Posted Monday, October 4, 2010 12:20 PM | Contributed by Jeff
A new roller coaster proposed for Canobie Lake Park is one step closer to approval after the Planning Board meeting Tuesday. The board is waiting for the results of a traffic study before giving final approval for the new ride.
Read more from The Eagle Tribune.
I find it interesting that a traffic study needs to be done in order to pass the plans for the new coaster. Would a big increase in traffic actually push the town to deny these plans? It seems to me that an increase in traffic would only be good for the town. It would bring more people to the area and perhaps help out local businesses. Sounds like a win-win situation to me. (I have never been to the park, so maybe there are issues here like road capacity that need to be evaluated that i'm overlooking. Forgive me if i'm way off base.) What does everyone else think?
Anytime there's an increase in local land use there can be an expected increase demand on accessibility; i.e. a new roller coaster will bring more cars on the existing roads. The opposite is also true; new roads will increase accessibility into the area and thus new uses of the land (any form of development: commercial, residential)
Although this isn't exactly a new development per say, it's altering the way the existing land is being used (although slightly) and so you can expect extra cars in the area i
Whether or not it's a good thing really depends on how many cars are attracted, and how busy the streets currently are. Yes, there's the benefit of adding extra business, but if it gets to the point where road widening (or similar) is needed, then it may turn into finger pointing. By doing the traffic study, it will basically save them from being singled out
I wonder what means are used to accurately quantify how much traffic will increase for a new roller coaster. If you're building an office building or retail center, you could easily estimate the number of employees and customers to expect.
It's different with a coaster. You could use a theoretical maximum number of riders in one day, but that's assuming that every one of them would be new visitors. How likely is that?
It is possible that if the traffic increes was too high they would deny the project. Why, the geniuses of Salem past zoned housing around the park. North policy is a 2 lain (one in each direction) road with housing on both sides. there are only a few businesses that will benefit from extra traffic. What I don't get is The state is doing a major high way project on 93. But I have heard no plans to creat a canobie exit which could be accomplished easily.
normally a traffic study is half guess half science. The level of attraction is looked at, attendance increases form similarly sized projects is looked at form other parks. they will then get an average. but lets say they get a 4% increase. the park gets around 850,000 a year, Give or take. so that's 35,000 increase in attendance. but they are open around 120 days. So that's rounding 284 guests a day. now You average 4 people per car. that makes 71 cars a day. around 2/3rds of that traffic will come form the south(MA, RI, some CT) with the remaining cars coming from the north(NH, ME).
I think the traffic study is just a formality. I highly doubt they would deny this coaster based on a slight traffic increase which is only seasonal.
The sheriff is pleased with the parks handling of traffic and the board is impressed with what the park has done so far.
It's a go.
Yeah, usually they would take historical traffic growth for the area, but then add a factor towards the areas in development. For instance, lets say the area's growing at 5%/year; so the area near the park would grow at 1.5 x 5%
Simplified example, as the actual calculations involve a complete network optimization... but you get the point
However, as stated before, it's just a new roller coaster... so instead of a factor of "1.5" (or whatever that area has used in the past to represent growth) they might assume "1.25" or equivalent
They have approved most additions without a traffic study. they are normally only wearied about decibel levels. In fact the last time traffic was discussed the parks simply rewrote their directions and sent more people to another exit so they could brig in traffic form both both lanes.
The biggest impact on traffic was not even a ride. it was SFNE! When SFNE upped their prices in 2006, Canobie saw a huge jump in attendance. The city has ben slighly shell shocked since.
I don't think it will be much of a concern in the long run. I think the board might be fearing hundreds of extra cars. which will not be the case.
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