PennDOT released their latest edition of Publication 46 – Traffic Engineering Manual in early March. The document, which is dated January 2013, includes new requirements for the performance of traffic impact studies and the associated roadway improvements design. The new manual was discussed at the Penn State Transportation Conference in early December 2012 at which time it was predicted to be released by the end of 2012.
The revisions to the manual include which software packages can be utilized for performing traffic operations analysis and traffic signal system coordination. It also includes changes to the default parameters utilized with the Highway Capacity Manual calculations. The new manual continues to promote the determination of local parameters for the analysis and the performance of multi-period analysis.
As of January 2013 PennDOT now also requires the use of the 2010 Highway Capacity Manual Methodologies in all new traffic studies. While the default factors now included in Pub. 46 are based on a small sample size Benchmark supports their use and the analysis of operational conditions with multi-periods especially when the traffic demand exceeds roadway capacity.
The link to the new Pub. 46 Traffic Engineering Manual is below. Paste this link into your browser to view a pdf file of the new manual.
Pete Terry was one of the presenters at a pre-conference session of the Penn State Transportation and Safety Conference (http://www.outreach.psu.edu/programs/transportation/registration.html). The Session focused on the 2010 Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) and how PennDOT is implementing it into their Highway Occupancy Permit requirements. As a member of the TRB Highway Capacity and Quality of Service committee Pete presented a “national” perspective of the manual and its new capabilities and limitations. One presenter focused on the importance of identifying which HCM analysis a specific project would require at the TIS Scoping meeting and the specific software programs which PennDOT will allow for the different types of analysis. Another presenter focused on the importance of proper data collection (determine traffic demand not traffic passing through intersection) and the use of multiple time periods to capture the effect of the queue of vehicles from unmet demand.
The conference was officially kicked-off with PA Secretary of Transportation Barry Schoch peaking before a lunch crowd of over 250 about the changes PennDOT has made in their maintenance program and about the prospects for increased funding for transportation on the State level. Lunch was actually held so that he could complete his remarks and then travel back to Harrisburg to meet with the Governor to discuss funding options. He indicated that all funding sources identified in the Transportation Funding Coalition Study from 2011 (ftp://ftp.dot.state.pa.us/public/pdf/TFAC/TFAC%20Executive%20Summary.pdf) are being discussed and that action may be taken in the Spring of 2013. Benchmark encourages you to read the report and contact your state senators and representatives to tell them how important fixing and maintaining our infrastructure is to you to promote transportation safety and economic opportunity.