June 6


VistroWe've been using PTV's Vistro software to prepare traffic impact studies since January and it's been a home run.  We're at least twice as efficient using this software versus our old methods (and I thought we were in the top tier of efficient traffic engineers with our old system).

I've written about the software several times – here's my last post about Vistro.  But now I have realworld experience to write about…

Here's what makes Vistro amazing:

  • Running multiple mitigation scenarios takes minutes, not hours or days.
  • We've all had clients change the development plan on us – running the new development scenario forecasts and analyses takes less than a few hours.
  • Exporting to Vissim for detailed micro-simulation is easy and takes just a little bit of tweaking to get Vissim going (as opposed to the weeks it used to take to set up a Vissim network).  
  • Easy to use, yet powerful, traffic signal optimization
  • But the killer – tables and graphics come out at the click of a button.

We've done about a dozen impact studies now with Vistro since the software was launched in December.  Here's our biggest study to date using Vistro - 
Download Fridley Industrial Park – Traffic Impact Study:

  • 12 intersections
  • 1.6 million sq ft industrial park development scenario and 1.8 million sq ft industrial park development scenario
  • a.m. and p.m. peak hour, 20 year analyses
  • Developed mitigation measures and then iterated trip generation/capacity analyses to determine how much development could be built before each measure was triggered
  • About 45 hours of staff time to do all analysis and produce report
  • This was our first study using Vistro and there were a few glitches with preparing the graphics

We've evolved our report to take better advantage of Vistro (and PTV is continually working on Vistro to fix bugs and make it better).  Here's our latest study
Download Reemo Gas – Traffic Impact Study:

  • 1 intersection and 2 driveway intersections
  • Gas station/strip center redevelopment
  • a.m. and p.m. peak hour, year 2015 analyses
  • Vissim run on worst performing build scenario
  • About 15 hours of staff time to do all analysis and produce report

So far we haven't had any issues with agencies accepting Vistro.  We're preparing our capacity analyses per the Highway Capacity Manual and we go to Vissim when micro-simulation is needed.  The default around here is Synchro/SimTraffic, but Vissim is seen as a much more powerful micro-simulation tool than SimTraffic in this region.  Once I explain the HCM/Vissim situation, everyone seems good with Vistro.  

Overall, I couldn't be happier with Vistro.  I'm hoping our competition never adopts it!



  • Dear Muhammad – All of the downloads referenced in the post are available by clicking on the links provided.

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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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