Roger L. Stancil, Town Manager


Lance Norris, Public Works Director

JB Culpepper, Planning Director

Steve Spade, Transit Director

David Bonk, Long Range and Transportation Planning Manager

Kumar Neppalli, Engineering Services Manager



Update on Transportation Impact Analysis Related to the Carolina North




April 8, 2009


The purpose of this report is to provide an update on the Transportation Impact Analysis (TIA) related to the Carolina North Development.  The draft TIA report is expected to be available on May 1, 2009.

We request that the Council provide guidance if they differ with the attached TIA scope.



The Town Council, in June 2001 approved a process and guidelines for conducting a traffic impact analysis for developments in Chapel Hill. The process includes the Town contracting with private consulting firms to perform necessary traffic impact studies for proposed developments and the associated costs are paid by the developers. 


We sent Requests for Qualifications (RFQ) to interested firms for the Carolina North TIA so that we can select a firm with nationwide experience with developments similar to Carolina North. We received proposals from ten firms. A Staff Committee reviewed the proposals and selected Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc (VHB).  The estimated cost of the TIA is approximately $300,000 which the University agreed to provide the funds. Consistent with the current Town’s TIA policy, the cost includes the consulting fee for the preparation of the TIA and the Town staff time on the project. 


The Town entered into an Agreement with VHB and the work related to the TIA including data collection was started on March 24. Attachment 1 provides the detailed scope of the TIA including the preliminary study boundary.  The preliminary study boundary includes the following:

Detailed locations of the study boundary are provided in Attachment 1.  The scope and analysis does not include the construction of a new roadway from the existing Weaver Dairy Road Extension at Homestead Road to the Carolina North campus.  A separate memo is provided at tonight’s work session regarding the relationship between the Long Range Transit Plan (LRTP) and the Carolina North TIA.


We think that the following are some of the key elements that would be included in the Development Agreement for Carolina North. 


a)      An Updated Transportation Impact Analysis shall be submitted in December 2009.  Subsequent updates shall be submitted in December 2012 and every three years thereafter until construction of the buildings included in the Carolina North Campus is substantially complete or until a new Plan is approved.  (Alternatively, frequency of the TIA updates can be tied to certain amount of construction).

b)      Collection of new data shall be undertaken for the December 2009 submission of the Updated Transportation Impact Analysis and subsequent Updates.  This data shall be collected in September/October of the applicable year.

c)      Consistent with application of the approved Guidelines, the Updated Transportation Impact Analyses shall analyze additional intersections for existing, no-build, and build conditions Level of Service (LOS) if the intersections meet the requirements outlined in the Town’s TIA Guidelines. The number of intersections requiring analysis may increase or decrease depending on whether the intersections meet the analysis criteria established in the Guidelines. The Updated Transportation Impact Analysis will assess mode split and transit ridership.

d)     The short range transit plan for the Martin Luther King corridor will be updated in response to the results of the TIA updates.  The plan will identify service needs to meet mode split goals, service improvements and marketing / educational activities to be undertaken to meet goals of the Transportation Management Plan.

e) Transportation Management Plan:  A Transportation Management Plan shall be prepared every three years. The first Transportation Management Plan shall be submitted to the Town Manager in December 2009.  Subsequent updates shall be submitted in December 2012 and every three years thereafter until construction of the buildings included in the Carolina North is substantially complete. The Transportation Management Plans will be reviewed by the Town Manager, who may suggest changes to existing and proposed programs or may suggest additional programs.  The Plans may also be amended to reflect the development of alternative transportation programs. Each Transportation Management Plan shall include:

f) Mitigation Measures: may include traffic calming measures in adjacent neighborhoods; minor intersection improvements such as turn lanes if warranted; transit measures that are consistent with LRTP plan; traffic signal improvements; pedestrian and bicycle amenities, etc.




Changing the scope and assumptions of the TIA after April 8 would affect the anticipated May 1, 2009 TIA completion date.  Therefore, we request that the Council provide guidance at tonight’s work session if they differ with the attached TIA scope. 



  1. TIA Scope [1.6 MB pdf] (p. 4).