Traffic Engineering


Traffic Engineering is a branch of civil engineering that uses engineering techniques to achieve the safe and efficient movement of people and goods on roadways. It focuses mainly on research for safe and efficient traffic flow, such as road geometry, sidewalks and crosswalks, cycling infrastructure, traffic signs, road surface markings and traffic lights. 

Traffic engineering is closely associated with other disciplines:

  • Transportation engineering
  • Pavement engineering
  • Bicycle transportation engineering
  • Highway engineering
  • Transportation planning
  • Urban planning
  • Human factors engineering

Typical traffic engineering projects involve designing traffic control device installations and modifications, including traffic signals, signs, and pavement markings. Examples of Engineering Plans include traffic signal plans, traffic sign and markings plans, traffic calming plans, traffic management plans (used for temporary control of traffic at construction sites, special events and roadway or roadside incidents). However, traffic engineers also consider traffic safety by investigating locations with high crash rates and developing countermeasures to reduce crashes. Traffic flow management can be short-term (preparing construction traffic control plans, including detour plans for pedestrian and vehicular traffic) or long-term (estimating the impacts of proposed commercial/residential developments on traffic patterns). Increasingly, traffic problems are being addressed by developing systems for intelligent transportation systems, often in conjunction with other engineering disciplines, such as computer engineering and electrical engineering.

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