The SSA Self Storage Traffic Generation Study is Still Open
Misconceptions can be damaging, both in one’s private life and the working world. In the case of self storage, the misconception that facilities are overrun with car traffic can be damaging to both. Being told by local jurisdictions that you can not expand an existing facility or build a new one because of perceived traffic problems can affect the bottom line of your business as well as your ability to get a good night’s sleep.
As an industry, self storage is well aware that traffic is seldom a problem at any facility. Sure, on Saturdays and Sundays more renters turn up to access their units, and some potential new renters might also show up on those days. But for the most part, traffic to the grand majority of facilities is spread out over the course of the day. Try telling that to a local official rendering an important decision about your planned growth. The answer, of course, is come prepared with paperwork to prove them wrong.
That’s where the Self Storage Association can be of assistance
The SSA is putting together a new Traffic Study that it hopes to have out by early 2021. It is conducting a retooled survey to update and improve upon the last one done nearly 20 years ago. When completed, it will give self storage operators an updated and powerful weapon to convince local jurisdictions that the local public library gets more traffic than your facility.
Mike Blackett, SVP of marketing and communications for the SSA, is currently sending out the survey via e-mail for self storage operators to fill out. A link will also be available on the SSA website. The key here is that the SSA needs as many operators as possible to respond. The more responses, the more convincing an argument that operators will be able to make with their local jurisdictions.
“The SSA takes great pride in helping our members and the entire self storage industry at every opportunity,” said Blackett. “But to be able to make this traffic survey work, we need participation".
To add some incentive, he said, any self storage operator who fills out the questionnaire will receive the final publication of the results for free.
“Throughout the pandemic, self storage has continued to do reasonably well,” Blackett added. “We are hearing from many operators whose facilities are full and now want to expand. New construction is still moving forward in spite of the coronavirus. That makes it doubly important to be ready to address those false notions of traffic when applying for permits. Our survey will help the cause immensely.”
In the 2007 SSA publication Zig Zagging Through Zoning, this conclusion was reached: “This (traffic problems) is a myth that has been perpetrated about self storage for decades. It probably comes from a false one-to-one association between the garage roll-up door and a car. However, a number of studies have shown that self storage as specific use generates less traffic than almost all other uses.”
The publication went on to say: “According to several national surveys conducted in the last few years, a self storage facility on average generates less than seven car trips per day per 100 units. Therefore, if your facility is going to have 450 units, it would generate approximately 30 car trips per day; broken down into trips per hour based on a 12-hour day, that same facility would generate less than three cars per hour—hardly a high-traffic generator.”
The new SSA Traffic Survey will provide updated statistics and analysis for operators to present to their local jurisdiction. Combined with your efforts to provide a safe and effective ingress and egress for customers, you can effectively win over your local politicians with new numbers from the SSA.
Answering the survey questions will take only a handful of minutes and doing so will not only help you but the entire industry. It will also ensure you receive the results for free. The more self storage operators who contribute, the stronger the survey will be.