January 14


Introducing the Engineer’s Guide to Citizen Traffic Requests

By Mike Spack

January 14, 2016

citizen, Guide, Spack Academy, traffic, traffic request

Product-Image-Engineering-Guide-to-Citizen-Requests-600x400LearnMoreAny traffic engineer who has been involved in public meetings or who serves a city knows that drivers consider themselves traffic experts. In many ways, they are right. For the specific routes they drive every day, they likely know more about where operational issues come up, what the signal timing is like, and especially where every pot hole is. But that knowledge is also biased. Every driver going past their house is a maniac going too fast. Parking should always be available in front of their destination. These and many other issues are personal issues to residents and commuters.

Recognizing this basic fact is important when responding to a complaint or request. Anyone who has taken the time to contact you about an issue is personally invested in it. The stop sign they want is important based on their perception of safety. The speed of cars down their local road is vital to the safety of their children. While that doesn’t mean each person will get their request, or that their issue will be instantly solved, it does mean that each request needs to be handled professionally, respectfully, and above all with consistency.

With over 20 years working as a city traffic engineer or directly for municipalities and other government agencies, we have a lot of experience dealing with the public and those personal traffic issues. We’ve taken that experience and condensed into a step-by-step instruction manual on dealing with the top requests and issues. This document was created to save time by providing the methodology, templates, and best practices for responding to citizen traffic requests.

What makes this guide unique is:

  • Easy to Use. We’ve written this guide with the public in mind, avoiding jargon. Each chapter also includes detailed instructions which could be followed by younger engineers.
  • With 30 email templates and three specialty templates, we cover everything you need to effectively respond to 15 common citizen traffic requests. And effectively respond using the same methodology each time.
  • Best Practices. Besides providing the latest guides to requests and issues, we also cover three key traffic items every municipality should be doing – annual street audits, annual traffic signal inspection, and creating a traffic engineering page(s) for your website.
  • Our guide has been reviewed by over 30 senior traffic engineers from across the world, providing refinements to these processes through actual use in the field.
  • While this guide can be used “as is”, it can also serve as a base. The templates and processes can be modified to fit your specific guidelines or policies. Additional lessons learned can be added to any part of the guide.

By having these processes in place, you can ensure each citizen has their request handled in the same professional manner and against the same standards. You also provide effective communication that shows respect to each person even if their request is denied.

We believe the public can be a valuable resource for any city. Using this process can help build a solid foundation of trust between you and the public you serve. A good foundation will help out well beyond the issues and requests citizens raise. We’re confident this guide will help you get there.

Get a free preview at Spack Academy today.

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We are also offering $100 off the purchase of The Engineer’s Guide to Citizen Traffic Request when you use the coupon code CITIZEN16 at checkout. This offer is good through February 15th, 2016.



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Mike Spack

My mission is to help traffic engineers, transportation planners, and other transportation professionals improve our world.

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