Factors To Consider During Planning


The initial definition of the need for any highway or new development project takes place during the planning stage. This problem definition occurs at the municipalities, regional, or local level, depending on the scale of the proposed improvement. This is the key time to get the public involved and provide input into the decision making process. The problems identified usually fall into one or more of the following four categories:

  • The existing physical structure needs major repair/replacement (structure repair).
  • Existing or projected future travel demands exceed available capacity, and access to transportation and mobility need to be increased (capacity).
  • The route is experiencing an inordinate number of safety and accident problems that can only be resolved through physical, geometric changes (safety).
  • Developmental pressures along the route make a reexamination of the number, location, and physical design of access points necessary (access).

Whichever problem (or set of problems) is identified, it is important that all parties agree that the problem exists, pinpoint what the problem is, and decide whether or not they want it fixed.

Factors To Consider During Planning

It is important to look ahead during the planning stage and consider the potential impact that a proposed facility or improvement may have while the project is still in the conceptual phase. During planning, key decisions are made that will affect and limit the design options in subsequent phases. Some questions to be asked at the planning stage include:

  • How will the proposed transportation improvement affect the general physical character of the area surrounding the project?
  • Does the area to be affected have unique historic or scenic characteristics?
  • What are the safety, capacity, and cost concerns of the community?
  • Answers for such questions are found in planning level analysis, as well as in public involvement during planning.

For more information on Planning contact:

Basil Jackson
Vemco Consulting

Basil Jackson

Basil Jackson

Managing Director at Vemco Consulting
VEMCO was established in 2012 by Basil Jackson, a chartered civil engineer with more than 20 years’ experience in local government. Designations: BEng, MSc(Eng), CEng, MICE, DMS Managing Director, Vemco Consulting
Basil Jackson


Highway, Traffic & Transportation Consulting
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