Traffic Engineering & Civil Engineering

For those who are unfamiliar with this branch of engineering, traffic engineering is a method of civil engineering that helps to optimize the performance and efficiency of the movement of people, goods, and transportation. In the field of traffic engineering, engineers must look at the whole picture in order to maximize traffic flow and reduce instanced of congestion: the movement of vehicles on roads and highways; the movement of pedestrians. Through data collection of road construction, land development, and traffic signals, and build traffic studies from them–allowing them to come up with new and inventive ways to optimize the construction of roads, freeways, and other forms of ground transportation.


Common objectives of traffic engineering included the following:

  • Providing high efficient traffic flow through ample research and innovative design efforts.
  • To produce free flow of traffic.
  • Use research to design roadways and highways that increase traffic safety (strategic implementation of stop signs, traffic signs, and traffic lights)


Usually, to successfully implement the above-mentioned objectives, traffic engineers will be required to study an abundance of data, research, and literature on the characteristics of traffic, the operations of traffic, traffic administration, traffic planning, and the geometrical design of traffic, amongst other things. In addition to studying data, many traffic engineers will execute a number of studies that will give them the appropriate data for traffic optimization. Some (of the many) studies include:

  • Accident studies
  • Traffic capacity studies
  • Speed studies
  • Traffic volume studies
  • Parking studies
  • Origin and destination studies
  • Traffic flow characteristics studies


In addition to the enhancement of traffic flow, construction of roadways, and installation of road signs and lights, traffic engineers also work hard to improve traffic calming in residential areas. This includes neighborhood traffic control, traffic mitigation, neighborhood traffic safety plans, traffic abatement, roadway pavement marking, and signing plans. Believe it or not, these are efforts taken to ensure that residents are safe in their neighborhood–including children and the elderly.

From the safety of the roadway to the safety of a residential area, traffic engineering is a category of civil engineering that serves great purpose in Nashville, TN. Without traffic engineers, our roadways would be underdeveloped and unsafe, while yielding high congestion accidents. Our traffic engineers provide use with roadways and traffic signs that allow us to get from point A to point B with ease and safety.