Traffic study reviews

The information below can be used to assess some elements associated with a traffic study:


Cover page

Does the documents cover page utilise the latest logo for the client, e.g. Transport for NSW Roads and Maritime Services?

Does the name of the traffic study appear on the front cover?

Are any additional descriptions on the front cover appropriate to the traffic study?

Does the date of the report appear on the front cover?

Is an appropriate photo or piece of visual information placed on the front cover? Is it interesting and relevant to the study?



Document information page

Is the information related to the document outlined?

Are document revision dates and issues listed?

Is there a section that identifies the document author, reviewer, and the person approving the document? Does it include the dates and a signatures or acceptance area?

Is copright identified?

Is the document owner identified?



Table of contents

Are all the sections of the report correctly listed?

Are the page numbers of the report listed in the table of contents consistent with the actual page number of that section within the document?

Is an executive summary provided?

Is the project background identified?

Are options identified?

Is the traffic modelling and analysis identified?

Are options assessed and if the study covers network options are these tested?

Is any stakeholder consultation identified?

Is the options assessment summary identified?

Are the next steps identified?

Are there any references that should be listed that are associated with the study, such as a literature review, and a desktop database search?




List of Tables

Are all the tables listed here?





List of Figures

Are all of the figures listed?



List of Appendices

Are all the appendices listed?

Are the appendices listed in an appropriate order?

Are any appendices missing?








Executive Summary

Does the executive summary summarise the information in a correlative way to the main body of the report? The order should flow through in a sensible manner and in the same way that the main body report flows through.





Does the introduction cover fully the following elements that have lead to the traffic study being required:

  • Who
  • What
  • Where
  • How
  • Why
  • When

Does the introduction spell out the chronological order of major events that lead to the start of the traffic study?

Does the introduction identify what elements are considered as part of the study?

Does the introduction identify what criteria will be used to evaluate the study?

Does the introduction identify the key considerations associated with the traffic study?

Does the introduction identify the studies objectives?

Does the introduction identify the assessment method is to reach a conclusion for the traffic study?

Does the introduction identify the parties that were involved in the traffic study?







Are the councils involved identified?

Are the number of new dwellings, new residents, new employment identified?

Are other transport and major road corridors / network identified?

Is the location of the project explained within a state context? A local context? Are appropriate maps provided that explain this clearly? Is the study area clearly identified on any map?

Are the existing conditions explained for:

  • Land use: what is the land use for the areas adjacent to, as well as surrounding the study site? Where is the industrial, commercial and residential land? Where are railway stations and shopping centres? Where are alternative routes to the route being studied? Where are there existing barriers to vehicle movements? Where are bridges / level crossings? These can also be shown clearly on a local area map?
  • Road network: Identify the existing road network in terms of appropriate road hierarchy in terms of Freeways / Motorways, state, regional, local, arterial, sub-arterial, collector, local, etc. On a map identify the roads and suburs, and local government areas, suburbs, etc that allow for a full understanding of the region. Identify any constraint points such as bridges or level crossings and their limitations, etc.
  • Traffic volumes and patterns: Was a traffic survey done? If so where was the survey done? When was the survey undertaken? What did the survey consider? Was there a higher traffic volume in the morning peak compared to the afternoon peak, or vice versa?
    • Outline the traffic survey data trend for each of the important roads to the traffic study: What were the volumes of traffic in vehicles per hour that occurred on each of the roads? Where did traffic want to go to? What did heavy vehicles do? Consider the origin and destination of the traffic.
    • Provide maps that identify the number of vehicles per hour and the percentage of heavy vehicles. Also identify the locations that are significant to the study such as road names. An morning (AM) peak and an afternoon (PM) peak should be provided.
    • Provide tabled information that identifies:
      • each of the significant locations to the project
      • the northbound direction and southbound direction, or eastbound and westbound, and two-way breakdown of:
        • For the AM peak
          • vehicles in vehicles per hour
          • Number of heavy vehicles and the percentage of heavy vehicles as a proportion of the total number of vehicles.
        • For the PM peak
          • vehicles in vehicles per hour
          • Number of heavy vehicles and the percentage of heavy vehicles as a proportion of the total number of vehicles.
        • The AADT or vehicles per day
    • Was an origin and destination survey undertaken? Was this survey taken at the same time as the other traffic survey? Explain what the origin and destination survey is telling about the traffic flow. Break down the origin and destination data explanation into morning (AM) peak and afternoon (PM) peak. Use map figures that show the distribution of vehicles through the network. This can be done by using thicker lines at the origin, with proportionately thick lines branching off as the turning movements occur.
    • For heavy vehicles:
      • Are the general heavy vehicle routes explained, including where heavy vehicles are restricted from going?
      • Are the b-double routes shown on a map and explained?
      • Are the 4.6m high vehicle routes shown?
      • Provide a table that outlines the heavy vehicle volume breakdown for the northbound direction and southbound direction, or eastbound and westbound, and two-way breakdown of:
        • For the AM peak
          • vehicles in vehicles per hour
          • Number of heavy vehicles and the percentage of heavy vehicles as a proportion of the total number of vehicles.
          • The vehicles per hour broken down into appropriate categories such as: rigid, semi-trailer, and b-double.
        • For the PM peak
          • vehicles in vehicles per hour
          • Number of heavy vehicles and the percentage of heavy vehicles as a proportion of the total number of vehicles.
          • The vehicles per hour broken down into appropriate categories such as: rigid, semi-trailer, and b-double.
        • The AADT or vehicles per day which can be as a total, and the breakdown
  • Public transport:
    • For busses
      • Provide a map showing the bus routes within the area of study.
      • Identify any bus routes within the study area.
      • Identify the service frequency on weekdays and weekends, including any times they start and cease services.
    • For rail services:
      • Provide a map showing the train route within the area of study.
      • Identify where train services start and finish within the railway line.
      • Identify the frequency of services on weekdays and weekends, including any times that they start or cease, or increase or decrease services.
      • Are there any known future proposed rail connections that need to be considered?
      • Identify what role any railway station has on the area of the study.
      • Identify any level crossings that will affect the road network within the area of study.

Existing plans and studies

Are there any sort of planning instruments or zones that occur in or around the area of study? For example a growth centre? If there is a growth centre plan then identify:

  • How large is the area affected in hectares?
  • Which councils are affected?
  • How many dwellings have been identified within the area?
  • How many residents are expected to move to the area?
  • Which precincts or areas are expected to be residential, commercial, and industrial lands?
  • If any precincts have been released, and which precincts have not been released?


If there are other studies that need to be incorporated into the traffic study to make the traffic study more holistic then:

  • Identify the name of the study, who it was undertaken by and when it was undertaken
  • Summarise the study and its findings, and recommendations.



Selection of options

If any options were developed in the past, identify these options and whether they are suitable to remain options, or are not viable.

Is the Bureau of Transport Statistics information contained within the Strategic Travel Model (STM) used within the traffic modelling?

Is a suitable type of software used to build the traffic model? For example, the EMME (Equilibrium Model / Multimodal Equilibrium) model is a travel demand modelling system used for urban, regional, and national transportation forecasting.

On a basic level you can check any proposal based on an assumed capacity of 900 vehicles / lane / hour) for a level of service D on all routes. This can give you a rough idea about whether the number of lanes can meet the capacity demanded by the traffic volume.

Does the modelling make sense? For example is it better to have one 8 lane road (4 lanes in each direction) or two roads with 4 lane on each (2 lanes in each direction)? One larger intersection is less likely to be able to accommodate incidents, and may lead to an increase in travel distance for more people, and may not integrate well with the surrounding network.

Is the proposed network likely to be built all at once, or is it more likely to be staged over a longer period of time? If it is stage then clear explanation of the capacity that will be required at certain times should be identified. This can be done by graphing the capacity required for future years against future time periods.

If the study area is large, are the number of road corridors proposed suitably spaced to provide for capacity required?

Is there a “do minimum” option that can be used to compare all of the options against?

Is the “do minimum” option as close to the current situation as is possible? This will mean that any behaviour that is observed within the “do minimum” model is as close to what might occur as possible. That way any option can use the “do minimum” option to measure any differences.

Identify whether the “do minimum” model is an acceptable outcome, or does it have issues such as, road safety concerns, congestion, political concerns. Is the “do minimum” model considered a realistic option for the future?

Identify each of the components for the road network that comprise the “do minimum” model. For each of the components, identify any assumptions, such as opening times or maintenance of traffic lanes, etc.

Define what an alignment option would need to achieve to be appropriate for consideration within the traffic study.

Provide the options proposed on a single map. This map should also include the relevant significant elements, e.g. existing bridge locations, railway level crossings, street names, etc. The options should be numbered in an appropriate manner to make it easier to follow when making reference to them in the report.




Traffic analysis and modelling

An explanation on how the traffic model was developed should be provided. For example, there might be an explanation on the creation of the mesoscopic model first, followed by the microsimulation either as pockets, or as a separate model.

Have the traffic models been developed for morning (AM) and evening (PM) peak periods?

Does the modelling take into account a broader area than the local area of study?

Does the road network within the model take into account the motorway, arterial, distributor, and local distributor roads?

Does the model break down traffic into car, light commercial, heavy vehicles, and buses?

Provide a traffic model map for the area of study so that the reader can see exactly what has been placed into the computer model.

Was an RMS model used as the basis for the development of the traffic model, or was a model built from other information?

Were traffic counts used to calibrate the model? Were trip tables used to derive the traffic model, and then adjusted to match the traffic counts.

Was traffic modelling undertaken in accordance with RMS traffic modelling guidelines?

Were all assumptions from TfNSW and RMS on the future road network upgrades incorporated in the future year base case “do minimum” scenario.

Does the modelling utilise the TfNSW Bureau of Transport Statistics Strategic Travel Model (STM)? This identifies the forecast population, dwellings and employment changes for different timeframes.

Is it necessary to get any planning information on planned precincts from the Department of Planning and Environment?