What is a Traffic Impact Assessment

This page provides some guidelines for developers who require a traffic impact Assessment, or consultants interested in providing traffic engineering services. For context we cover the following concepts such as:

What is a Traffic Impact Study

A traffic impact study is a planning exercise that predicts the potential traffic implications of new developments on their adjacent road networks. These developments could be: new office buildings, residential communities, shopping malls, transit stations, or even airports. Traffic Impact Studies are also called Traffic Impact Assessments or Traffic Impact Analysis, depending on the lingo of your area.

When is a Traffic Impact Study Needed

Every new development results in changes to existing traffic patterns due to several vehicles entering and exiting it on a regular basis. Examples of this include:

  • Employees going to work at an office building.
  • Residents returning to an apartment building after work.
  • Customers shopping at malls on the weekends.

Before a developer can start construction, they first need to obtain several approvals and permits from the relevant authorities of their area.

Approval authorities could be provincial, regional, city or municipal governments depending on the location and nature of the project. A traffic impact study (TIS) report is just another document requiring approval from such an authority prior to construction.

If a proposed development is so large that the authority issuing a building permit or No Objection Certificate (NOC) expresses concerns about the number of vehicles it will add to their roads, a traffic impact study becomes necessary to explore and address those concerns.

As proactive transportation planners and traffic engineers, it then becomes our duty to predict the increase in traffic activity induced by such developments and provide solutions for the associated congestion and safety issues. This leads to better planning of transportation infrastructure that accommodates future transportation needs.

Further Guidelines on Traffic Impact Studies

For a detailed requirements for preparing of a traffic impact assessment, refer to this article.

If you require further guidance on Traffic studies or transportation engineering analyses, feel free to contact us.

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