Data Collection Projects
In a world of rapidly changing geography and appearance, it would logically follow that the data collected would change as well. In Traffic Data Inc’s (TDI) most recent study, the way data was collected and quantified was altered to fit the area and subject.
Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, a country-wide restaurant chain, now located in Minnesota, presented a challenge as we collected data regarding the number of individuals who frequented the restaurant whose popularity is growing quickly. Of the three Raising Cane’s locations in Minnesota, two of them allowed for the standard vehicle trips data to be collected, however, the third location located on the University of Minnesota’s campus only generates foot traffic as the restaurant does not have a drive-thru or parking lot. This presented a problem because standard vehicle count could not be collected, quantified, requiring our team to alter the data collection process. For this location, TDI collected pedestrian traffic using a video camera to count the people visiting Raising Cane’s.
Because TDI collected different types of data, vehicle trips vs. person trips, assumptions had to be made to be able to finalize results.
Once finalized, we found that the average trip generation rates for these Raising Cane’s locations were significantly higher than the rates in the ITE Trip Generation Manual for fast-food restaurants (land use #934). The complete results of these counts will be included in the next edition of Spack Consulting’s Trip Generation Data, but a note may be taken from it now. It is regarding land use and the rising popularity and presence of mixed-use buildings.
As mixed-use buildings become more prevalent, the trip generation data collected needs to become more diverse to give (consultants, engineers, contractors, builders, and any user a more accurate picture of traffic and movement. This includes not only vehicle trips, but person trips as well. Because of unique cases like this, trip generation analyses can’t always rely exclusively on ITE’s publication. Collecting your own data is always recommended when possible. Because we went out to collect our own data and were able to modify our collection process, TDI will be able to provide more relevant data to those who need it most.