Traffic Sheds, Rural Highway Capacity, and Growth Management

PAS Report 485

By Lane Kendig, Stephen Tocknell, FAICP

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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.

Product Details

Page Count
Date Published
March 1, 1999
Adobe PDF

Table of Contents

1. The Traffic Shed Concept

2. Shortcomings in Growth Management Strategies for Rural Areas

3. Using Traffic Sheds as an Alternative Growth Management Strategy in Rural Areas

4. Traffic Shed Regulation

5. Seven Development Options Under Traffic Shed Regulation

6. A Case Study: Williamson County, Tennessee

7. Other Communities Using Traffic Sheds

8. Summary