When a new development project is being planned, an essential component of the planning is to determine whether the development will adversely affect the residents and businesses of the area by changing traffic patterns to cause congestion, delays, and traffic accidents. However, there is concern that “traffic engineers with an eye toward assisting developers expedite their development approval rather than delivering an unbiased evaluation of the impact of the development on the surrounding traffic system,” in the words of a 2006 study co-sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration. As a result, municipalities may not have the necessary information to make decisions about whether to approve development projects, may actually be “duped” by traffic engineers who are hired by the developer or even work for the Ohio Department of Transportation.
Traffic impact studies are supposed to be objective assessments of the effect of traffic and make suggestions for traffic mitigation based on the projected growth in traffic. This includes not only the increased number of cars, but also the potential for increased large truck traffic, and the impact this increased traffic will have on current and projected pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Increased truck traffic is important because it can significantly increase congestion, and increase the likelihood of dangerous truck accidents, especially in confined traffic situations. Bicycle and pedestrian traffic may be common on a road that currently supports low traffic volume, leading to increased dangers of bicycle and pedestrian accidents.
Failure to conduct appropriate traffic studies may lead to the design and construction of defective roadways that foster serious traffic accidents. If you have been hurt as a result of an accident that was due to a poorly designed roadway in or around Columbus, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries. To learn more, please contact the personal injury lawyers of Robert W. Kerpsack, CO, LPA for a free initial consultation.