Chet Skwarcan is an award-winning engineer, writer, and industry innovator in the field of traffic engineering. He is known for leveraging his creativity, logic, and technology to solve today’s engineering challenges.

Imagine — No Traffic Problems

I visited a community recently that was not experiencing growing pains. There were no new restaurants, no new houses, no new retail, and as far as I could tell, no plans for anything.

But, the good news? No traffic problems! The great thing about living in a dormant community is it’s super easy to drive anywhere. Granted, not too many places to go, but, it sure is easy to get around.

On the contrary, it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to realize growing communities create increased traffic. If a community is desirable, and new restaurants, new retail, and new houses are appearing (e.g., if you moved there), increased traffic is a natural by-product.

For some, increased traffic is a good excuse to find fault with new development (if you’re looking for excuses). For others, increased traffic is a good excuse to maintain roadway plans (if you’re looking for an excuse to remain an inviting and attractive community). But if you do not wish to grow, well, I guess any excuse will do.

Bottom line, a community is either growing and desirable (traffic increases) or it’s not (traffic decreases). So, what comes first? Is it the chicken or the egg? They both come first — shouldn’t have one without the other (and probably don’t want one without the other).

The rate of growth and the rate of roadway improvements both fluctuate (and seldom coincide), thus, it is important roadway plans be ongoing. It doesn’t take a brain scientist to understand the value of having a plan. A plan means eventually (and occasionally) everything makes sense…

Chet Skwarcan (traffic engineer, author, unique insights) with over 25 years of traffic engineering experience — online help available at