Announcing the New COUNTpro Software and COUNTpad 2

We’re excited to announce we’ve enhanced the PC-TAS/COUNTpad 2 system!  Based on feedback from our customers as well as our own counting staff, we redesigned our best selling product with improved functionality.  We’ve also given PC-TAS a new name – COUNTpro. New Features of the COUNTpro – COUNTpad 2 Manual Video Counting System Redesigned PC-TAS […]

A Quick Method to Identify Potential Safety Improvements

Guest post from Bryant Ficek, PE, PTOE, Vice-President at Spack Consulting Four-lane undivided roadways are the most unsafe road type out there today (at least as measured by MnDOT highway crash stats here).  Urban four-lane undivided facilities in particular have a higher crash rate and severity rate than two-, three-, and five-lane roads whether urban […]

Learn More about Mike Spack – U of MN Interview

Staff from the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering interviewed me a couple of months ago for an alumni profile piece.  It was a little strange talking about myself, but Sally and Merry are great at their jobs and made it fun.  Plus I’m honored that they think what we’ve accomplished is interesting enough for […]

Analyzing Pedestrian and Bike Systems

The Highway Capacity Manual made a leap forward with the 2010 Edition including multi-modal level of service.  Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s being widely implemented.  No one seems interested in paying us to use it in Minnesota even though agencies are progressive with our multi-modal systems. Madeline Brozen has an interesting article in the ITE Journal about applying Charlotte, North […]

Introducing Spack’s Traffic Industry Research Briefs

Over to the right on the blog you’ll notice our new giveaway is a series of Research Briefs. We’ll send out a new brief to subscribers of the blog about every 3-5 weeks. These briefs will be 2-page documents that cover a certain item in our industry (such as access management, diverging diamond interchanges, traffic signal […]

Response to “St. Louis Park says MnDOT is ignoring huge traffic headaches”

MnDOT is widening Highway 100 and replacing several bridges in St. Louis Park near my house and our office.  They closed the Minnetonka Boulevard interchange and have removed the whole bridge.  This will allow them to complete the interchange reconstruction in about six months vs. taking a year or more if they were to rebuild it […]

Ideas for New Traffic Counting Products?

Don Gettner at Ridge Engineering sent me a couple of interesting emails related to the price of technology.  Don is the programmer behind our PC-TAS counting program and he has been in the traffic counting industry for more than 30 years (working different stints at Jamar, Diamond, and I believe Miovision among other companies). His first […]

Left Turn Lane Design Factors

Left turn lanes are exclusive turning lanes that allow for a left turn movement to occur outside of the through lane. They are arguably the best strategy a traffic engineer can employ because of the large safety and capacity benefits they provide versus the relatively low cost to build them. Both a road’s capacity and safety […]

Using SimCity in Transportation Planning Curriculum

“If you’re having traffic problems I feel bad for your son/I’m a traffic engineer and I made you a guide.”  That’s the lead in to the post How To Traffic about how a traffic engineer built a SimCity that has no congestion.  He did it by applying generally accepted transportation planning practices. I helped teach the civil […]