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Traffic Engineers

History

During the early colonial days, dirt roads and Native American trails were the primary means of land travel. In 1806, the U.S. Congress provided for the construction of the first federal highway in the United States; it was known as the Cumberland Road, or the National Road. More and more roads were built, connecting neighborhoods, towns, cities, and states. As the population increased and modes of travel began to advance, more roads were needed to facilitate commerce, tourism, and daily transportation. Automobile transportation started in the 1920s, which increased congestion and accidents on the roads. Electric traffic signals were introduced in the United States in 1928 to help control automobile traffic. Because land travel was becoming increasingly complex, traffic engineers were trained to ensure safe travel on roads and highways, in detours and construction work zones, and for special events such as sports competitions and political conventions, among others.

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