Data Center Traffic Impact Studies and Transportation Analyses - Wells + Associates

Data Center Traffic Impact Studies and Transportation Analyses

Data centers are a key component of today’s increasingly internet-based world. Perhaps surprisingly, the development of data center facilities requires traffic engineering analyses that serve to support economic development and fulfill transportation regulatory requirements.

The reality is that data center growth is expected to continue as our use of the internet expands. Grand View Research states that the global data center market was valued at just under $200 billion in 2022 and the market is “projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10.9% from 2023 to 2030.” But while cloud-based computing continues to soar, jurisdictions are seeking ways to preserve community standards and environments while keeping the door open to economic development. 

Wells + Associates’ Work in Data Center Planning

Wells + Associates has managed traffic, transportation, and parking studies for numerous data centers in the United States. Our work with data center developments happens well before construction starts, with analysis of roadways and how they will impact existing transportation networks and surrounding communities.

data center map of united states - excerpt taken from
List of data centers in the United States as of December 2023. Image is an excerpt taken from the website Data Center Map.

Data Center Development and Surrounding Communities 

While data centers house the internet “cloud,” they are actually physical buildings connected to the rest of the world by roadway networks. As such, data center permitting and construction often requires traffic impact studies, access and circulation studies, and parking plans. 

Data center projects often need to be analyzed in relation to surrounding communities and facilities such as:  

  • residential developments 
  • school campuses 
  • church and religious facilities 
  • existing industrial parks 
  • other commercial developments

Data Center Traffic Studies and Analyses 

In these situations, new data center developments can impact a wide variety of transportation issues, such as:  

  • existing roadways, including arterials and collectors 
  • intersections, including turn lanes, geometrics, and vehicle capacity 
  • access and circulation, including turning radii for larger vehicles 
  • traffic mitigation 
  • vehicle classifications 
  • speed limits  
  • queuing analyses 
  • roundabouts 
  • security gate and rejection lanes 
  • traffic signal studies, including traffic signal warrant analyses  

Our work often involves discussion and coordination with local, county, and state regulatory personnel to identify the scope of traffic studies. It can also include the development of so-called “trip cap” thresholds that align with future planning and development phases within communities and jurisdictions. At times, we handle presentations and expert witness testimonies before relevant planning commissions and community groups.  

Contact our Data Center Traffic Engineering Team

Mike Workosky president wells + associates traffic engineer

Michael J. Workosky

President | (703) 676-3603

Mike Workosky is a transportation executive with more than 25 years of experience across the United States in parking matters related to mixed use developments, town centers, shopping centers, and commercial, governmental, and academic properties.

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Jim Watson, AICP Wells + Associates

Jim Watson, AICP

Principal | (703) 676-3609

Jim Watson is a transportation planner with nearly two decades of experience in multimodal planning and design in the private and public sectors, notably in the District of Columbia where he has experience with comprehensive transportation reviews, parking and traffic analyses, transit-oriented development, traffic design, campus planning, and more.

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