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  • Connor Pritchard

What is a Traffic Engineer's role in the Development Application process?

Updated: Dec 12, 2022



At JC Engineers the role of our Transport Engineers, during the Development Application (DA) process is to determine the requirements regarding the traffic and car parking requirements.


We work alongside Architects and Town Planners to provide design recommendations to ensure the traffic aspect of the proposed development meets the applicable legislation and standards. Traffic is a crucial part of the DA process and starting the process without the correct advice or expertise can set the client back financially and can cause a delay to gain approval. It is important to engage a transport engineer right at the start of the DA process.


Case Study - J.C Engineers was approached by a client to prepare a material change of use application, a civil engineering design, and a swept path analysis to ensure vehicles could manoeuvre throughout the proposed 3 townhouses. The client had provided JC Engineers with architectural plans and before any civil or town planning was done, the plans were passed onto the traffic department to do the swept path analysis.

Once we completed the analysis, it was evident that most of the car spaces did not comply with the council's codes and regulations. Due to the client not engaging a traffic engineer during the design of the architectural plans, it set them back both time and money as they will need to get the plans redesigned by the architect before any additional work can continue.


Design Advice - The transport design advice element is of the utmost importance and a traffic engineer should be engaged early in the application process. JC Engineers' Traffic Engineers can give early design advice such as:


  • The location and number of the car park spaces and vehicle crossover.

  • Swept Path Analysis of the proposed car park layout to ensure a vehicle can access and leave the car parks proposed.

  • The number of car parks required for the development is based on parking rates determined by the local council. JC Engineers will identify the required number and ensure they fit into the development while ensuring legislation and standards are adhered to.

  • Some types of developments will require service vehicles (ambulances, garbage trucks) to access them. Our Traffic Engineers will help you identify if this will be required for your type of development and what is the best option for service areas.


JC Engineers has worked on numerous projects where clients approached our traffic department after all their plans had been developed by their architects. We have found that these projects are the most costly and time-consuming for the client as most of the time a redesign of the entire development is required to meet traffic and transport legislation and codes.


Traffic Impact Assessments - A Traffic Impact Assessment is performed on developments that have the potential to generate additional traffic to the surrounding road network and intersections. JC Engineers maintains good working relationships with local councils and the Department of Main Roads, which allows us to discuss any contentious issues with the Council before lodgement. We can have these conversations face to face, over a team meeting, or simply with a phone call. This allows us to pass the information on to our project team to ensure they cover all points raised.


Most TIAs are relatively straightforward, but issues arise when a solution proposed is not entirely in compliance with the local plan. By delving into the principles behind the planning scheme requirements, innovative approaches can be required. An understanding of traffic engineering theory and its application becomes very important in these cases, and experience is important.


Traffic Management Planning - Planning and organising traffic management is a vital part of every project. Good traffic management keeps the project running and everyone safe, including road users, road workers, pedestrians, and traffic controllers. Plans should be regularly monitored and reviewed to ensure they are effective and account for changes in the workplace. Our team is highly experienced in designing Traffic Guidance Schemes (formally known as Traffic Control Plans) and offers the best and most reliable Traffic Management planning services.


Early design advice is crucial. That’s why we believe that the most successful projects are those that consider the developments traffic and transport needs up front in the concept development and feasibility assessment.


The pre-lodgement stage is the front end of the development assessment process. If you get the front end right, you are likely to have a simple DA process.


J.C Engineers is offering our new and existing clients a high-level traffic road map (to assess before the project commences) to evaluate based on the correct legislation. The results of this evaluation can then be factored into the design and can determine the requirements.


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