User:The Duncan

From Organic Design
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Hi I'm Duncan Campbell, and I am based in Auckland, New Zealand and have been doing traffic engineering in as a trade for the past fifteen years. My qualifications include Masters of Engineering degree with honours (civil)specialising in transport, and I am CPEng registered (Chartered Professional Engineer) and a member of IPENZ (Institute of Professional Engineers New Zealand). You can contact me on duncancampbellbythesea@gmail.com

Traffic engineering is a branch of civil engineering, and basically involves designing and putting in things like road markings, traffic islands, roundabouts, traffic signals, cycle lanes and bus lanes to name but a few. I find it a really interesting occupation, but some of the things one might like to consider before taking it up are:

  • You have to really live in a decent sized city to do it. If you like living in a small town or rural you probably shouldn't be a traffic engineer.
  • You have to deal with the public and politicians, which can be both stimulating and frustrating at times. As most drive cars themselves, many people think they know how to the job better than you. However this is good for keeping you always on your toes, as laypeople have an annoying tendency of seeing the bigger picture a little clearer than an engineer who is too academically focussed. If you're not a people person though, traffic engineering would perhaps not be your first career choice.
  • There is a strong tendency towards conservative solutions rather than innovative ones, and adoption of new ideas which have a perceived element of risk tend to be the exception rather than the rule. Traffic engineering is a field where creativity can potentially involve a compromise of safety to persons, so this is reasonably understandable.

From 2006 - 2010 I was the main traffic engineering designer for the Minor Safety Programme in Waitakere City, Auckland. This was a rewarding experience and this involved well over 100 jobs of significance. A few of the more interesting jobs I think worth mentioning include 1/ Woodlands Park Roundabout; 2/ Corbans Avenue / Henderson Valley Road Seagull Island; and 3/ Rua Road Flush Median . In addition, I developed some Asphalt Speed Cushion Profiles from some online Canadian specifications and installed them in several streets in Waitakere. Of interest is also a small single-lane roundabout at the Seymour Road / Rangeview Road intersection: [[1]].

Myself and Ivan Jurisich at Traffic Engineering Solutions Ltd [2] in 2004/5 developed a new type of roundabout which we call the C-Roundabout of which we have recently built several in Waitakere City, Auckland, New Zealand where I worked as an employee of Waitakere City Council until November 2010. From 2009 - 2011 I have been involved in an NZTA research project which is expected to be published early 2012, entitled Improved Multi-lane Roundabout Designs for Urban Areas. This substantial project has taken over two years to complete, and specifically looks at several topics including a comparison of safety performance with traffic signals, catering for pedestrians, use of sightlines to influence driver behaviour and using speed tables at roundabouts. In 2011 I presented a few of the main findings at the IPENZ conference [3] [4] as well as the International Roundabout Conference in the United States [5] [6]. For some practical examples of this research in Waitakere see Speed Tables at Roundabouts.