Traffic Eng & Safety

Travel safety, complete streets, advanced signal tech, and VMT as a metric for environmental analysis in California

Traffic Flow Principles for Practitioners

This online training provides fundamental and practical knowledge on traffic flows, with emphasis on how to assess and improve these flows. It focuses primarily on the “link & node” level of traffic systems and explores three themes for designing, evaluating, and controlling traffic systems:

  1. Basic Assessment Tools (time-space & queuing diagrams)
  2. Flow Theory (fundamental diagrams & dynamic models)
  3. Applications (using the above ideas to solve problems involving traffic signals, freeway systems, & street networks)

Attendees will learn basic assessment methods and traffic flow theories particularly for evaluating the effects of bottlenecks, as well as the application of these concepts to improve traffic conditions on street and highway networks.

This course uses a combination of lectures, and classroom exercises to convey tools and logic for tackling traffic problems. It provides a sound technical foundation for more specialized courses such as traffic signal operations, freeway operations, and roadway capacity analysis.

Additional course detail is provided in the sections below.

  • Course Topics
    • Fundamental flow concepts & traffic stream properties
    • Assessment tools such as time space & queueing diagrams
    • Models for congested traffic
    • Bottleneck evaluation & capacity analysis
    • Evaluation of vehicle delays
    • Applications to traffic signals, ramp-metering, network design & network-wide congestion management
  • Course Outline
        Chapter 1 Introduction
        Chapter 2 Vehicle Trajectories
        a. Time-space diagrams: graphical tool for displaying data about vehicle motion
        b. Definitions of traffic stream properties
        Chapter 3 Links (e.g.,road segments)
        a. Fundamental diagrams: flow-density relations
        b. Link dynamics: Kinematic Wave (KW) theory
        Chapter 3 Links (cont.)
        Chapter 4 Nodes (e.g.,intersections,terminals,etc.)
        a. Queuing diagrams
        b. Delay & queue length at bottlenecks
        Chapter 5 Applications
        a. Traffic signals (timing, vehicle delay, arterials)
        b. Freeway management (on-ramp metering)
        c. Simple networks & complications due to route choice
  • What you will learn

    Attendees will gain good understanding of principles in traffic operations and how these principles can be applied to address real-world traffic problems.

  • Who should attend

    This course is specially tailored for engineers and planners who work in the traffic and transportation fields, with or without previous formal training/experience in traffic flow fundamentals.

  • Course Prerequisites

      [no prerequisites identified]

  • Course Instructors

      S. Ilgin Guler, PhD, Assistant Professor, The Pennsylvania State University

      S. Ilgin Guler is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Pennsylvania State University. Her research interests include multi-modal urban traffic operations and control, intelligent transportation systems, connected and autonomous vehicles and infrastructure management. She is currently serving as the Penn State PI on NCHRP 17-84: Pedestrian and Bicycle safety performance functions for the Highway Safety Manual.

      Dr. Guler's research has resulted in over 30 peer-refereed journal articles and over 40 refereed conference proceedings on topics that include multi-modal traffic safety, multi-modal traffic operations and multi-modal traffic control. Dr. Guler is the recipient of the 2020 Council of University Transportation Centers Cambridge Systematics New Faculty Award.

  • Registration Information

      Registration for this course occurs at the TechTransfer training host site. Use the button to the right to directly access the course page and registration portal. You will be asked to create a user account as part of the registration process.

      A confirmation email will be sent to you within two business days of TechTransfer receiving your paid registration.

      If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact the TechTransfer Registrar at (510) 643-4393 or

  • For more information

      To learn more about TechTransfer courses and credits, see their FAQ (

      To learn more about TechTransfer's cancellation, refund, and substitution policies, see How to Enroll (

      Cancellation Policy:

      The cancellation fee for this course is $75. At TechTransfer, there are no refunds for classes with registration fees of $75 or less. For all other classes, you may cancel your enrollment and receive a refund of your registration fee less $75, provided they receive your written request to cancel at least 5 full working days before the class is scheduled to begin. In lieu of canceling your registration, you may (1) transfer your registration to another TechTransfer class, (2) receive a tuition credit for the full amount, useable toward a future class, or (3) send a substitute in your place.

      Note: TechTransfer recommends you discuss any possible problems or online security issues with your IT person before you register for any online classes. If you are worried about connectivity issues, please contact the online training coordinator the week before the class to schedule a time to test your system. If you do not test your system and you have technical issues during a live online class, we will not provide a refund.

LTAP Subsidized

This class is offered at a reduced fee to employees of California's city, county, regional, and tribal public agencies

Course Fee

Standard Rate:

Public Agency Rate:



[information not available]

Course Credit

This course grants:

0.75 CEUs

Upcoming Sessions (0)

[not currently scheduled]


Need More Help?

California LTAP Center

Phone: (562) 985-2872