How We Optimized Our Way to Better Signal Timing

A Comparison of Vistro and Synchro Signal Timing Functions

Guest post by Jonah Finkelstein, EIT Spack Consulting and Bryant Ficek, PE, PTOE, Vice President at Spack Consulting. Vistro and Synchro are two powerful tools in a traffic engineer’s arsenal. Whether completing traffic studies, intersection analyses, or traffic signal timing, these software packages make our lives much easier and work more efficient. As most traffic […]

When Should Flashing Yellow Arrow Operation be Installed?

Seven Questions to Help Know the Answer

The Flashing Yellow Arrow (FYA) has made a big splash in the traffic engineering industry. They allow flexibility in left turn phasing operation, are better understood than standard protected/permissive signals, and eliminate the dreaded “yellow trap”. This makes FYAs a very powerful and efficient tool to use in signal timing that usually decreases overall delay […]

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 […]

Collecting Vehicle Merging and Weaving Patterns on a Freeway

Guest Post by Max Moreland, PE, Director of Operations at Traffic Data Inc. Recently, a company contacted Traffic Data Inc. to help collect traffic data for their upcoming research project. Most of our traffic counts focus on daily volumes, turning movement counts, and/or gap studies. This study was unique in that our client was interested […]

Auto Sharing: Preparing for a World with Less Vehicles

Nancy in my office forwarded me an issue from “Drive In Newsletter” that documents ways the auto industry is embracing the ride sharing economy.  What struck me is how Ford and General Motors are experimenting with selling cars to groups of people, which will obviously hurt individual car sales. General Motors announced Maven in January.  […]

4 Suggestions for the Future of ITE’s Trip Generation

Here is a link to an email I received from ITE about the future of their Trip Generation effort.  Basically, they are looking at modernizing their Trip Generation system to include Urban Trip Generation and Person Trips.  They’ve set up several committees to start to figure it out.  Hopefully they develop a robust, filterable system […]

Rethinking Traffic Signal Warrants

Martin Bretherton and I had an email exchange a while ago discussing the traffic signal warrants in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).  We sell a spreadsheet to run the calculations and in researching the curves for some of the warrants we confirmed Martin’s criticism.  Mainly, the warrants are a 50+ year old […]

370 Foot Long Truck and Trailer Takes on Roundabout

Last October, Curt Anderson, Sr. Public Works Technician from Scott County, Minnesota, conducted an atypical roundabout study. In this case, Curt was observing the movement of a 370’ long truck and trailer carrying an over-sized vessel used for storing liquid natural gas as it navigated a roundabout. For those readers who are curious, the entire […]

How to Respond to Citizen Traffic Safety Concerns

“Are you trying to kill me and my kids?!”

Unfortunately, this question or something similar is not uncommon at a public hearing as neighbors try to stop a new development. It’s a personal, passionate, and often effective plea to the decision-makers like a City Council. Developers need to always be prepared for this type of opposition. Most governing bodies will make rational decisions when […]

Announcing Roundabout Capacity Analysis Spreadsheet

Last August, we launched our Traffic Signal and Multi-Way Stop Sign Warrants Spreadsheets. Using a standard Microsoft Excel file, our Warrants products provide you a low-cost, customizable way to review the standard guidelines for traffic control changes. We are now proud to announce our follow-up – the Roundabout Capacity Analysis Spreadsheet. Also designed in MS […]