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Thread: Traffic studies as tool to impede new development

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Traffic studies as tool to impede new development

    My Florida County is requiring traffic studies within a three mile radius for subdivision of more than 5 lots. This renders meaningless the 50 lot threshhold for "de minimus" impacts as outlined in F.S. Chpt. 163. Does anyone out there have experience with this sort of thing". It is clearly a tool to stifle development, as the County is well aware of the codition and capacity of the roads.
    Is this sort of excessive regulation legal when it exceeds State guidlines by huge margins ?

  2. #2
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    More than 5 lots is certainly absurbly low. I agree that is silly. Whether it's intent is to stifle development or the result of a overly fussy development view is unknown, to me at least.

    We only require is for subdivisions of 100+, which certainly is a threshold at which there are actual impacts.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Our county requires a traffic impact study for major subdivisions (more than 5 lots), as part of the EA. The applicant has the option of requesting from the Planning Board an exemption from preparing the EA, if the proposal meets exemption criteria (few do). The Planning Board might let a 6-10 lot subdivision slide on the traffic impact study.

    Our county has many substandard roads that require mitigation to accept additional traffic volumes.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  4. #4

    3 mile radius

    A 3 mile radius for a 5 lot subdivision seems like a big area. Maybe a few blocks either side of the proposed access road, just for turn lane justification - if it is a busy roadway, otherwise most residential streets would be fine with a 5 lot subdivision. Unless they are trying to "clamp down" on developers start out with 5 lots, then add 50 or so just to get around the initial regs and buy them some time in case infrastructure improvements are necessitated.
    Who's gonna re-invent the wheel today?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    I don't see that requirement as being too ridiculous; for our municipality, a traffic study is required for anything over 2 dwelling units. If you have a failing segment, I think that any increase needs to be mitigated for. 5 lots may be de minimus, but that's another 50 trips a day, at least, which for a smaller failing segment could be extremely detrimental.

  6. #6

    Re: failing segment

    As far as requiring a study for 2 lots in a residential area, the additional traffic impact (even considering turning traffic) on a residential roadway would be minimal, unless one of the residents drove a semi truck. Truck traffic is the basis for roadway design, and adding a few hundred cars/day to most roads is minimal impact on a residential street.
    Remember, 1 semi=1600 cars impact wise on a road, that being said, making a developer to (structurally) improve a roadway for 5 houses is rediculous.
    Who's gonna re-invent the wheel today?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Flying Monkeys's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Inventor View post
    My Florida County is requiring traffic studies within a three mile radius for subdivision of more than 5 lots. This renders meaningless the 50 lot threshhold for "de minimus" impacts as outlined in F.S. Chpt. 163. Does anyone out there have experience with this sort of thing". It is clearly a tool to stifle development, as the County is well aware of the codition and capacity of the roads.
    Is this sort of excessive regulation legal when it exceeds State guidlines by huge margins ?
    There is no more real "de minimus"... read the new bills. Local govt is on the hook, they can no longer over load the system 5 cars at a time... also, no more backlogging, they have to fix that to....Florida is like a Dali painting, very surreal.
    What’s in a name? – Your reputation….:)

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    There was also legislation passed last year which allows for the construction of new development on failing segments, provided that the developer pays his 'fair share'.

    I think the broader issue is this: Would you allow a CO for a house if the plumbing was bad? What about if there was not adequate water? Why are roads any different?

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    WOW.

    So If I were doing 6 lots, I'd have to do a traffic study that studies the road network at a 3mile radius???

    I'll see you in court.

    That will be challenged by a developer, and the developer will win.

    I dont know if I've ever seen a traffic study w/ 3mile radius. Maybe the new stadiums in Philly, but I dont think the studies were that large.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Flying Monkeys's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Jeff View post
    WOW.


    I'll see you in court.

    That will be challenged by a developer, and the developer will win.
    Not in Florida, see you in court; I win, unless you have lots of influence.

    Most municipalities have at least a one to two mile radius. Many have adopted the DRI standard which looks at your impacts based on project traffic consuming 5% on the MSV (Max Service Volume).

    The bigger issue is the shift to making municipalities responsible for failing roads. They are becoming really wary of approving stuff that pay a prop share (a portion of the improvement cost) leaving the locals holding the tab for the rest of the cost of the improvement. This means they can turn down the prop share because the locals do not want to be responsible for the total improvement

    Stay tuned to Fl, we are involved in an interesting experiment concerning Growth Management, or lack there of.
    What’s in a name? – Your reputation….:)

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    I'll say it again.

    3 mile radius on a traffic study for 6 units? I will see you in court. I dont care what State you are in.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Random Traffic Guy's avatar
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    I agree, 3 mile radius is moving obviously into the "Let's $&#*@ with developers" range for any size of development barring a major stadium, much less 5 houses. Most around here have 1 mile and we can usually talk it down from there for 99% of projects. Most also have decent thresholds for requiring anything at all, like 1000 daily trips, or even 5000 daily trips in one case (Plano, which is why I was confused in a recent thread when someone said it was a hard town to develop things in).

    3 mile radius at 1/4 mile spacing would be 440 intersections LOL. Even 1 mile translates around here to 20+ intersections, which at $50 per hour for counters is $4000-8000 just in counter time. Plus the size makes the resulting study that much bigger and more expensive.

    My philosophy is for municipalities should publish their thoroughfare plan and schedule for construction. Let owners build what they want on their land. If it is too crowded, their developments will suffer and over time learn their lesson. A big part of this is getting staffs and elected officials to grow a backbone.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Random Traffic Guy View post

    3 mile radius at 1/4 mile spacing would be 440 intersections LOL. Even 1 mile translates around here to 20+ intersections, which at $50 per hour for counters is $4000-8000 just in counter time. Plus the size makes the resulting study that much bigger and more expensive.
    .
    LOL...I'm glad you did the math, because I was about to.

    The above statement shows just how ridiculous this ordinance is.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Random Traffic Guy View post
    My philosophy is for municipalities should publish their thoroughfare plan and schedule for construction. Let owners build what they want on their land. If it is too crowded, their developments will suffer and over time learn their lesson. A big part of this is getting staffs and elected officials to grow a backbone.
    You're not really calling for no municipal coordination of land use and transportation planning in the hope that market will make these determinations, are you?
    Local governments take this approach all the time by deferring to traffic engineers and ignoring planning. And it is usually a disaster.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Flying Monkeys's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Jeff View post
    LOL...I'm glad you did the math, because I was about to.

    The above statement shows just how ridiculous this ordinance is.
    Not really.... maybe they just want to hold you responsible for your impacts. However, if you had that many intersections, chances are you are infilling or redeveloping, therefore you would get trip credit for what was there, reducing your net new trips (Fl).

    And yes you are correct about **** with the developers; as I said, in FL, the locals are being put on the hook. So there is new incentive to **** with developers (and their 'creative' traffic engineers).
    Last edited by Tranplanner; 12 Jul 2007 at 4:51 PM. Reason: expletitives removed
    What’s in a name? – Your reputation….:)

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    ""So there is new incentive to **** with developers (and their 'creative' traffic engineers).""


    Is this a job requirement for FL planners?

    Why dont you just "plan" for the kind of development you want, instead of knee jerk ****ing with developers??

    Sorry, but this attitude really get me. You need to rethink what your job purpose is.
    Last edited by Tranplanner; 12 Jul 2007 at 4:51 PM. Reason: expletitives removed

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Flying Monkeys's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Jeff View post
    ""So there is new incentive to F&%*$ with developers (and their 'creative' traffic engineers).""


    Is this a job requirement for FL planners?

    Why dont you just "plan" for the kind of development you want, instead of knee jerk f%%king with developers??

    Sorry, but this attitude really get me. You need to rethink what your job purpose is.
    I do not make policy.... I am only relying to you what is becoming policy here.

    I do not personally set out to f*&$ with developers. I do however take it personally when their 'creative' traffic consultants push BS at me and try to tell me it is gospel. I have a problem with lying and bad ethics.

    My attitude: I am also a FL taxpayer, why should I have to bear the burden of some developer from places north trying to make a quick buck at my expense. Developers from outside FL will attempt *** that I know they don't pull in their own backyard. There is no 'knee jerk' reaction....we have been putting up with this **** for decades.

    Lastly; everyone is for good planning, until it cost them something. And that is the name of the lubricant with which FL is royally ****** with; the attempt to make the largest profit possible with the least outlay of cash. The quick BUCK.
    Last edited by Tranplanner; 12 Jul 2007 at 4:50 PM. Reason: expletitives removed
    What’s in a name? – Your reputation….:)

  18. #18
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Flying Monkeys - they are still unnecessary swear words even if you put them in astericks. Such words really are not necessary.

    That goes for not just you, but everyone.

    Relax.


    Moderator note:
    What he said.
    Last edited by Tranplanner; 12 Jul 2007 at 4:50 PM.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Flying Monkeys's avatar
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    Sorry... Why type language that I would not even speak.

    Deep breath.....relaxed.....kinda.
    What’s in a name? – Your reputation….:)

  20. #20

    In summary.........

    Yes, it looks (based on what we are seeing here) that FLA IS impeding developmenet in general with these regs. It is overkill (for the most part) that will make the engineering consultants millions. That being said, what happens to the small towns that are having a tough time attracting development that they want, they may not have the resources (staff) to "match up" against or contend against what consultants are giving them. Looks like a lose-lose, unless you are one of the rapidly growing communities or a consulting firm, then it is necessary (for those cities) or financially for the consultant. I don't think that a one-size-fits-all approach to development statewide is the answer, time will tell. Businesses relocating to, or developing in other states will show this.
    Who's gonna re-invent the wheel today?

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    Florida can be ridiculous. When I worked there we went by the ITE standard for requiring a study, but most places didn't require one, or didn't have competent staff to review it. I can understand requiring one if you have a road below adopted LOS, but once you reach that point you should have a plan in place to properly collect the money towards improving the road or utilizing another option. Requiring a study for 6 units is laughable and a waste of time and money.


    Off-topic:
    DELETED


    Moderator note:
    Get a life RT, mendelman was only asking people to keep it civil - and he did so in a much nicer way than you. Yellowcard for that.


    Last edited by Tranplanner; 16 Jul 2007 at 8:41 AM.
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


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  22. #22
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ssnyderjr View post
    Yes, it looks (based on what we are seeing here) that FLA IS impeding developmenet in general with these regs.
    One local jurisdiction in FL is doing this, it is not a statewide trend.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    And then people in those areas wonder why there is such a housing shortage, why there are so many 'black market' apartments (1F houses being illegally shared by 3 or 4), etc





    Mike

  24. #24
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    And then people in those areas wonder why there is such a housing shortage, why there are so many 'black market' apartments (1F houses being illegally shared by 3 or 4), etc





    Mike
    Maybe in some areas but not Florida, which built itself into a housing recession.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Trail Nazi's avatar
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    Many times when a jurisdiction requests a traffic study for any development it is because it may be a rural or poorer county that does not have the resources (funding or staff) to do its own study. I do not find it ridiculous for this mere request because some jurisdictions need the information and a development may be the only way it can afford to get the information. At least this has been my experience for a number of jurisdictions that I have worked for in Florida. IMHO, I guess if a developer wants to 'play ball' in a jurisdiction, one should learn to adapt, and be an assest to the community by providing information that will help the community become better, especially in the rural jurisdictions. When I would tell developers that they would need to provide a traffic study, 99.9% knew that it was just the cost of doing business in that jurisdiction. The other 0.01% would get in a huff and not develop........thankfully.

    Other reasons may be out the cause for why a jurisdiction may require a traffic study on so little like: hurricane/fire evacuation route timing/capacity (even if the jurisdiction is not adjacant to the coast line any additional trips may impede the overall evacuation times esp. if the trips are on the intrastate highway system), rural classifications on the fed highway system if within that radius (new development trips may impact it even if it is not directly on they system), rural roadways in general, and lastly, a jurisdiction just wants it regardless of the type of development.

    There are other issues that also may impede development such as school and water capacity. Some jurisdictions in Florida are coming to a standstill because of those two very issues more than the transportation.
    Last edited by Trail Nazi; 15 Jul 2007 at 6:35 AM. Reason: Left out other reasons for why a jurisdiction requires a study

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