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

Will Johnson Wells + Associates

William F. Johnson, P.E., PTOE

Vice President | (703) 676-3653

Will Johnson manages a wide range of traffic engineering projects, including traffic impact studies, bicycle and pedestrian evaluation, master plan studies, and roundabout analysis and design. He is a former Adjunct Instructor for Civil, Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering at George Mason University.

Will’s Full Bio

Les Adkins data center traffic engineer Wells + Associates

Lester E. Adkins III, P.E., PTP, PTOE

Principal | (703) 676-3646

As a Professional Engineer, Les Adkins conducts traffic analyses for data center developments. He manages traffic forecasting, jurisdictional guideline review and implementation, and site level detail analyses.

Les’s Full Bio