Is it taking you a little longer to get to work or the job site in the morning? Have you noticed more brake lights while out on the road? It’s not your imagination, your road trips are taking longer than they did just a few months ago. Over the past year, the state of Pennsylvania and much of the country has entered into various stages of business, school and travel shut downs. As we move ahead into the spring and summer seasons of 2021, many local restrictions are lifting, kids are returning to the classroom, restaurants are increasing capacity and you can even attend live sporting events again. These are all positive signs that daily life is getting back to normal, but there is one negative side effect to all of this activity – increased traffic.

Traffic levels nationwide have steadily increased over the last twelve months after reaching a low around the middle of April 2020. Since then things have pretty much returned to normal. Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Secretary Yassmin Gramian stated last December that overall traffic volumes in PA are back to approximately 85% of pre-pandemic levels. In some locations, commuter traffic has actually increased as more people drive their own vehicles rather than use public transportation.

So what does this mean for your land development or engineering project? For starters, it means that current traffic counts are accurate for use in your project’s traffic study. It also means that PADOT and municipalities are once again being reminded daily of traffic issues near your project site and they are focused on necessary upgrades and improvements. This all reinforces the idea that smart traffic planning is one of the most important aspects of your project.