> The American “transportation engineer” is a really a civil engineer who has received a little exposure to the transportation sector. This can’t be genuine. This has to be like a parody or satire. Yes, transportation engineers are civil engineers because it’s a branch of civil engineering. Because transportation at its heart is *infrastructure*.


The American "heart surgeon" is really a doctor who has received a little exposure to the heart surgery sector. Edit: The article actually uses this analogy and I didnt get that far before adding my comment. I'd argue Id rather have someone who took 1 class in school and 10 years of experience over someone with a specialized "heart surgery" degree and no experience. A few years out of school and it doesn't matter what your degree was. >My counter would be, “Would you call someone a surgeon if they took just a single surgery class in medical school?” That is around the same level of education that students going into transportation are receiving. Funny because the proposed solution is to separarate transportation engineering into a specialized program which is totally unnecessary in my opinion. We all know how little a degree really teaches you once you get into the workforce. The author makes a point about civil engineering students being well rounded as a bad thing. I think we can change how things are taught, but improvements in the transportation sector need to come in the industry, transportation students having a few extra classes that arent environmental/structural/construction/etc. isnt going to make the difference.


If you go on r/UrbanPlanning, I swear most of them would be better suited to implement their ideas as civil engineers than as planners.


Much like architects, they would also have to grapple with concepts like “physics” and “realism” and “money is not unlimited” and “you can’t force people to do things a certain way just because you think it’s better”.


The logic in this article is flawed because they don't count the years after graduation where you're still learning a LOT about the profession. There's a reason why the PE license has an experience requirement attached.


Seems like they'd prefer a specialized license (almost like PTOE) but more focused on anything other than car infrastructure. Seems unnecessary. I'm all for better non-car infrastructure but it's semantics at this point. The changes need to be from within the industry, not just creating a separate transportation engineering degree.


Within the industry and also at the policy level. At the end of the day, we design things based on what politicians/the public say they want via laws and regulations. Change the laws and regulations, and the design practices will adjust accordingly.


Wait, are you telling me Automobile and Fossil Fuel lobbyist aren’t pro bicycle infrastructure?


The article suggests transportation engineers don’t have enough schooling, which they aren’t entirely wrong about. I only had a few transportation classes in college. But once you graduate and start to work you quickly realize you learn far more in 6 months of work than you did in a semester of school. Work experience is significantly more valuable, and it’s silly to suggest otherwise. A big problem I experience is that we design what we’re told. Politics pay for roadways, so DOTs are not very eager to go out on a limb and are very conscious of what the public wants. I get it, it’s the public’s money so let’s get their input. But at the end of the day, the public input on intersection types and roadway typicals should have very little weight in the decision making process. We ought to strive to be up to date on new ideas and encouraging studies and educate the public on how strange looking designs can be better and teach them not to automatically disregard it. Just my two cents on the matter.


The writer, like most people, doesn't know the difference between Transportation and Traffic engineers, and believes they should be the same profession. They should know a bit about each other, but the person designing the alignment isn't the same one figuring out the number of lanes. Thank goodness Traffic spends most of their time dealing with the public to explain how they can't have 8 traffic lanes in each direction with a buffered bike lane and a 40' parkway in front of the sidewalk.


Traffic engineering is magic and hand waving as far as I’m concerned. lots of predictions, guessing at rates of growth and esals. chatGPT and a good simulation software could do the same with a model with the “right” inputs.


Much of my time as a city's Traffic Engineer was putting in stop signs and handling people's speeding complaints. The PD finally just gave me the speed trailer since I used it more than they did. I had one council member who kept insisting they needed a stop sign near their house and I kept denying it because it wasn't warranted. I really wanted to add to my 'there's not nearly the traffic nor ped. volume to even consider it' that I literally drove in circles in my little city car in the intersection several times as I would go sit on different legs just to see if any cars came. Seriously, I did like three circles each time. :D


You mean travel demand forecasting, not traffic engineering.


I mean damn this same argument could be made about all civil sectors. But buildings aren’t falling down, and our wastewater systems still work so I don’t know about this, chief. None of us are all that robustly educated out of school which is why the PE requires experience! No civil graduate is directly useful after graduating lmfao. Should we get more robust education in our chosen sectors? Maybe. But to say that there are “no transportation engineers” by the logic of this article is to imply none of the other sub fields in civil engineering exists either.


Sounds like an Urban Planner who's pissy that the CE next to him makes more money. In reality it's the politicians who are giving you shitty pedestrian infrastructure. I had a client last week tell us to put not only sidewalks in both directions on the bridge but also protected bike lanes in both directions. I was with our chief engineer who blinked twice and asked the client if he was sure because no one ever lets us do the job the right way.


I graduated without taking a single transportation class from an abet accredited school lol


The author is civil engineer in the Netherlands who went to school at Cal State in Sacramento "America has no transportation engineers" is pretty hyperbolic It would be more accurate to say that "a 4 year engineering degree is the beginning of being an engineer and employers in the US need to do a better job with in-house training"


Of course they had to bring up the Netherlands. I wish I had a dollar for everytime someone was like 'well, in the Netherlands...' about traffic stuff.


They left out one of the big pieces... I can't build something if I don't have funding. I can dream up all the bike lanes, congestion fixing, traffic signal optimization, etc. in the world for my city, but if I have zero dollars or someone else's project is deemed more important, I don't get to do squat.


I'd like to see them say that while standing in the TXDOT headquarters. You might end up in "transportation".


Such a bullshit article.


What makes you say that?


I didn't read the article so forgive me if I missed the point of the article. I remember interviewing for a entry level transportation engineer job at a local city. They ended up asking a lot of questions I could never have learned in school. Like if I had experience with the traffic monitoring systems. I remember thinking at the time "how are people supposed to learn this without on the job training?". So one reason could be that there arent a lot of actual entry level transportation engineer jobs.


I specialized in transportation in school and I still didn't know how to use a traffic counter system until I worked for a city. I could use the manual counters you clicked with buttons for intersection counts, but had no clue about road tubes or the traffic camera we could deploy where needed. A lot of what that article said would be ideal is stuff you learn on the job. School isn't meant to make you a genius in your field, it's to help you get into your field (this is aimed at the article, not you)


I am continually dumbfounded by people, mainly in the advocacy community, who take an outcome they don’t like and assume they know everything about what causes it. It’s such hubris.


Ok so it is free to read but what a barrel of sH!\^. The author does not know how the planning decisions are made or more likely has an interest in expanding the education profiteering system and given is CV I suspect the latter. The rest of you have covered it pretty well, the decisions on what gets done happens at a level above the perfectly well educated and trained transportation engineers in the US.