July 13


Residential Electronic Gate Service Rates

By Mike Spack

July 13, 2017

Institute of Transportation Engineers, ITE, traffic data, traffic research, trip generation manual

Bryant Ficek, PE, PTOE

Regular readers know we believe in Improving Transportation Globally and, equally important, we believe in sharing our information to help others achieve the same goal. This process leads us to complete various research projects and share the results. A notable one is our work on determining current trip generation for tradition land uses, like homes and offices, and new land uses that may not have been around in the past, like marijuana dispensaries and urgent care units (you can download our trip generation raw data spreadsheet ). We shared this information with the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and expect to see it as part of the new Trip Generation Manual coming out later this year.

We are not the only ones who take this approach. Recently, Robert Kahn, a founding principal at RK Engineering Group, completed a study of Service Rates for Residential Electronic Gates. He presented this information at the 2017 ITE Western District Annual Meeting and was kind enough to share his report with us.

Electronic gates controlling the accesses to residential neighborhoods are not very common in Minnesota. But they are present in many areas, particularly out west where Mr. Kahn’s company is located. From his report, here are the key information and findings:

  • The study purpose was to determine the hourly service rate capacity (vehicles per hour) of electronic gates at residential communities containing single family detached homes (although results could be applied to multi-family developments as well).
  • The study focused on swinging or rolling style gates (not manned gates) where the gate capacity or service rate (vehicles per hour) is the key to determining the potential vehicle queues.
  • The study collected data at 14 electronic gates during the p.m. peak period, which is the peak entering time for most residential communities.
  • The peak inbound demand at these gates was split approximately 80 percent residents within the community and 20 percent visitors.
  • With two entry lanes (one for visitors and one for residents), the recommended service rates are 115 vehicles per hour for visitors and 220 vehicles per hour for residents.
  • With a single entry lane (for both visitors and residents), the recommended service rate is 190 vehicles per hour.
  • The observed average p.m. peak hour trip generation rates for these residential developments was 0.76 vehicles per hour per dwelling unit (0.42 vehicles per hour per dwelling unit entering and 0.34 vehicles per hour per dwelling unit exiting).

While not specifically relevant to the type of work we commonly complete, we applaud this type of research as well as the sharing of information. These types of studies help move our industry forward in terms of more accurate results and, ultimately, better recommendations for the use of our resources. Thanks to Mr. Kahn for completing this work and helping all of us be better Traffic Engineers.

Do you have an interesting engineering project you’d like to share with other engineers? Write us at newsletter@mikeontraffic.com.  We would love to hear from you!

Want to partner on trip generation data? If you’d like to partner with us to collect trip generation in your area, we have a limited pool of video collection products that we’re lending for free to collect trip generation data around the country. Leave your contact information in the comments section if you’d be interested in the lending program or contact Sales at CountingCars.com.


Bryant Ficke Bio

  • This is extremely helpful information for municipal and public agency engineers which often have to defend a minimum queue stacking length for gated developments. With the assistance and expertise of my former boss and TE mentor, we developed at criteria for new residential developments (Apartments, Townhomes and Single family attached) who wanted gated entries and exits. Thank you for sharing.

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    Mike Spack

    My mission is to help traffic engineers, transportation planners, and other transportation professionals improve our world.

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