Heritage Gardens: LATR Study for Senior Care Community - Wells + Associates

Nicholas Kosar

Our traffic engineering team in Maryland prepared a Montgomery County Local Area Transportation Review (LATR) study for the development of Heritage Gardens, a residential care community including both senior independent and assisted living residences.

The Heritage Gardens site includes independent living cottages and a Lodge which features both assisted living and independent living units. Single‐family homes and a religious facility surround the property. The layout, size, and scale of the development are similar to the development pattern of the surrounding neighborhood.

Sidewalks and circulating roads are provided through the site connecting residents to the site facilities and recreation spaces through the property. Parking for the independent living units will be within first-level accessible garages, and parking for the assisted living facility units will primarily be provided in a garage within the building.

LATR Study in Montgomery County

What is a LATR study? The intent of the Local Area Transportation Review (LATR) is to determine whether a development can or cannot proceed based on a review of the transportation system adequacy. LATR studies forecast future travel demand from private development and compare future demand to the capacity of existing and programmed public transportation networks and facilities. They include an evaluation of the motor vehicle, pedestrian, bicycle, and transit systems, and provide a Vision Zero statement.

W+A prepared the LATR study and concluded that the adjacent intersections would operate adequately during peak hours. The pedestrian level of comfort and bicycle level of traffic stress would require mitigation. For the Vision Zero statement, site access and crash history in the site area were reviewed, and speed studies were conducted on adjacent streets. Vehicle queues along South Glen Road were also observed in order to understand the existing operations and the impact the proposed development would make.

Our team also provided testimony before the Montgomery County Office of Zoning & Administrative Hearings (OZAH) as to the adequacy of public facilities as it relates to intersection capacity and the pedestrian, bicycle, and transit systems.