Checklist: Crosswalk Safety Improvements

Guest Post by Bryant Ficek, PE, PTOE, Vice President at Spack Consulting. At its root, the safety concerns at the crosswalks are the result of conflicts between two types of transportation – walking and driving. These two transportation options operate at different speeds with different characteristics. Controlling the conflict points between these two can be accommodated […]


The Free, Easy to Use Cross-Section Generator is an intuitive, free, simple app for preparing cross-sections of existing streets or potential streets (note – I have no affiliation with StreetMix). Below is the cross section for West 36th Street where our office is located.  Including figuring out how the app works, it took me less than five minutes to prepare the […]

Unusual Things Captured on Traffic Video

Guest Post by Max Moreland, PE, Director of Operations at Traffic Data Inc. Over the years, we have captured and viewed thousands of days of intersection video for data collection.  Typically, these intersection videos are pretty uneventful; just people passing through an intersection in one form or another. Every once in a while, however, our […]

Webinar Review: The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2015

Guest post by Jonah Finkelstein, EIT Spack Consulting Complete Street Policies are being discussed at almost every level of local agencies for big and small cities alike. The National Complete Streets Coalition, is a program of Smart Growth America, a national organization at the forefront of complete street discussions and helping communities implement best practices […]

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.  […]