Aggravation or Asset?
If a community is growth-oriented, consideration must be given to the resulting demand on the roadway system (not to mention increased demands on schools, hospitals, and the line at the local drive-thru). And the increase in school children, hospital services, local businesses (including more patrons for local businesses) are by-products of a growing community. And growing communities also mean more cars — and in our business, we call this phenomenon, traffic.
And because the rate at which communities grow tends to fluctuate wildly, roadway improvements likewise tend to fluctuate — a development is proposed, a traffic study is performed, and specific roadway improvements are determined to accommodate the projected traffic.
On a larger scale, many communities actually maintain something they call a land use plan. This plan identifies the locations and types of development most desired by their community. So, although individual developments may require specific roadway improvements unique to their location and the existing traffic conditions in the vicinity of their project, the community itself often has a plan for the types of development they desire (including the best locations).
This big-picture thinking incorporates not only the best location for the various types of development but encourages business growth consistent with a well thought out plan. And where possible, new development shortens the distance between families and their daily destinations. This results in increased opportunity for walking, biking, and as a last resort, driving. Because after all, increased traffic is a by-product of economic and community growth — we need more traffic.
Chet Skwarcan (traffic engineer, author, unique insights) with over 25 years of traffic engineering experience — online ideas available at TrafficEngineering.com/Services or Chet@TrafficEngineering.com.