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Case Study: The Traffic Impacts of COVID-19

Traffic impact assessment projects have been a little different recently.

We've collected data on typical traffic patterns, but given the restrictions we've been dealing with, results have had to be analysed, interpreted and estimated based on reduced volumes compared to historical data.

Between March and May, traffic volumes have plummeted due in part to restrictions requiring many to work from home.

Through busy intersections, this was down by as much as 60-70%!

So, can we use data between March 2020 and now in detailed traffic engineering assessments where traffic volumes are crucial in assessing the appropriateness of a development?

Probably not: it's clearly not ideal basing your design on data that is 70% down.

Accordingly, callibration, estimation and good engineering principles are required.

There has been talk of reduced traffic volumes becoming more commonplace post-pandemic. While this may be the case to some degree, I would not completely rule out a return to pre-COVID-19 scenarios.

That's why we've been using pre-pandemic historical data to ‘normalise’ our figures. By doing this, despite what's going on right now, we can give our clients a clearer picture of what they'll need to anticipate and design for accordingly.

If you'd like to talk to a traffic consultant to get some clarity for your plans moving forward, get in touch with us.

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