Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our office is open 8:00 AM-4:30 PM M-F

TTY 711

4050 Legato Road, Suite 400
Fairfax, VA 22033

Tom Biesiadny,

Transportation Analysis

An important aspect of reviewing changes in land use through the entitlement process is the transportation analysis. This analysis providesFCDOT logo information to assist in the review of a land development application by helping to understand the transportation needs and impacts of each application with respect to its users and the surrounding community. Transportation analyses at Fairfax County exist in two forms: Comprehensive Transportation Analyses (CTA) and Chapter 870 Traffic Impact Analyses (TIA). The following guidance should be used by applicants submitting requests for entitlement or amendments to existing entitlements, or if otherwise requested by the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT). If you are looking for information on Transportation Analyses related to Site Specific Plan Amendments (SSPA) click here


A Comprehensive Transportation Analysis CTA, formerly known as Operational Analysis, is an analysis that helps identify the transportation impacts of a development proposal and evaluate mitigations necessary to facilitate a proposed change in land use consistent with the County’s guiding plans and policies. These CTAs document and analyze:

  • existing conditions of multimodal facilities
  • future conditions without development (background) 
  • future conditions with development (total future) which include the vehicular and non-vehicular trips generated from the proposed change

With consideration for the surrounding area, a CTA seeks to assess impacts for multiple modes of transportation from a proposed change in land use, including cycling, walking, riding public transit, and driving.  The outcome of this analysis guides recommendations for transportation improvements associated with the application.  While these studies are requested by FCDOT, they are scoped and reviewed in coordination with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). For more information on the specific expectations for CTA’s please see the Comprehensive Transportation Analysis Checklist.


A Chapter 870 Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) seeks to assess the transportation impacts of a proposed change in land use that is forecasted to generate at least 5,000 average daily trips (ADT). TIA’s are required by VDOT in accordance with the Virginia Administrative Code. Like a CTA, a TIA also documents the transportation impacts of existing conditions, future conditions without development (background), and future conditions with development (total future) which takes into consideration the trips generated from the proposed change.  
Elements included in a CTA can also be assessed in a TIA; the main elements considered in TIAs include vehicular level of service (LOS), queuing, delay, access management, and intersection spacing.  While TIAs requirements are determined by VDOT, applicability to a specific application is determined by FCDOT. TIAs are scoped and reviewed by VDOT in coordination with FCDOT.

  Comprehensive Transportation Analysis Traffic Impact Analysis
When is a transportation analysis triggered? Required by proposed developments that generate ≥ 250 peak hour trips OR 
by proposed developments that generate ≥ 2,500 Average Daily Trips (ADT) OR 
by FCDOT request
Required by proposed developments that generate ≥ 5,000 Average Daily Trips (ADT)
Scoping Requires a scoping meeting with FCDOT and VDOT; needed before study is conducted Requires a scoping meeting with FCDOT and VDOT; needed before study is conducted
Review Timeframe Review Timeframe of 45 days for the 1st submission and 30 days for subsequent submissions Review Timeframe of 45 days for the 1st submission and 30 days for subsequent submissions
Final Approval Final approval by Fairfax County Final approval by VDOT
Fee None Includes Processing Fee Payable to VDOT



Per Section 24VAC30-155 of the Virginia Administrative Code, each applicant shall request a determination by FCDOT during application acceptance to assess whether the proposal requires a Chapter 870 TIA.  If a TIA is not warranted, a CTA may still be required in accordance with county policy. FCDOT also reserves the right to request additional analyses if determined to be needed during application review. Refer to this flow chart to help determine if your development requires a CTA or TIA.


If FCDOT determines a CTA or TIA is required, the applicant’s transportation consultant will need to prepare a Pre-Scoping Document outlining assumptions and supplemental information to be included in the transportation analysis. Once prepared, the applicant should request a scoping meeting through FCDOT. The scoping meeting provides an opportunity for all parties to provide input and comment on the proposed transportation analysis. After the pre-scoping form is signed and approved by FCDOT and VDOT, the applicant may begin preparing the CTA or TIA. 


The applicant must provide an electronic submittal of the CTA or TIA via email to both FCDOT and VDOT with review timelines commencing upon confirmation of receipt by VDOT. Hard copies should be provided only if requested by FCDOT or VDOT. 

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