1. 1Traffic Studies

    Traffic Studies

    Traffic studies can take many different forms, but all will generally analyze the existing and future transportation network with a goal of providing solutions for identified issues.  The most common type of study is a Traffic Impact Study, which evaluates the potential impact of proposed developments on the nearby transportation system.  Spack Consulting has extensive experience preparing Traffic Impact Studies for all types of developments.  You can read about the top ten land uses studied over the last few years, but rest assured, Spack Consulting has prepared studies for developments similar to yours.

    Other types of traffic studies include safety studies, intersection traffic control evaluations, roundabout or signal justifications, and corridor operational reviews, to name a few.  Many of these are present within a Traffic Impact Study, but can also be stand-alone projects.  Spack Consulting has completed numerous traffic studies for government agencies that do not include a specific development, but instead identify existing issues and potential solutions.

    For most traffic studies, Spack Consulting uses the cutting edge Vistro/Vissim software package to efficiently prepare traffic forecasts, capacity analyses, and micro-simulations for our projects.  Vistro allows for quick scenario planning and iterations, which in turn allows the Spack Consulting team to hone in on not only figuring out what transportation improvements will be needed for a proposed development or a troubled corridor, but when those improvements will be needed.  A side benefit of the Vistro package is that it is very simple to change the modeling and whole Traffic Impact Study for changes in a development plan.  Read more about our work with Vistro/Vissim here and here.

  2. 2Travel Demand Management Plans

    Travel Demand Management Plans

    Travel Demand Management Plans (TDM Plans) are plans for implementing measures to reduce the amount of vehicles driving around with a single person in them during rush hour.  The plans are usually implemented by an employer with a goal of reducing their impact to the roadway system and reducing the need for costly improvements.  TDM Plans focus on multi-modal improvements, such as providing bike lockers, as well as non-infrastructure changes like flexible hours and remote work environments.  Several cities in Minnesota, notably Minneapolis, Bloomington, and St. Paul, require TDM Plans for new developments.

    Spack Consulting performed a first of its kind study to document how effective TDM Plans are at actually reducing vehicle and parking trips, which you can Read Here.  It was found TDM Plans reduce rush hour traffic at an employer by about 35% and peak parking is reduced by about 20%.  Doing things like building bike racks/shower rooms and subsidizing transit passes leads to significant development and maintenance cost reductions.

    Spack Consulting prepares Traffic Impact Studies to identify capacity improvements, but also prepares Travel Demand Management Plans to reduce vehicle demand on the roadways.

  3. 3Traffic Signal Tune-Up

    Traffic Signal Tune-Up

    Traffic signal systems are a fundamental component of transportation system. The red, yellow, and green lights instantly recognizable to every driver. Much like a car, heating system, or computer, these traffic signals need occasional service to keep them running their best.

    In most cases, upkeep of traffic signal systems is divided into two components: Maintenance, which examines whether the system components are working, and Operations, which examines the system timing. In many agencies, these components are also subdivided amongst departments with Maintenance considered public works and timing considered engineering. This can lead to multiple people or groups reviewing a single traffic signal.

    Spack Consulting provides an industry-leading service that combines both items – the Traffic Signal Tune-Up. This service is intended to assist agencies in completing the functions that will keep your signal system running efficiently, in terms of its components and for drivers. The benefits of our Traffic Signal Tune-Up include:

    ♦ Confirming all parts are operating as intended (i.e. no blank indications or non-working push buttons)

    ♦ Identifying potential issues before they become a major problem

    ♦ Reducing overall intersection delays and corridor travel times

    ♦ Saving fuel, along with lower emissions, through less vehicle idling

    ♦ Accounting for new signal timing guidance (like all-red timing or pedestrian crossing times)

    ♦ Complying with the new Minnesota law regarding signal timing (we wrote about it here)

    Here is what you can expect with our new Traffic Signal Tune-Up Service:

    ♦ Intersection turning movement count

    ♦ 16-Point field inspection, including basic cabinet maintenance

    ♦ Development of two or more signal timing plans

    ♦ Implementation of the developed signal timing plans

    ♦ Final report detailing the counts, results of the inspection, and the final timing plans

    With three Tune-Up levels (Bronze, Silver, or Gold), you can pick which services are best for your individual intersections. Click here to download our Traffic Signal Tune-Up Packages and pricing.

    Beyond our basic Tune-Up, we can accommodate lots of different circumstances. Whether railroad coordination, corridor interconnection, or weekend plans, we stand ready to assist you.

  4. 4Parking Studies

    Parking Studies

    Parking is generally guided by city ordinances and guidelines that uniformly determine the number of spaces required for a type of development.  This outdated mode of thinking has resulted in the over building of parking lots with associated negative consequences.  Spack Consulting has assisted several property owners in redeveloping this underutilized asset.  The parking demand for the existing buildings on site is measured, the amount of unused parking is identified, and potential development schemes are iterated to determine a development plan that can be built on the unused land without causing a shortage of parking.  This unique form of transportation planning maximizes our existing infrastructure to the benefit of developers, cities, and the general public.

  5. 5Traffic Control Design

    Traffic Control Design

    Once the traffic study has identified and recommended necessary improvements, the next step in the process is usually the design and plan preparation for construction. Spack Consulting provides design services, for traffic control elements. This generally includes traffic signals, roundabout layouts, street signs, pavement markings, and traffic control during construction.

    We recommend having Spack Consulting assist the project’s prime civil engineering consultant by either directly designing or providing a Quality Control/Quality Assurance check on the traffic control plan. This type of partnership is usually most cost-effective for our clients while still providing the expert traffic engineering needed.


  • Traffic Studies

    Traffic Studies

    Traffic studies can take many different forms, but all will generally analyze the existing and future transportation network with a goal of providing solutions for identified issues.  The most common type of study is a Traffic Impact Study, which evaluates the potential impact of proposed developments on the nearby transportation system.  Spack Consulting has extensive experience preparing Traffic Impact Studies for all types of developments.  You can read about the top ten land uses studied over the last few years, but rest assured, Spack Consulting has prepared studies for developments similar to yours.

    Other types of traffic studies include safety studies, intersection traffic control evaluations, roundabout or signal justifications, and corridor operational reviews, to name a few.  Many of these are present within a Traffic Impact Study, but can also be stand-alone projects.  Spack Consulting has completed numerous traffic studies for government agencies that do not include a specific development, but instead identify existing issues and potential solutions.

    For most traffic studies, Spack Consulting uses the cutting edge Vistro/Vissim software package to efficiently prepare traffic forecasts, capacity analyses, and micro-simulations for our projects.  Vistro allows for quick scenario planning and iterations, which in turn allows the Spack Consulting team to hone in on not only figuring out what transportation improvements will be needed for a proposed development or a troubled corridor, but when those improvements will be needed.  A side benefit of the Vistro package is that it is very simple to change the modeling and whole Traffic Impact Study for changes in a development plan.  Read more about our work with Vistro/Vissim here and here.

  • Travel Demand Management Plans

    Travel Demand Management Plans

    Travel Demand Management Plans (TDM Plans) are plans for implementing measures to reduce the amount of vehicles driving around with a single person in them during rush hour.  The plans are usually implemented by an employer with a goal of reducing their impact to the roadway system and reducing the need for costly improvements.  TDM Plans focus on multi-modal improvements, such as providing bike lockers, as well as non-infrastructure changes like flexible hours and remote work environments.  Several cities in Minnesota, notably Minneapolis, Bloomington, and St. Paul, require TDM Plans for new developments.

    Spack Consulting performed a first of its kind study to document how effective TDM Plans are at actually reducing vehicle and parking trips, which you can Read Here.  It was found TDM Plans reduce rush hour traffic at an employer by about 35% and peak parking is reduced by about 20%.  Doing things like building bike racks/shower rooms and subsidizing transit passes leads to significant development and maintenance cost reductions.

    Spack Consulting prepares Traffic Impact Studies to identify capacity improvements, but also prepares Travel Demand Management Plans to reduce vehicle demand on the roadways.

  • Traffic Signal Tune-Up

    Traffic Signal Tune-Up

    Traffic signal systems are a fundamental component of transportation system. The red, yellow, and green lights instantly recognizable to every driver. Much like a car, heating system, or computer, these traffic signals need occasional service to keep them running their best.

    In most cases, upkeep of traffic signal systems is divided into two components: Maintenance, which examines whether the system components are working, and Operations, which examines the system timing. In many agencies, these components are also subdivided amongst departments with Maintenance considered public works and timing considered engineering. This can lead to multiple people or groups reviewing a single traffic signal.

    Spack Consulting provides an industry-leading service that combines both items – the Traffic Signal Tune-Up. This service is intended to assist agencies in completing the functions that will keep your signal system running efficiently, in terms of its components and for drivers. The benefits of our Traffic Signal Tune-Up include:

    ♦ Confirming all parts are operating as intended (i.e. no blank indications or non-working push buttons)

    ♦ Identifying potential issues before they become a major problem

    ♦ Reducing overall intersection delays and corridor travel times

    ♦ Saving fuel, along with lower emissions, through less vehicle idling

    ♦ Accounting for new signal timing guidance (like all-red timing or pedestrian crossing times)

    ♦ Complying with the new Minnesota law regarding signal timing (we wrote about it here)

    Here is what you can expect with our new Traffic Signal Tune-Up Service:

    ♦ Intersection turning movement count

    ♦ 16-Point field inspection, including basic cabinet maintenance

    ♦ Development of two or more signal timing plans

    ♦ Implementation of the developed signal timing plans

    ♦ Final report detailing the counts, results of the inspection, and the final timing plans

    With three Tune-Up levels (Bronze, Silver, or Gold), you can pick which services are best for your individual intersections. Click here to download our Traffic Signal Tune-Up Packages and pricing.

    Beyond our basic Tune-Up, we can accommodate lots of different circumstances. Whether railroad coordination, corridor interconnection, or weekend plans, we stand ready to assist you.

  • Parking Studies

    Parking Studies

    Parking is generally guided by city ordinances and guidelines that uniformly determine the number of spaces required for a type of development.  This outdated mode of thinking has resulted in the over building of parking lots with associated negative consequences.  Spack Consulting has assisted several property owners in redeveloping this underutilized asset.  The parking demand for the existing buildings on site is measured, the amount of unused parking is identified, and potential development schemes are iterated to determine a development plan that can be built on the unused land without causing a shortage of parking.  This unique form of transportation planning maximizes our existing infrastructure to the benefit of developers, cities, and the general public.

  • Traffic Control Design

    Traffic Control Design

    Once the traffic study has identified and recommended necessary improvements, the next step in the process is usually the design and plan preparation for construction. Spack Consulting provides design services, for traffic control elements. This generally includes traffic signals, roundabout layouts, street signs, pavement markings, and traffic control during construction.

    We recommend having Spack Consulting assist the project’s prime civil engineering consultant by either directly designing or providing a Quality Control/Quality Assurance check on the traffic control plan. This type of partnership is usually most cost-effective for our clients while still providing the expert traffic engineering needed.