SCUP
Planning for Higher Education Journal

Traffic Congestion on a University Campus

A Consideration of Unconventional Remedies to Nontraditional Transportation Patterns
Journal Cover
From Volume 36 Number 1 | October–December 2007
By David H. Kaplan, Thomas Clapper
Planning Types: Campus Planning

U.S. transportation data suggest that the number of vehicle miles traveled has far surpassed new capacity, resulting in increased traffic congestion in many communities throughout the country. This article reports on traffic congestion around a university campus located within a small town. The mix of trip purposes varies considerably in this context, with the majority of trips related to student movement to and from classes. The university itself becomes a major traffic generator, but in a complex way. This article describes how congestion in a university setting differs from that in a nonuniversity setting; what components drive this congestion; how best to reduce this congestion while adhering to overall university planning objectives; and how to set a foundation for traffic management strategies that provide environmental, social, and economic benefit to the university and, importantly, to the surrounding community. The information presented here applies beyond the campus setting to any community that contains nontraditional traffic generators and shows why context does matter when analyzing and managing traffic.

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