February 2024
Traffic & Planning Studies 101
Typically at DNKYP, we talk about active construction work. If you’ve been following our social media pages or visit our website, you know that during construction season we share real-time updates of traffic impacts. If there’s a lane closure or traffic shift happening, we’ll tell you about it so you can plan ahead.

But did you know that before most major projects, KYTC goes through a thorough study process to make sure the project is needed and to engineer the best final product possible? There are certainly some roadwork projects that don’t require studies, but there are plenty that do. Today we’re going to talk a little bit about planning studies and traffic studies, why they’re important and what’s happening now. Don’t worry… there won’t be a quiz.
What are traffic studies?

A traffic study is a detailed analysis of the infrastructure or roadways in a designated area, conducted by a consultant or in-house staff. Typically, a traffic study is done when there’s an ongoing traffic problem impacting traffic flow, or it can be done in conjunction with design projects or planning studies. Traffic studies look at existing and future traffic on a particular stretch of roadway. The result of a traffic study is an engineering document that can be used to inform future improvements and projects in the area.
What are planning studies?

Don’t confuse traffic studies with planning studies! (Easier said than done, we know.) Planning studies are conducted after the traffic study in preparation for most major roadway improvement projects. These studies look at the environmental impacts of potential roadway improvements, any issues with the actual rocks or landscape (known as geotechnical issues) in the area, and existing and proposed traffic counts. A planning study also analyzes the actual engineering of the roadway, drainage impacts, potential right of way impacts, and any utility relocation impacts, and allows for comments from local officials.

Typically a planning study includes the purpose and need of the study, public input, creating project alternatives, and evaluating socio-economic impacts and cost-effectiveness. Most of the time, detailed engineering is done during a later phase, once the study is completed and the decision to move forward is made.
Why does KYTC do traffic studies?

Traffic studies ensure that traffic flow issues are solved with the best possible solution. For example, imagine that two intersections have the same problem with congestion, but because of various factors, one is better served with a roundabout while the other best benefits from the addition of new lanes in each direction. 
What are some recent studies that have happened in District 6?

  • US 25 Corridor Study Boone/Kenton
  • Northern Kentucky ATDM Feasibility Study
  • 4th Street Roadway Reconfiguration Study

You can find more information about traffic studies here.
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