Working to Tackle the Traffic Boogie Man

Brian J. Pinkowski, Esq., President

How much additional traffic does a Residential Assisted Living Home (“RAL”) generate in a residential neighborhood? This is a question often raised by cities and neighbors when a new RAL is proposed for a residential neighborhood. The national standard used by cities to determine the potential traffic impact is from the Institute of Transportation Engineers’ (“ITE”) Trip Generation Manual. Unfortunately, the only entry they have for assisted living provides traffic estimates based on two facilities with an estimated 135 beds. The traffic impact of a 135 bed facility is entirely different from a 6-12 bed RAL.

Confronting the Boogie Man and Getting into the Details

Based upon the data from those two facilities, they estimated between 1.86 – 4.14 trips per bed, per day. A trip is calculated as a visit by auto to the facility and away from the facility. Thus, a 12 bed home would generate between 22 – 50 additional trips per day (11 – 25 visits to the facility per day, including staff), and 1,500 additional trips per month (750 visits to the facility each month). Even at a busy facility with a high level of family engagement, this is obviously very high.

The Good News

The good news is that we have been in communication with the good people at ITE, and have learned that they are modifying the standard to address group homes. Here is what the Executive Director of ITE shared with me today:

“The [traffic database] only includes three sites, with the smallest supporting 18 residents. These sites produce a relatively small number of vehicle trips. The 18-resident site generated 30 trips daily (15 entering, 15 exiting), 5 trips during the peak hour of the day, and 2 trips each during the morning and evening peak commuting hours.”

That is a positive change. However, RALs do not typically have 18 residents, and the 15 visits per day is still a little high for a RAL.

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How You Can Help

ITE understands that their data is not well suited for our industry and has requested our help.

They want more data and we can provide it, with your help.

Please send an email to [email protected] with the following data that we can use to help the RAL industry:

  • The name of your RAL
  • The city and state
  • The number of residents (typical)
  • The typical number of employees each day
  • The typical number of visits per day, including deliveries.
  • The typical number of visits between 8-5 each day.

With your assistance, we can help cities and residential communities across the U.S. understand the small impact of RALs and their overall benefits to society.

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