River Falls Traffic Model

River Falls, Wisconsin

The City of River Falls (2010 U.S. Census population 15,100) retained SRF to provide technical assistance in developing their comprehensive plan. SRF’s effort, which focused on the transportation chapter, included:

  • Identifying roadways where additional capacity would be needed due to land development and traffic growth.
  • Identifying traffic volumes on new roadways to assist in the design process.
  • Determining which roadways would benefit from additional connections or bypasses.

To assist in answering these dynamic and complex questions, SRF developed a small area traffic model to help estimate the effects of future land development on the transportation system. This limited-scope model used available data, including GIS, the  U.S. Census Transportation Planning Package and established national travel behavior relationships, to supplement available local origin-destination data. The model was developed using CITILABS CUBEtravel demand modeling software. It included estimating trips based on land use intensity, distributing the trips within and into/out of/through the urban area, and developing a congestion-sensitive roadway assignment process.

The anticipated effect of future growth was estimated by applying future-year buildout land use scenarios to the model. Based on the results of the model, the need for additional future roadway capacity was estimated using the forecast traffic volumes. The model was also used to test the effects of different roadway configurations. Locations that would benefit from alternate routes or expanded facilities were modeled and presented as part of the plan implementation process. City staff also intend to use the model to help them evaluate the cost of growth and then use this information to justify negotiated impact fees from developers.

SRF developed the model and then provided training to City staff so they can maintain and operate the traffic model for daily decision-making activities.

CLIENT:  City of River Falls