Matt Duncan, P.E., PTOE
Principal Traffic Operations & Safety Engineer
Matt is a professional traffic operations engineer with the ability to engage all levels of city government. He effectively works with citizens to address concerns related to transportation, supports city management, and educates political leaders by providing guidance related to transportation topics. Matt is extending his passion for public service and solving traffic puzzles on a part time basis with Metro Trafix.
Both in his former role as a consultant throughout Metro-Atlanta, Alabama and South Carolina and in his current nine years in the public sector in the Metro-Denver area, he has dedicated his time and energy to providing safe and efficient movement of people in all modes of travel.
Matt’s two decades of experience includes traffic operations projects related to road design, traffic markings and signage, crosswalk design and policy, bicycle facility markings, traffic signal timing and features, incident management, temporary traffic control, and traffic control warrants with associated engineering judgement.
Matt on traffic safety:
“Every intersection is unique. ‘For every complex problem, there is a solution that is clear, simple, and wrong.’ Sometimes our profession can get distracted with the latest fad and force a solution to fit with their problem, which doesn’t really work.You first must understand the road, the intersection, you must understand the narrative of the crash and work with police officers. For our agency, a firm recently proposed installing leading pedestrian intervals and bulbouts to address crashes at an intersection. The problem was that they were only considering four pedestrian crashes, a number, without context. Failing to investigate and discover that three crashes were after midnight, that a bar and liquor store were nearby, and the crashes involved impaired pedestrians that were not within the crosswalk missed the target. If we had moved forward, it would have meant that our city funds for their solution would have done nothing to solve the problem. The solution was not leading pedestrian intervals or bulbouts, it was better intersection lighting so that sober drivers could see impaired pedestrians in advance of the intersection. Our profession can get lazy with the latest trend and canned solutions, and what a missed opportunity that is to save lives.”
By getting back to the basics of coordinated traffic signal timings, reviewing crash investigation reports and focusing on human factors, Matt consistently designs solutions that fix the root of the problem. Through utilizing this technique, he and his team have reduced traffic collisions and hospitalizations (at his current position in Lakewood, CO) for four consecutive years, reaching 10-year lows for injury crashes while the city’s average daily traffic and crashes in the Denver region are at a record high.
He has a wide range of knowledge related to coordinated traffic signal systems by utilizing a variety of traffic controller types, from dated, basic traffic control equipment to the industry’s modern, advanced traffic control equipment. Matt’s designs reduce driver frustration and vehicle delay within coordinated signal systems. Traffic safety is also improved in adjacent areas by making the arterial roadway more appealing to motorists than neighborhood streets. An important additional benefit includes improving air quality by decreasing vehicle emissions and gas consumption.