Performance trends

Why is this measure important?

This measure is important because traffic studies are conducted to address safety concerns along the County's roadways. These studies guide the application and installation of traffic safety measures, including traffic control devices (all-way stops, curve warning, speed limit signs , etc., ) or traffic calming features such as bump outs, pedestrian refuge islands and other safety improvements. The timely implementation of the findings from these studies is critical to the overall quality of life in Montgomery County. Tracking the Number of Studies in the Queue (Average Days to Complete a Study) is important because it allows the Department to prioritize resources when needed to address spikes in demand and to set realistic expectations when residents request studies be conducted.

Factors contributing to current performance

  • Highly trained & experienced staff (including existing consultant resources)
  • Established technical resources
  • The Division received more than 1300 traffic study requests in FY18

Factors restricting performance improvement

  • Residents have more direct access in the reporting of issues through mechanisms like MC 311 and phone contact with the Division, resulting in an increase in the volume of requests
  • Lack of consultant resources, based on budget
  • Consideration of impacts associated with all modes (cars, pedestrians, bikes, etc.), resulting in longer time to complete studies
  • Lack of funds for data collection and analysis
  • Practice includes not extending due date for changes in traffic study scope

Performance improvement plan

The number of traffic studies pending include studies that have not been reassigned a new completion date as a result traffic study scope changes that deviate from the original request. These changes have, historically, resulted in the delay of completed studies, resulting in the pending status.
Additionally, the Division Chief and Section Chief will monitor incoming study requests more closely to make sure engineers are fully aware of the scope of the study and the particular information needs that will lead to completion of the study in a timely manner. Biweekly or monthly reviews of traffic study statuses are being conducted to determine study statuses and scopes to ensure their timely completion.
It is unclear at this time if additional steps must be undertaken to address the anticipated increase in pending studies. As was noted in previous sections, the pending status is also related to an anticipated increase of the number of studies, which is outside the control of the Division.