Industrial Park Traffic Impact Study

Development Type: Industrial

Services Provided: Trip Generation Comparison, Traffic Impact Study

Client: United Properties

Like most in Minnesota, the City of Lino Lakes has a comprehensive plan that includes a transportation component, which provides the long-term planning for its network. On top of that, Lino Lakes also has an Alternative Urban Areawide Review (AUAR) for a sub-section of the City. This planning tool is designed to examine the cumulative impacts of anticipated development within a given geographic area. Between these two documents, the future roadway network has been well laid out.

Within this AUAR area of Lino Lakes, United Properties is proposing a new industrial land use. The proposed development will convert an open lot and represents only minor portion of the overall development expected. With all the planning that has already occurred, is more really necessary?

The answer is yes. Working with the development and advised by the City, we first examined the proposed site in terms of its compliance with the expected land use and expected traffic generation. This involved reviewing the planning documents to determine that the proposed land use is both compatible with the expected land use plans and similar in terms of traffic generation to what was expected. The result of this work was a technical memorandum that documented the proposed site and its comparison along with the finding that it did indeed meet with the plans.

Next, a Traffic Impact Study (TIS) was completed on the existing intersections. Because the ultimate transportation network is not yet built, the purpose of this TIS was resolve a key question – are the future planned improvements needed now? This relatively straight-forward TIS examined the existing network with the future proposed development traffic. In this case, the TIS report showed the study roads and intersections are still able to accommodate the additional development traffic without improvements at this time.

In the end, our work confirmed the validity of the long-range plans, but determined these roadway extensions and intersection improvements are not yet needed. We believe this combination of studies represents the best approach to future network needs – corridor or other large area studies determine the future needs and provide the plan for an area, then each individual TIS determines if additional components of that future plan are necessary in conjunction with the proposed development. As a result, infrastructure needs are built when actual development and traffic dictate it while development is managed to permit these future improvements.