Paper presented at the 23rd Annual Southern African Transport Conference 12 - 15 July 2004 "Getting recognition for the importance of transport", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa. As part of the process of managing transportation infrastructure, traffic impact assessments are undertaken to establish the impact of development on traffic operations on the road or street network. In many instances, traffic impact assessments are also used to establish the extent of mitigating measures that may be required to address such impact. Developers are often requested to bear the full cost or contribute towards such measures.
Traffic impact assessments are undertaken based on the guideline document published by the National Department of Transport or the guidelines prepared by the erstwhile City Council of Pretoria. Although these guidelines are considered quite comprehensive and useful, a number of issues with traffic impact assessments have been identified and an urgent need exists to address these issues.
Amongst others the issues include the following:
�� The legal framework for traffic impact assessments is currently not very clear and should be clarified.
�� Developer’s responsibility for network upgrading should be clarified together with the role of traffic impact assessments in establishing such responsibility.
�� Inter-authority co-operation and cross-border issues is currently not satisfactory. There is an urgent need for a uniform approach and a greater degree of co-operation.
�� The professional standard of both officials and consultants is a matter of concern and steps are required to improve the standard and integrity of traffic impact assessments.
�� A variety of technical issues have been identified. Current assessments are primary aimed at private transport, while very little attention is often given to the needs of other modes of traffic, such as walking, cycling, public transport and freight. Inadequate attention is also often given to impacts such as road safety and mobility needs.
In addition to the above issues, there are various other issues that also need to be addressed. The above, however, is sufficient to indicate that the traffic impact assessment methodology should be urgently revisited. The purpose of this paper is to describe some of these issues and to discuss some proposed changes to the methodology.
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