Are U-Turns Safe?

You want us to make a U-turn? In some situations the answer is yes. Requiring single occupant vehicles to make U-turns and subsequent right turns instead of direct left turns is a well-documented strategy for improving safety and minimizing delay along arterial corridors. According to the Transportation Research Board of The National Academies Access Management […]

How to Decide When You Need Micro-Simulation Analysis

Comments we often receive regarding our use of PTV Vistro in comparison to Synchro/SimTraffic are in regard to micro-simulation. Specifically, Synchro/SimTraffic is purchased as one software package while VISSIM, which is the SimTraffic equivalent for Synchro, is a separate software from PTV. In these situations, we need to step back and first determine whether a […]

HCM 6th Edition: Roundabout Calculation Changes

The 6th Edition of the Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) is out and we (and others) would characterize it as an update as opposed to an overhaul. While this new manual does contain new and interesting items, we’ll focus on roundabouts for this article. HCM2010 was ground-breaking in the U.S. for providing a new methodology to […]

Bicycle Parking Guidelines for Various Land Uses

I haven’t seen any scientific studies documenting how much bicycle parking is used at different kinds of developments (similar to Parking Generation for vehicles).  Many city ordinances have requirements for how many bicycle parking spaces (racks or storage lockers) are needed for different kinds of developments.  For instance, Minneapolis has very thorough requirements for bicycle […]

Parking Case Study: Data Collection to Right Size Parking Lots

Savvy retail property owners are realizing many of their parking lots are too big and going unused.  One such property owner is Windamere, who hired our sister company Spack Consulting to assist them with determining how they could redevelop the Southdale Office Centre with additional buildings. In the past, we’d go through the laborious process […]

Ryan Martinson Interview: Resilience in a Transportation System

Ryan Martinson of Stantec recently posted a paper titled Resilience in a Transportation System: Should ITE Include Resilience in its Foundational Documents.  Ryan has focused his transportation career on sustainable transportation solutions and is the Vice Chair of ITE’s Sustainability Committee. Now he’s thinking about resiliency too. I find the somewhat contradictory concepts of sustainability […]

Advice for a Young Traffic Engineer

A blog reader emailed me the following – he wishes to stay anonymous while he works this out with his boss, who may or may not also be a reader of MikeOnTraffic… “I have a question that I thought would be good for you because of your expertise in the traffic industry and your blog […]

What to Do When You Need a Traffic Signal

When I sat in the chair as a traffic engineer for the City of Maple Grove I’d get the occasional call from a resident telling me we need a traffic signal at such and such intersection. My experience is that as a resident, your best bet to get something “public works” related started is to […]

Black Friday Trip Generation at Big Box Retailers

Black Friday Retail Traffic is 2x a Normal Day’s Traffic Big Box Retailers

We collected trip generation data at four big box retailers in Minnesota over the Black Friday retail sale event in November 2015.  We also collected data at the same stores during a normal week during the winter in 2016. You can freely dig into the data at Below are summaries of the peak hour […]

The Traffic Diffuser

Rick Harrison at Rick Harrison Site Design Studio has an interesting video on what he calls a traffic diffuser. The video is only a couple of minutes long and its worth the time. Rick rightly points out that traffic engineers don’t do a good job of designing for the mixing of pedestrians with vehicles. Historically, intersections […]