Improving the Aesthetics of Our Infrastructure

Ideas for Bettering the Streetscape with Art


Our industry has two basic criteria when it comes to public infrastructure:  effectiveness and cost.  Professionals in our industry balance these two criteria in the projects we design/build and the products we specify. Unfortunately, our utilitarian leanings (and sometimes plain old bad taste) often result in some drab to even ugly streetscapes.  Landscape architects are […]

85th Percentile Speed Explained

A Deeper Look at Calculating the 85th Percentile Speed

speed limit sign

Guest post by Jonah Finkelstein, EIT Spack Consulting The 85th percentile speed can be a confusing statistic for some to understand. The Minnesota Department of Transportation defines the 85th percentile speed as, “the speed at or below which 85 percent of all vehicles are observed to travel under free-flowing conditions past a monitored point.” Traffic […]

New Updates for PTV’s Vistro and Vissim Software

PTV Announces Software Enhancements to User Group Meeting

Guest Post by Bryant Ficek, PE, PTOE, Vice President at Spack Consulting. In 2015, Mike Spack presented at the PTV America User Group Meeting. This year, it was my turn to speak about our experiment completing projects using Vistro and using Synchro to determine which was more efficient for our studies. Since this was at an […]

PTV Vistro – Traffic Study Mitigation Made Easy


Guest Post by Bryant Ficek, PE, PTOE, Vice President at Spack Consulting. For many traffic studies, testing different improvement alternatives is a key element of the study. Things like turn lanes, different traffic control, adding/removing access, and many other options should be considered to improve traffic flow. With Vistro, we actually have two methods to test […]

Pedestrian Beacons: Placement Recommendations and Resources


Guest Post by Max Moreland, PE, Director of Operations at Traffic Data Inc. Crossing a busy street as a pedestrian can be a challenge. And with more and more attention in the traffic engineering world being given to pedestrian access, new pedestrian facilities to help make crossing the road less of a dangerous endeavor are […]

How to Speak Traffic Engineering


Guest Post by Bryant Ficek, PE, PTOE, Vice President at Spack Consulting. Jargon – special words or expressions that are used by a particular profession or group and are difficult for others to understand (Google definition). Several years ago, Mike and I were at a bar for a non-engineering function, but started talking shop in front […]

13 Travel Demand Management Plan Strategies

30263621 - in rush hour traffic cars jam on a road in the city center. problems in urban traffic

Long-time readers of MikeOnTraffic know that we believe in examining both the supply side (geometry, traffic control, etc.) and demand side (trip generation) in our studies, most recently seen here. In some of our work, reducing the demand side of a proposed development is formalized in a Travel Demand Management Plan (also shortened to TDMP). […]

Meet Bryant at PTV Vision Traffic User Group Meeting

Bryant Ficek to Present "Vistro vs Synchro: A Comparison of Efficiency for Traffic Studies"

Join Bryant Ficek on October 12th – 13th at the 17th North America PTV User Group Meeting in Arlington, Virginia. Bryant will be sharing his insights on “VISTRO VS SYNCHRO: A Comparison of Efficiency for Traffic Impact Studies”. Click the link to view information about the 2016 meeting. Interested in meeting Bryant at the meeting? Send him […]

Pop-Up Gardens for Traffic Calming


Following is a guest post from Chris Reid with the Springdale Neighborhood Association in Stamford, Connecticut regarding their experience with PARKing Day.  I love the experimental nature of what Chris and her neighbors did with this temporary traffic control implementation.  If you’re interested in making residential streets more livable, I recommend you follow-up by reading […]

A Signal Timing Primer


Guest post by Jonah Finkelstein, EIT Spack Consulting One of the services offered at Spack Consulting is Traffic Signal Timing and Tune-up. We often receive questions from clients and other engineers regarding what our timing and tune-up entails. While there is a lot written on this subject, the team of engineers in the office thought […]