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Our Traffic Study

Walter Kulash, P.E.
Transportation Planner, Florida #45920 

P.O. Box 252 (mail)
32 Blands Knob Road (express)
Little Switzerland, NC      28749
407 491 9888

 January 17, 2014

Citizens for the Hampstead Bypass
Hampstead, NC

I have completed a “community specific” traffic analysis to estimate the future traffic volumes between the Hampstead Bypass and Central Hampstead. This study shows clearly that a Bypass with only two Central Hampstead interchanges (Southern and Northern) is more than adequate for these future traffic volumes, and that a third interchange (Midtown) is not needed.

I projected this “community specific” traffic by applying the hourly trip generation rates from the definitive ITE (Institute of Traffic Engineers) Trip Generation Manual to projected year 2035 data (population, households, businesses) for Central Hampstead. Future  population and households were computed by expanding existing census counts by growth rates provided by Pender County Planning. Future business activity was projected by expanding a detailed roster of existing employment and commercial floor areas within Central Hampstead. School trips were obtained from recent counts of vehicle turning movements into schools, and were corroborated against ITE Trip Generation Manual rates.

My Central Hampstead study area, centered along a four-mile stretch of US 17, is bounded on the south by the Bypass Southern interchange (on NC 210 just west of Food Lion), on the north by the Bypass Northern Interchange (just north of the schools complex on US 17), on the east by the Intracoastal Waterway and on the west by the Bypass itself. The Intracoastal Waterway, conservation land to the west of US 17 and the Bypass itself constrain the amount of developable land in Central Hampstead, eliminating the possibility that suburban sprawl might add significant amounts of travel to the Central Hampstead area.

For comparability with NCDOT traffic model projections, I have adopted the year 2035 (ten years after opening of the Bypass) as my forecast year.

My completed study shows:

1. NCDOT’s traffic model projections of year 2035 travel between the Bypass and Central Hampstead greatly exceed (over double) the year 2035 travel as computed from ITE Trip Generation Manual applied to community data. This discrepancy is large, and beyond the limits typically acceptable in transportation planning.

2. The difference, in traffic volume to/from Central Hampstead, between the NCDOT model and the ITE community-based projections is greater than the entire volume projected by NCDOT for the Mid-Town interchange. Therefore,

3.  The year 2035 travel between the Bypass, US 17 and Central Hampstead can easily be accommodated on two interchanges: the Northern and the Southern.

WalterKulashWalter Kulash
Professional Engineer, Florida #45920

Walter Kulash, P.E. has over 30 years of experience as a traffic engineer, for engineering consultants and currently as an independent public-interest traffic engineer. Mr. Kulash’s approach to traffic engineering reaches for a new balance point, between the long-held engineering goal of moving as much traffic as efficiently as possible, and the evolving view of streets as valuable for all users, particularly the non-motorized modes of walking and bicycling. Reaching this new balance point typically involves redefining the acceptable level of traffic service, establishing a (usually lower) vehicular design speed reflecting shared use of a street, reallocating the street space between motorized and non-motorized users, adding to the quality (not merely quantity) of pedestrian and bicycle accommodations and dispelling widely-held but obsolete notions of safety. Typical sponsors for striking this new balance point are cities, community development groups, complete streets advocacy groups, new urbanist designers, non-governmental organizations, the retail industry and, increasingly, the transportation planning field itself.