Introduction to Transportation Engineering

Introduction to Transportation Engineering
Transportation system characteristics, traffic engineering and operation, transportation planning, geometric design, pavement design, transportation safety, freight, public transport, sustainable transportation.
 Hours3.0 Credit, 3.0 Lecture, 0.0 Lab
 PrerequisitesCE EN 270; Eng T 231, Stat 201; or concurrent enrollment.
 TaughtFall, Winter
 ProgramsContaining CE EN 361
Course Outcomes


1(o) Understand the history of the development of transportation in the United States and how transportation modes and networks available in a community significantly influence the way the community develops.

Systems Perspective

2(h) Approach transportation problems, especially traffic congestion on highways, from a systems point of view, as an interaction between land use and transportation systems, not just as the problem related to highways. This competency is all inclusive, including public transportation, freight, and sustainability.

Traffic Stream Characteristics

3(b) Conduct activities to measure traffic stream characteristics (volume, speed, and density) and analyze field data to estimate values for traffic stream parameters, including hypothesis tests.

Traffic Flow Model

4(b) Analyze a standard traffic flow model (i.e., Greenshields Model) for observed traffic data and understand the randomness of traffic flow characteristics.

Level of Service

5(b) Understand the concept of level of service (LOS) and capacity and evaluate the performance of basic roadway segments using standard procedures based on this concept.


6(o) Understand the four steps in the traditional travel demand modeling process, the two-way relationship between land use and transportation, and how the travel demand modeling fits into the transportation-planning process.

Safety Evaluation

7(b) Understand the highway safety improvement program and standard safety evaluation parameters.

Safety in Design

8(b) Understand the dynamic interaction of the driver, roadway, and vehicle, and evaluate and design roadway sections for safe stopping sight distance.

Geometric Design

9(b) Determine key dimensions of horizontal and vertical alignments of roadway sections using safe stopping sight distance and superelevation.

Intersection Design

10(c) Determine when an intersection warrants the installation of a traffic signal, design signal settings for intersections so that drivers will not face a dilemma zone, and understand that congestion and associated delays are societal costs.

Pavement Design

11(c) Understand pavement structures and their characteristics and design bituminous pavements using the AASHTO method that requires knowledge of traffic engineering, pavement material characteristics, and economics.

Public Mass Transportation

12(o) Understand rail transit service in a corridor with respect to station spacing and vehicle capabilities, calculate changes in transit ridership in response to changes in fare or service (elasticity), and measure and compare the performance of public transportation operations.


13(o) Understand the role of freight movement in the economy and why certain commodities tend to move on specific transport modes.


14(h) Describe what sustainable transportation is, how it can be supported, and the impacts of traffic congestion on a corridor or in a community.

Transportation Communication

15(d) Lead and function on multidisciplinary teams and (g) Communicate in a team environment to compose professional documents in a clear, concise, and effective manner.