PSU Transportation Seminar: Confessions of a Traffic Engineer: How the MUTCD Impacts Everything

Thursday, May 25, 2023, 12:00pm to 1:00pm PDT
Peter Koonce, Portland Bureau of Transportation
ONLINE and IN-PERSON: Smith Memorial Student Union (SMSU) 1825 SW Broadway, Room 296/8
PDH: 1 | AICP: 1

Transportation Seminars at Portland State University have been a tradition since 2000. Formerly known as the Friday Transportation Seminar series, we've opened up PSU Transportation Seminars to other days of the week to better accommodate attendance. You can always watch online via Zoom.



Pete Buttigieg, USDOT Secretary of Transportation has described the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) as “notorious”… and for cities, it has been a challenging document to navigate to implement multimodal solutions. This presentation will share upcoming changes to the Manual, ideas for research to inform practice, and ways that cities can interpret data to make positive change in their community.


  • Identify challenges with language in the MUTCD
  • Describe what level of interpretation is applicable when seeking to implement policies in community
  • Provide examples where research has changed and improved practice


Peter Koonce, Interim Director of the Traffic Systems and Operations Group, Portland Bureau of Transportation

Peter Koonce, P.E., was recently appointed Interim Traffic Systems & Operations Group Director. He began working for PBOT in 2009 to build an engineering team that would help Portland remain an innovative, multimodal leader delivering solutions that meet the city’s policies. He successfully led the $18.5 million citywide LED street lighting retrofit, the single largest energy efficiency project in the city’s history. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Portland State University teaching graduate level courses in transportation engineering. He is a member of the Bicycle Technical Committee of the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices and is Chair of the Transportation Research Board’s Committee on Traffic Signal Systems. Peter is active with multiple professional societies including ITE, the NACTO, and APBP.


This 60-minute seminar is eligible for 1 hour of professional development credit for AICP (see our provider summary). We can provide an electronic attendance certificate for other types of certification maintenance.

Portland State University's Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) is home to the U.S. DOT funded National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI), PORTAL, BikePed Portal and other transportation grants and programs. We produce impactful research and tools for transportation decision makers, expand the diversity and capacity of the workforce, and engage students and professionals through education and participation in research.