become commonplace across America over the last decade.  Bicycle sharing programs, such as Minnesota’s Nice Ride, play an important part in our multi-modal ecosystem.  We occasionally use them, but it’s a bummer to show up to a meeting tired and sweaty […]

The Life of a Roundabout Project

Ten years, we wrote about roundabouts and Mike’s then-recent experience in recommending a roundabout on a project. Here’s the quick summary version of that project’s case study: Lennar Corporation’s Park Place in Minnetrista The issue of realigning two tee intersections on Highway 7 (one at County Road 11 and one at Kings Point Road) to […]

Traffic Impact Study Process – Part 7: Determine Necessary Improvements

Mike Spack and Bryant Ficek have literally written a book about Traffic Impact Studies and the process from authorization to final study. We present the information we wish we had when starting our careers and hopefully have tips and refreshers that even experienced traffic engineers will find useful. This series presents the basic steps of […]

Why Our New Traffic Counting Van is a Chevy Volt Sedan

We can’t afford to strand a field tech three hours away from the office.  Our 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan has a well earned 140,000 miles on it and we’re concerned about the coming costs to keep it working reliably.  It’s time to replace Traffic Data Inc’s mini-van with a new work vehicle. The default decision […]

What Difference Does a Sign Make?

By Bryant Ficek, PE, PTOE How much impact does the speed limit have on a local, residential road? That basic question has increasingly become a hot-button issue in Minnesota where these roads are usually 30 mph by state statute. Several cities and bicycle/pedestrian advocates are pushing to change the statute and lower the local speed […]