Impact of Development Density on K-Factors

The North Carolina Department of Transportation's (NCDOT’s) Transportation Planning Branch seeks to utilize a method to estimate the impact of peak spreading based on capacity constraints that is found in the latest national guidance for traffic forecasting. In order to fully understand peak spreading impacts, it is necessary to understand how K-factor data changes. A model that tests factors that affect K-factor data, such as rural/urban context and development density, would provide a useful guide for estimating reasonable levels of peak spreading. The purpose of this proposed project is to determine how K-factor data changes in order to estimate the impact of peak spreading across different area types, including rural and urban areas in general, as well as urban area variations based on population size (e.g., less than 50K, 50K to 200K, 200K to 1M, 1M to 2M, and greater than 2M). This project will utilize North Carolina traffic data in its modeling effort, and it will also review peak spreading impacts in large cities in other states, such as Atlanta and Baltimore, for comparison. The results of this research will be useful to inform efficient and cost-effective roadway project design and will help provide additional information to advise the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process