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Traffic Sheds, Rural Highway Capacity, and Growth Management

By Lane Kendig, Stephen Tocknell

Road networks in some rural communities are simply inadequate to support additional development, and substantial improvement may be too costly. Traffic sheds, a new concept for many planners, can be used both for traffic analysis and regulation.

Published by APA Planning Advisory Service , 1999

Format: Paperback , 24 pp.

ISBN: 978-1-884829-31-4

Quick order code: P485

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Even zoned rural communities can experience traffic network failure when development encroaches. Improving roads to meet demand is often financially impossible for rural counties. Implementing traffic sheds — a relatively new planning concept — offers one solution.

Traffic shed analysis is worthy of consideration in counties where standard growth management techniques have been met with resistance and traffic congestion problems are starting to emerge. The traffic shed concept is, first, an analytical tool. If analysis indicates that traffic on existing roads is nearing or has exceeded available capacity, planners may use the results to persuade local officials to address growth issues.

When used as a regulatory system, a traffic shed directs rural traffic in one direction along designated county and township roads to major arterials leading to urban areas. Planners calculate road capacity, using standard transportation methodology, to implement a traffic shed system.

The report is illustrated with maps, charts, and diagrams, and includes a detailed case study of traffic shed analysis and implementation in Williamson County, Tennessee.

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