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Interdisciplinary Professional Programs

Traffic Engineering Fundamentals See upcoming dates

Course Overview

Improve your working knowledge of traffic engineering principles and methods. Learn basic traffic engineering studies to help you solve traffic problems. Increase your ability to evaluate traffic studies and consultant recommendations. Refine your understanding of the role enforcement plays in traffic safety and gain the knowledge you need to confidently explain and defend your traffic recommendations to decision-makers and the public.

Who Should Attend?

  • Municipal and consulting engineers who are new to traffic engineering
  • Traffic engineering technicians with limited formal training in traffic engineering
  • Police officers with traffic responsibilities
  • Planners and decision-makers who use or review traffic engineering studies

Course Outline

Day One

Role of Traffic Engineering and the Traffic Engineer

Traffic engineers generally share basic professional values. They base their recommendations on accepted analytical methods, standards, and resources. Begin this course with a review of those values, methods, and resources.

Conducting and Using Traffic Volume Studies
Virtually all traffic studies require an accurate description of the volume and character of traffic, usually based on field traffic counts. Learn how to take counts and use them to characterize the traffic. Review the equipment and methods available to take traffic counts.

Speed Zones, Spot Speed Studies, and Speeding
Speed measurements are used in many traffic safety, operation, and intersection control studies. Learn how to measure speed and use the results to set speed zones, manage traffic speeds, and modify road and intersection designs.

Using Crash Data to Improve Safety
Crash data is collected by law enforcement officers, shared with traffic engineers and sent to the state. Learn how to use crash data and analytical techniques to identify high-crash locations, determine why the crashes occurred, and develop possible countermeasures.

Improvements in Traffic Safety and the Role of Enforcement
During the last several decades there has been a significant reduction in traffic fatalities. Safer vehicles, better traffic laws, enlightened enforcement, and cooperative efforts among local police and public works partners have paid off in fewer deaths on the highways.

Day Two

Improving Intersection and Driveway Safety
Intersections and driveways have a major impact on traffic operations and safety because of traffic conflicts. A major traffic engineering focus is to reduce conflicts with intersection design and control. Review three intersection studies used to evaluate intersection and driveway operations and consider some ways to reduce conflicts.

Introduction to the MUTCD

Intersection Controls and Their Warrants
The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) includes justifications, called warrants, for intersection controls. Learn how to apply the results of studies covered earlier in the course to establish the need for intersection controls using warrants.

Materials for Traffic Signs and Pavement Markings
Review the options available when selecting materials for traffic signs and pavement markings. The materials vary in cost, performance, durability, and useful life.

Traffic Signs, Pavement Markings, and Low Cost Safety Solutions
Provisions in the MUTCD establish standards and recommend practice for the selection and placement of traffic control signs and pavement markings. Review the standards and practices and see how the proper use of signs and pavement markings provides low-cost safety solutions

Traffic Impact Analysis
Predicting the traffic impact of a new land use is a common problem tackled by traffic engineers. Review the accepted method used to predict the impact on the street system and the typical factors considered in determining if any modifications to the street system are needed and/or paid for by the benefited property owner.

Day Three

Practical Approach to Access Management
One way to reduce negative impacts of traffic generated by a property is to control the access to and from that property. These techniques are related to driveway location and width, the number of driveways, channelization of traffic movements, and traffic controls. Review the primary tools used in access management plans and policies.

Temporary Traffic Controls for Construction and Maintenance Projects
While design and construction engineers are usually responsible for work zone traffic control, traffic engineers often review proposed work zone traffic plans for private development projects and for maintenance permits. Review the fundamental principles of work zone traffic control and primary resources to help in their application to specific situations.




"This course is excellent for someone new to traffic engineering and would be especially beneficial to a new traffic engineering technician."
—James LaScala, Senior Traffic Engineering Technician, City of Overland Park, Kansas

"The course notebook will be useful for daily reference. Speed studies and sign making are two areas I plan to develop further at my job, based on the information I learned at this workshop."
—Adrian Gershom, Transportation Planner, Oneida Nation in Wisconsin, Oneida, Wisconsin

"This course was worth my time and expense. It gave me a broad and informative background in traffic engineering."
—Bill Hoppe, City Engineer, Mequon, Wisconsin

"For someone with very little traffic experience, this class provided a wide variety of information that will be useful in my work."
—Kelly Henshaw, City Engineer, City of Winchester, Virginia


Andi Bill

Ms. Andrea Bill is currently the Associate Director with the Traffic Operations and Safety Laboratory and Director of Transportation Information Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her current research incorporates aspects from traffic operations and traffic safety, with a specific emphasis on discovering new and innovative ways to address traffic crashes. She is actively involved in the Transportation Research Board, Institute of Transportation Engineers, and American Society of Engineering Education.

John R. Campbell

Mr. Campbell is a traffic safety engineer with Traffic Analysis & Design, Inc. (TADI). His current responsibilities include traffic safety studies, pedestrian studies, traffic management plans, traffic safety studies, speed management studies, and managing Bluetooth origin-destination studies.

Overall, he has sixteen years of work experience including safety studies, pedestrian studies, traffic safety research, traffic mitigation, micro-simulation, Bluetooth data collection, conceptual design comparisons, and construction inspection. His well-rounded experience helps him identify feasible, constructible, and cost-effective transportation solutions.

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