How to Define the “Casual Fast Food” Land Use Category

By Bryant Ficek, PE, PTOE “The phrase “I know it when I see it” is a colloquial expression by which a speaker attempts to categorize an observable fact or event, although the category is subjective or lacks clearly defined parameters.” – Wikipedia The current version of the Institute of Transportation’s (ITE) Trip Generation Manual, 9th Edition, provides the following land […]

Traffic Signal Warrant Primer

By Bryant Ficek, PE, PTOE The best place to start when talking about traffic signal warrants is to understand the definition of a warrant itself. According to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), a warrant is a threshold condition based upon average or normal conditions that, if found to be satisfied as part […]

Vistro 5 Update – Making Bicycle and Pedestrian Analysis Easy

By Mike Spack, PE, PTOE, President of Spack Enterprise, Founder of MikeOn Traffic I recently sat in on a PTV webinar to learn about the key updates in Vistro 5.  Here are the big ones related to implementing the 6th Edition of the Highway Capacity Manual: Added pedestrian delay calculations and level of service (jargon […]

Do Crosswalk Bumpouts Really Enhance Pedestrian Safety?

I wrote this article several years ago but feel bumpouts are still a relevant and under analyzed area of traffic engineering. I still receive question from readers and clients about crosswalk bumpouts and their effectiveness and felt it was timely to share this article again. Have you seen an improvement in pedestrian safety through the […]

Access and Circulation at a Distribution Center

The equation for solving access-related issues seems to be a simple one: increase accessibility, reduce conflict points and voila! Problem solved, right? Not so fast. As any traffic engineer can attest to, identifying and implementing solutions to any traffic-related conflict – particularly those that impact accessibility – is seldom as cut and dry as one […]

Crash Analysis Part 4 – St. Louis Park Case Study

Guest post by Jonah Finkelstein, EIT Spack Consulting Now that we have an understanding of the available Crash Analysis tools provided by MnDOT (see our previous posts here, here, and here), let’s look into a real-world example of the application of these tools in a corridor crash analysis. [Check out our Traffic Corner Tuesday – Crash […]

Median Acceleration Lanes a Mixed Bag

Guest Post by Max Moreland, PE, Director of Operations at Traffic Data Inc. Median Acceleration Lanes (MALs) are just what they sound like – an acceleration lane on the inside median. MALs are intended to allow left turning vehicles from the side streets, or U-turning vehicles on the mainline, to complete their turn without needing […]

Removing a Left Turn Lane to Provide for a Bike Lane

Bicyclist. It is a word that can incite frustration in the minds of both drivers and traffic engineers alike. But, let’s face it: bicycles are good for the environment, they are cost-effective, they are good for our collective and individual health, and the presence of cyclists within a community creates a positive image that says […]

Case Study: Iterating an Event Traffic Study at a Buddhist Temple

This article was originally published in 2015, but has been updated with additional information. We would love to hear from our readers on their traffic study experiences for event traffic. Post your comment or write us at We were hired to conduct a “traffic study” for a minor expansion to a Buddhist Temple.  The […]