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What Is a Traffic Engineer?


A traffic engineer is the person who is involved in the design and analysis of traffic systems. This person designs new traffic light signalizations and locations, pavement markings, and traffic maintenance plans that would be required during the construction of projects.

Traffic engineers can work as design engineers as well as in a review engineering capacity.

How Traffic Engineers Are Involved With Land Development

Even though traffic engineers might be normally involved in major road and highway projects, they can also be involved in land development projects.

They might be called upon to do a traffic study for a new commercial site that proposes additional traffic to the surrounding area. Traffic engineers might also be hired by a municipality to review proposed land development plans for compliance with ordinance requirements related to traffic especially where the proposed project ties into existing roads.

Traffic Counts

You might have noticed while driving around that there are sometimes people that are sitting near a street intersection or along a specific part of the street that are counting the number of cars that pass by their location. It is very likely that these people are traffic engineers that are obtaining traffic counts for a traffic study.

A traffic engineer will use these existing traffic counts to help determine the effect of a new land development on the traffic in that area.

How A Traffic Engineer Is Different From a Roadway Design Engineer

A traffic engineer might work very closely with a roadway design engineer in the design of a new road, but they are very different from one another.

A traffic engineer might prepare the traffic studies that would be used to help the roadway design engineer determine the requirements for the location of and the number of lanes required for a project.

However, it would the roadway design engineer that actually drafts the road design on the plans and designs the other parts of the road such as widths and slopes.

An Important Part of the Land Development Process

Traffics engineers are an important part of the land development process in that they help to ensure that a project is safe with respect to people traveling to and from the development. These kinds of engineers can be involved with a project as either design engineers or as review engineers.

Posted in Engineering

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