Pedestrian and Bike Counts with Video Technology

A data collection case study of how video technology saves time and reduces cost for pedestrian counts.

As traffic engineers, much of our work is focused on vehicle volumes and patterns. But pedestrian and bike patterns can be just important in some settings. One way to do a pedestrian/bike count is to position someone at an intersection to do a physical count. However, a faster and more cost effective way is to […]

Will Drones and Robots Replace City Maintenance Crews?

It’s an exciting time to be in the transportation industry.  Maybe a little nerve-wracking too.  As I’ve written about in the past, there may not be nearly as many traffic engineering jobs in the future with a lot of our functions like signal timing being replaced by computers or our relevancy being eliminated by autonomous […]

Flashing Yellow Arrow: Tool for Time of Day Use

Guest Post by Max Moreland, PE, Director of Operations at Traffic Data Inc. EDM (electronic dance music), man buns and Flashing Yellow Arrows.  Undeniably three big trends.  Due to an unfortunate word count restriction on the blog, only Flashing Yellow Arrows will be discussed in this post. Flashing Yellow Arrows (FYAs) are becoming more prevalent, […]

Traffic Data Inc 2016 Price List

Each year we share our Traffic Data Inc.’s data collection price list and the 2016 price list has just been released. Traffic Data Inc. is primarily focused on data collection in the Midwest (especially Minnesota and Wisconsin). Many data collection firms require you to call them for a quote on each project you have. We provide […]

Billing Process Best Practice

How to Get Paid for Your Work in a Timely Manner

This fall I asked readers to share some of the greatest challenges they face at work. Many readers said they struggle with managing payment for their work. Today, I am sharing the payment processes we follow at Spack Consulting to get paid for our work. We’ve used this process for more than a decade and it has […]

Traffic Impact Study Improvements – Round-Up

Guest Post by Bryant Ficek, PE, PTOE, Vice President at Spack Consulting. We have completed and/or reviewed thousands of Traffic Impact Studies (TIS) over the 15-year history of Spack Consulting. And while the technology continues to make improvements, the standard TIS has remained about the same. Being the curious engineers that we are, we started […]

Queue Data for the Top 5 Drive Through Uses

A key item for traffic engineers to review on a commercial site is whether or not vehicles waiting in a drive through lane will block circulation in the parking lot. Very little actual data exists on drive through queues, so we collected more than 1,200 hours of video at drive-throughs and did the data reduction.  […]

Sign Language: When Less is More

Guest Post by Bryant Ficek, PE, PTOE, Vice President at Spack Consulting “Sign. Sign. Everywhere a sign. Blocking out the scenery, breaking my mind. Do this don’t do that – can’t you read the sign!” I’m not sure the Five Man Electric Band had traffic engineering in mind when they made this song (or Tesla […]

Do Roundabouts Improve Local Economies?

Guest Post by Bryant Ficek, PE, PTOE, Vice President at Spack Consulting Towards the start of my career when roundabouts started being rediscovered in the US, a common criticism was that installation of a roundabout would kill the local businesses. Customers would hate them and stop going to the area. Trucks would not be able […]

How the Right Recommendation May be the Wrong Decision

Dealing with Politically Motivated Decisions

We sent out a survey to our readers a few months ago asking them about the biggest frustration in their job.  Here’s one of those responses that caught my eye: I complete Intersection Control Evaluations and determine that a signal is not warranted, sometimes not even close. However, a traffic signal is installed based on […]