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Q. 8, Short EAF (Part 1) Traffic / Transportation

Short Environmental Assessment Form Workbook

a. Will the proposed action result in a substantial increase in traffic above present levels?
b. Are public transportation service(s) available at or near the site of the proposed action?
c. Are any pedestrian accommodations or bicycle routes available on or near site of the proposed action?

Background Information

Understanding the demands new development places on a community's street and road network is an important part of evaluating the overall impacts of that development. New development can generate or change traffic. For example, enough traffic may be generated by a new land use to create congestion, to change community character, or to require the community to invest in additional roads. Traffic congestion itself results in a number of problems, including economic costs due to delayed travel times, air pollution, and collisions. As one roadway becomes congested, drivers might use other roadways not necessarily intended or designed for through-traffic.

Answering the Question

a. Will the proposed action result in a substantial increase in traffic above present levels?

A formal traffic study should not be needed to answer this question. Instead of a traffic study, use the table below (Table 1) to determine if your project is likely to have significant increases in traffic. This table uses the number of new vehicle trips made during peak traffic hours (weekday early morning, and late afternoon based on hours of adjacent street traffic except shopping center based on Saturday peak hour.) to help you determine if a substantial increase in traffic is likely to occur as a result of your proposed activity. This table assumes that a project generating fewer than 100 peak hour vehicle trips per day will not result in any significant increases in traffic. Note that even projects that do not result in a significant traffic increase may still negatively impact traffic in the area. This will be further evaluated in Part 2 of the SEAF.

  1. In the table below, match your project as closely as possible to the LAND USES identified in the table.
  2. Look at column 2 (THRESHOLDS). If your proposed project is less than this number of units or square feet, then it will generate less than 100 peak hour trips.
  3. If your project is below the threshold shown in column two, your project will not result in a substantial increase to traffic and you should check 'no'.

If your project is at or exceeds the threshold in column 2, then your project should be considered to result in a substantial increase in traffic and you should answer 'yes'. In this case, a traffic capacity analysis may be needed to fully evaluate potential traffic capacity impacts.

Table 1 is offered as a suggested way to understand traffic increases and illustrates the traffic that is typically generated by certain projects. This table uses the number of new vehicle trips made during peak traffic hours (early morning and late afternoon) to help you determine if a substantial increase in traffic is likely to occur as a result of your proposed activity. This table assumes that a project generating fewer than 100 peak hour vehicle trips per day will not result in any significant increases in traffic.

If the proposed land use is not included in this table and traffic generation rates are needed, the calculation of trip generation figures may require consultation with a professional in transportation analysis.

Table 1 is meant to be used as a guide, if the referenced ITE guide, or other definitive traffic information, is not available. Take note that the numbers in Table 1 may be revised over time as new editions of the guide are published. Again, however, in the absence of other information or more recent studies, Table 1 should be thought of as a useful guide.

Table 1:
Land Use Greater than or equal to 100 Peak Hour Trip Thresholds
Single Family Home 95 residential dwelling units
Apartment (renter occupied) 150 residential dwelling units
Condominium/Townhouse (owner occupied) 190 residential dwelling units
Mobile Home Park 170 residential dwelling units
Shopping Center 6,000 square feet (gross floor area)
Fast Food Restaurant with Drive-in 3,000 square feet (gross floor area)
Gas Station with Convenience Store (Fueling Positions) 7 fueling positions
Bank with Drive-in 3,000 square feet (gross floor area)
General Office 67,000 square feet (gross floor area)
Medical/Dental Office 31,000 square feet (gross floor area)
Research and Development Facility 73,000 square feet (gross floor area)
Light Industrial/Warehousing 180,000 square feet (gross floor area)
Manufacturing Plant 149,000 square feet (gross floor area)
Park-and-Ride Lot with Bus Service 170 parking spaces
Hotel/Motel 250 rooms

From: Michael Spack, Nov. 3, 2010 "Review of ITE's New Recommended Practice - Transportation Impact Analysis for Site Development" and Institute of Transportation Engineers "Transportation Impact Analyses for Site Development", Washington D.C., 2010.

For land use and floor area definitions or other uses refer to Institute of Transportation Engineers Trip Generation 9th edition Washington D.C., 2012.

In addition to the ITE trip generation data, other sources of information may also be helpful for assessing traffic/transportation impacts. For example, in New York City, land uses are significantly better detailed and related traffic impacts are actually based on studies, actual surveys, and established zones within the City.

b. Are public transportation service(s) available at or near the site of the proposed action?

Questions 8b and 8c both use the term "near". Since the focus of these questions is on pedestrian access to public and alternative modes of transportation, "near" in this case should be defined to mean "within walking distance", which is typically about one-half mile.

Answer no if there are no bus or rail services available at or near the project site.

Answer yes if bus or rail service is available at or near the project site. If the project can take advantage of existing public transportation services, you may want to add a note explaining how.

c. Are any pedestrian accommodations or bicycle routes (including signed shared roadways) available on or near site of the proposed action?

Answer no if there are no pedestrian accommodations or bicycle routes available at or near the project site.

Answer yes if pedestrian accommodations or bicycle routes are available at or near the project site. If the project can add to or link to existing pedestrian accommodations or bicycle routes (trails, paths, sidewalks, or bike lanes), you may want to add a note explaining how.

Back to Part 1 Project Information || Continue to SEAF - Question 9 - (Part 1)


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