Troy, MI – Richard Beaubien is a certified Professional Traffic Operations Engineer (PTOE) with 44 years of experience in municipal traffic engineering, transportation planning, highway design, traffic system operations.
“Traffic is a big problem,” says Beaubien, “but that's what we do as engineers: we're problem solvers. We try our best to predict what humans are going to do on the roads to figure out how we can best serve all people in the community.”
Formed in 2012, Beaubien Engineering, offers engineering services to private and public clients, helping local governments and municipalities to manage roadways, rights-of-way and traffic systems to best coordinate first responders.
“There are about 300,000 signals in North America in the US,” says Beaubien. “You assume that the state DOT is in control of those, but they only control about 10 percent of them. The other 90 percent are controlled by local governments with varying degrees of expertise.”
“There are a lot of analogies to fluid flow, fluid mechanics,” explains Beaubien. “There are all kinds of equations we use to estimate how we can minimize delay. We need traffic signal timing and sign placement based on what the humans are capable of seeing and doing while driving. We always need to consider human behavior, and we use human factors to design these things properly."
“The nice thing about civil engineering is you get to have input from the public and elected officials about what you did out there, on a regular basis. It’s all about how well my signal systems are working and where the science should go.”
For more information, visit www.beaubienengineering.net