It might seem counter intuitive. You spend money on a traffic study, so you can potentially save on your project budget?
There are many ways that traffic analysis can save money in the long run.
This site plan (intended to be final) shows Drive A located in the center of the site. When the City receives it for review, the City is concerned that traffic from the traffic signal will block access to Drive A and cause backups into the through-lanes. The City requests a traffic study be performed before approving the development, which pushes the City’s approval back until their next committee meeting. The traffic study shows that the right-turn lane requires a storage length much longer than is available due to the placement of Drive A. As a result, the City requires that Drive A be shifted 250 feet east, or removed all together. The development team considers Drive A significant to the essence and viability of the project. Removing Drive A all together is NOT an option for the developer. To gain City approval, Drive A must be relocated. The relocation of Drive A affects the entire site! The developer must go back to the drawing board and completely rework the site to provide the access point at Drive A without compromising project and design priorities.
Once site plans are in the final design stage, access relocations often lead to significant impacts to building layouts, utilities, grading, drainage, parking spaces and more.
These impacts will not only push the project off schedule, but the added time and rework will likely increase design fees and potentially construction costs as well! If a traffic engineer is brought on early, she would have preliminarily looked at the site and identified potential issues. She then would have met with the City, with the developer, and these issues would have been flushed out before final design stages, ultimately saving time and money.
This is a hypothetical site plan and scenario used for demonstrative purposes only.
Preliminary Traffic Overview
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