ITE Journal - January 2020 - 33

COLUCCI RIOS: The conference was a dream come true! This historic meeting at the new
District level proves that professionals from different cultures can work together in putting
together an outstanding technical program, one that addresses the needs of both transportation professionals in the mainland and our professionals from the Caribbean.
ITEJ: Tell us a little more about your work at McHenry County. What are some of the
day-to-day challenges you help solve and the types of projects you work on?
JEFF YOUNG: As the assistant county engineer at the McHenry County Division of
Transportation (MCDOT), I oversee the administration, planning, design, and construction activities for the county. We have a great staff that makes my job a lot easier. There
are always bumps in the road that come up unexpectedly, and it's key to address them
immediately. This can range from an elected official who has questions about a construction
project, a utility conflict with a roadway design that needs resolving by bringing the right
people into the conversation, or a resident who has a concern about the safety at an intersection. We strive to solve problems using "small" solutions that can be implemented quickly.
Then there are those issues that need a "bigger" project to find the answer. Every day is
different and a challenge which makes working at the county exciting.
ITEJ: MCDOT requires that traffic studies be submitted by an engineer holding a PTOE.
How did this requirement come about and what was the reason for it?
YOUNG: About 12 years ago, we were in the process of rewriting our Highway Access
Management Ordinance. This was at the peak (just didn't know it yet) of a development
boom that caused extreme growth in the county, and we were inundated with plan reviews
and corresponding traffic studies. The submittals we would get were often done by one
engineer or firm that did the traffic study, roadway plans, and signal design for the new
development. Many times, the submitting firm had the capability to do all of these plans
and studies, but this unfortunately wasn't always the case. We would see traffic studies
submitted with plans already designed, but upon review, the traffic studies (that lay the base
for the proposed geometry) were wrong causing all that design work to be redone. This was
certainly frustrating for us as reviewers, but also for the developer to have plans needing to
be redesigned which resulted in added costs and-worse-project delays.
We knew the benefits of having a PTOE prepare a traffic study would give us the
confidence that the engineer had the skills to prepare a thorough traffic study making our
reviews quicker. This in turn would put the development in a better position to be processed
more efficiently. Having a PTOE as an integral part of the process not only saves the county
review time but saves the developer time and money as well.
ITEJ: The county's traffic engineer who you work with has a PTOE. How has that
designation provided value to your organization when working on various projects?
YOUNG: Having a PTOE on staff assures us that we have the technical expertise to deal
with traffic issues. Whether the traffic engineer is laying out the striping for passing zones
on a rural highway, reviewing traffic signal plans, or working with our maintenance
staff to give proposer guidance for roadway signing, the PTOE certification gives us and
others the assurance that he has mastered the necessary skills. Holding the certification
demonstrates several things, including that the person is committed to their craft. The
certification reduces on-the-job training because you know they have the necessary skills
for the position, or may even exceed the required skills. To have someone on your staff that
has a PTOE gives your organization the peace of mind that you have someone that has truly
mastered the traffic engineering aspect of civil engineering. itej

Jeff Young, P.E. (M)
Assistant County Engineer
McHenry County Division of Transportation
Illinois, USA
ITE Positions Held:
Illinois Section Past President - 2004
Midwestern District Past President - 2008
International Public Agency
Council Chair - 2016-2018
Award Task Force Subcommittee Chair - 2019
ITE Midwestern Traffic Bowl
Committee Member
Awards
ITE Illinois Section
Past President's Award - 2011

Obtain your
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J a n u ar y 2020

33


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ITE Journal - January 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ITE Journal - January 2020

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