VAI provides a full complement of Transportation Planning services for public and private sector clients. These include: traffic studies; feasabillity studies; environmental impact reports; peer review services; parking supply and demand studies; roadway, intersection and pedestrian safety studies; access planning studies; and transportation master plans. Our clients include real estate owners and developers, attorneys, state and municipal agencies, medical and educational institutions, and sporting and event facility owners and managers.
Traffic Impact and Access Studies
One of the most challenging aspects of Land Development projects today is understanding and addressing community concerns as they relate to traffic impacts, safety and congestion, in addition to non-motorized modes of travel such as pedestrians and bicyclists. VAI’s professional and unbiased reputation with developers, land use attorneys, communities and State agencies allows our engineers to work on some of the most challenging projects in New England. VAI understands that traffic studies must start with sound engineering principles, address community concerns with cost effective and implementable mitigation strategies, and must be presented to municipal boards, permit granting authorities and state agencies in an effective, clear and concise manner to gain support and community consensus. VAI has successfully permitted over 4,000 development projects through the New England Region ranging from small residential subdivisions to mixed-use and transit oriented development projects of over two million square feet in both urban and suburban settings.
Traffic Feasibility and Sizing Studies
Given the limited availability of land in New England and the challenging and complex traffic issues facing land development projects, developers are frequently engaging VAI early in the development phase to assist in properly sizing projects and developing permitting strategies. An early understanding of site access requirements, potential off-site improvements and costs, community concerns and an assessment of alternative development scenarios assists the development team to formulate permitting strategies early in the site assessment phase and serves to streamline the permitting process for the project. VAI has assisted developers in sizing many commercial and mixed-use projects allowing for optimal site development and the successful integration of projects into a community.
Environmental Impact Reports
VAI’s engineers have assisted in providing comprehensive transportation analyses associated with Environmental Impact Reports/Environmental Assessments as required by State and Federal agencies, either as the lead consultant or as a part of a development team. VAI has successfully completed numerous Environmental Impact Reports for private development projects throughout the New England Region. Our staff has a thorough and applied understanding of the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) thresholds, implementing regulations and the associated permitting process.
Peer Review Services
VAI has been retained by numerous communities, town boards, private citizen groups and developers to provide our technical expertise to better understand a project’s impact on the transportation infrastructure. Our reviews include a comprehensive assessment of the analysis methodology with regard to accepted Traffic Engineering and Transportation Planning practices, state and municipal standards and codes; roadway and intersection operations; access design and site circulation; safety; pedestrian and bicycle considerations; truck impacts; parking supply, demand and layout; and off-site improvement strategies. The goal of the review is to provide our clients with a better understanding of a project’s impact and to assist in developing strategies that are designed to accommodate the project in a safe and efficient manner, while minimizing impacts to abutting properties, neighborhoods and all roadway users.
Traffic / Highway Engineering
Highway and Roadway Design
VAI provides a full range of civil engineering services including corridor planning and feasibility studies, design and permit acquisition, right-of-way documentation, construction contract packaging and construction administration and observation. Our clients include private interests, municipalities and state agencies with projects ranging from local streets and intersections to major corridor and highway interchange improvements throughout New England VAI’s engineering and design experience involves the preparation of construction documents including horizontal and vertical geometry; drainage and stormwater management; grading, utility systems, pavement marking and signing, traffic signal systems, traffic management, construction sequencing, construction specifications and quantity and cost estimating.
Traffic Signal Design
VAI’s expertise in the specialized field of traffic signal design offers our clients a technical and technological resource. The design of an isolated traffic signal or a system of traffic signals begins with determining the need for the signal. This need can be the result of an existing capacity or safety concern, one that is created as a result of new development, or as part of a corridor improvement project. VAI’s traffic engineers have a thorough understanding of State and Federal design guidelines and standards including the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) and Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) which are integral to the design and installation of traffic signal systems. This expertise is used in determining the need for traffic signals, and in developing signal layout, sequence and timing plans for an isolated signal or for a coordinated network of intersections. VAI considers all aspects of design when evaluating traffic signal systems, including the various users of the roadways (vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians), peak hours, event conditions, safety, and aesthetics. State of the art computer models assess traffic operations and use animation to assess pre- and post-signal installation conditions to support proposed designs and to illustrate existing and proposed conditions to the client, state and municipal staff; and to the public.
As part of the firm’s comprehensive engineering services, VAI offers construction administration and observation services for highway, roadway and intersection improvement projects. This work is typically part of our total services and is contracted separately to both public and private sector clients. VAI’s construction services include contract documents, pre-bid conferences, bid evaluation, shop drawing review, RFI response, construction observation, pay requisition review, final inspections, punch list review and project closeout reporting. The firm’s inspectors are Registered Professional engineers and NICET certified.
VAI offers expert witness services in issues relating to transportation, land development, roadway/intersection safety, motor vehicle crash analysis, and site design. Expert testimony services offered by VAI include depositions, affidavits, court testimony and support services. VAI’s principals are qualified in the Superior, Land Court and Court of Common Pleas systems. They have rendered expert testimony before the courts, public boards, cities, towns, state and federal government agencies, and U.S. Senate Subcommittees on issues ranging in complexity from civil zoning and accident cases, to criminal proceedings for vehicular homicides.