Job Post: Fort Collins, CO Traffic Engineer

Posted on January 7, 2021

fort collins

You can find all of ELGL’s job posts at From time to time, we help our members with tough-to-recruit for positions with added outreach and visibility on and our social media channels. When you see posts like this, take a minute to share the link with anyone in your network who might be a great fit!

City of Fort Collins, Colorado


The Community 

Incorporated in 1873, Fort Collins is nestled against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains alongside the banks of the Cache La Poudre River. At 5,000 feet in elevation, residents enjoy a moderate, four-season climate, with an average of 300 days of sunshine per year. With 174,800 residents, Fort Collins is Colorado’s fourth largest city and spans 57 square miles. At full build-out, the City of Fort Collins is expected to reach 255,000 residents. 

From its early days as the military fort of Camp Collins, Fort Collins has transformed into a vibrant, healthy, university city with ample attractions and amenities. There are abundant outdoor recreation opportunities available to the many residents who enjoy healthy lifestyles. The nearby Horsetooth Reservoir is a key attraction, as is the Scenic Byway Poudre Canyon. Within the City, the Downtown district provides many venues for live music, shopping, dining, and nightlife. Fort Collins is renowned for its craft beer culture and is widely considered the Craft Beer Capital of Colorado. 

Fort Collins is home to Colorado State University. With a student enrollment of 34,000, the University significantly affects the composition and culture of Fort Collins. More than half of Fort Collins’ residents are college graduates and the City has a strong appreciation for arts, culture, and entertainment. Residents are educated and engaged in their local government. Various national organizations and magazines recognize Fort Collins as one of the best places to live in the nation. 

The Organization 

The City of Fort Collins is a home rule city with a Council-Manager form of government. The City Council is comprised of six District Councilmembers who are elected for four-year terms and a Mayor who is elected at-large for a two-year term. All elected officials are non-partisan. The City Council appoints the City Manager, City Attorney, and the Chief Judge. The City Manager has overall responsibility for all other City employees. The City of Fort Collins directly provides a full slate of municipal services including operating its own electric, water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities. The City of Fort Collins, at the direction of City Council and voters, is moving forward with building and implementing high-speed next-generation broadband to the entire community with an expected completion in 2021. Fire protection is provided by the Poudre Fire Authority (PFA). The City of Fort Collins operates with a biennial budget and provides funding for municipal operations, including approximately 2,500 employees. 

The City of Fort Collins aspires to provide world-class services to the community while cultivating an outstanding organizational culture for its employees. In order to achieve its vision, both internal and external services are data-informed and implemented according to organizational values. The City develops resiliency and sustainability through organization-wide systems and processes that ensure consistent employee work practices and alignment across service areas. The City places a high value on public input and strives to include community members as fellow problem solvers whenever possible. Residents can expect to receive exceptional service, have the opportunity to engage with decision-makers, provide input regarding the allocation of City resources, and have access to government information in a timely and transparent manner. 

Traffic Operations

The City of Fort Collins Planning, Development, and Transportation (PDT) Service Area teams up to successfully shape growth and mobility in our community in a manner that reflects our core values of: 

  • Livability: A safe and thriving quality of life
  • Community: A diverse and inclusive community where all have equitable access to opportunities
  • Sustainability: A resilient and forward-thinking community

Within PDT, the Traffic Operations department is essential to advancing our vision and core values. We implement and oversee all aspects of moving people within and through our community. This involves all multi-modal traffic related responsibilities within the City, including signal systems, signs and pavement markings, speed limits, other studies, work area traffic control, safety, pedestrian and bicycle innovations, and neighborhood traffic mitigation. With a budget of $3.7M, the department is staffed by 33 employees in three divisions including Engineering and Administration, Signals – Maintenance and Construction, and Signs and Pavement Markings. 

From the Traffic Operations Center (TOC), traffic personnel monitor the transportation system, modify signal timings, coordinate incident response, and troubleshoot signal malfunctions. The Econolite Centracs Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS) is the traffic signal control system used by Traffic Operations to monitor traffic and control the traffic signals in Fort Collins. Utilizing over 65 miles of fiber optic technology and wireless communication, the ATMS connects over 184 traffic signals, 48 closed-circuit television cameras, and remote data sensors throughout the City. Traffic Operations is also responsible for 34 pedestrian signals, 19 pedestrian actuated crosswalks, 49 reduced speed limit school zones, and 5 fire station traffic signals. Traffic Operations utilizes Centracs SPM to optimize traffic signal timing and TrafficCast’s BlueTOAD Bluetooth readers to actively clear traffic backups and prevent congestion. In addition to Adaptive and Traffic Responsive Signal Control, the City is exploring Vehicle to Everything (V2X) technology. 

The Opportunity

The Fort Collins Traffic Engineer is uniquely positioned to shape the future of transportation for Fort Collins as we shift away from thinking about our transportation system as a function and consider it an essential component in achieving our long-term goals for greater livability and prosperity for all. At its foundation, the Traffic Engineer leads the operation and maintenance of a safe and efficient multi-modal transportation system using signs, signals, pavement markings, intelligent transportation systems, and other programs. The Traffic Engineer develops short-term and long-range plans and prepares the department’s annual budget based on the goals and growth objectives of the department. 

The Traffic Engineer oversees operation and development of the City’s Traffic Operations Center and effectively manages traffic calming efforts where applicable. This position directly manages the Assistant Traffic Engineer, the Traffic Systems Engineer, and the Senior Supervisor of Transportation Operations and indirectly manages a dedicated team responsible for all aspects of signal timing, signal construction, signal maintenance, signing and paint marking, and work area traffic control for the City. Importantly, the Traffic Engineer listens to and responds to community complaints and concerns.

A highly collaborative position, the Traffic Engineer develops and coordinates work activities of the Traffic Operations department with other City departments and divisions as needed in order to sustain and enhance safety and service levels to the public. This position routinely assists and participates in transportation planning which also includes streets planning. The Traffic Engineer performs and oversees development review and traffic impact studies and reviews plans to ensure appropriate traffic engineering solutions are in place to mitigate development impacts.

The Priorities

  • Build strong, positive relationships with Traffic Operations staff and colleagues in Planning, Development, and Transportation. Work to understand the current organization, operations, culture, and structure to effectively prioritize and execute on achievable goals. 
  • Identify staffing needs to complete our team in our current state, while planning for the future. Actively recruit new team members and fill current vacancies that positively contribute to effective operations and align with our vision, mission, and values. 
  • While Traffic Operations has a great system with progressive, robust technology, the Traffic Engineer will continue to identify opportunities for innovation with an equity focus that provides for a safe, connected, resilient, and accessible community. 
  • Collaborate with colleagues and actively support City Plan and the Transportation Master Plan, ensuring Fort Collins has the safest, most environmentally sustainable, and most equitable transportation system in the nation. 
  • Continue to make progress on the Vision Zero Action Plan and support the City’s commitment to the vision of zero traffic-related deaths. Collaborate to incorporate the five “E’s” of safety: Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, and Evaluation to further develop actionable strategies and projects to reduce the number and severity of crashes. 
  • Lead exciting projects that will continue to provide critical transportation improvements that enhance connectivity including the Vine and Lemay overpass, street reshaping projects, railroad quiet zones, and the growth and development of roads and streets through expansion and annexation. 
  • Mentor and coach a team of dedicated employees. Formalize programs and create opportunities for employee development, training, and succession planning with a continued focus on safety and providing high quality traffic operations. 
  • Partner with colleagues and other city services to actively contribute expertise where traffic comes into the mix with plans and strategies including the City Plan, Transit Master Plan, Bicycle Plan, Pedestrian Plan, and the Climate Action Plan. 
  • Actively keep the community well informed. Provide proactive communication, effectively interpret technical aspects of projects, and routinely share outcomes with residents. 
  • Continue to collaborate with our valued partners including Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State University, Larimer County, and importantly our community-based organizations to ensure the Fort Collins region remains a connected and accessible community. 

The Successful Candidate

The new Traffic Engineer is a strategic thinker who easily sees the big picture and long-term potential for effective traffic operations. The successful candidate maintains an understanding of the issues affecting the Fort Collins transportation ecosystem and leverages that knowledge to drive decisions. The Traffic Engineer brings a fresh, yet experienced voice and perspective to initiatives with a proven ability to move projects forward. The ideal candidate encourages a culture of innovation and continuous improvement that supports and enables the City to embrace new ideas and operational enhancements with a focus on safety. 

By providing progressive and innovative leadership, the Traffic Engineer is motivated to make a difference in the community. The successful candidate is well rounded with wide-ranging transportation knowledge including traffic engineering, traffic control, traffic codes, signal systems, and signs and maintenance. The ideal candidate embraces multi-modal transportation and actively collaborates on smart city initiatives involving safe and effective shared space for pedestrians, bicycles, and vehicles. In addition to monitoring best practices, the successful candidate looks at data in a comprehensive way to identify trends, patterns, and opportunities to ensure operational efficiency of the entire traffic operations system.

The Traffic Engineer works with other city departments and partner agencies to find solutions to sometimes challenging problems. The successful candidate has excellent communications skills and can easily explain complex engineering ideas to the layperson in writing or in conversation. A collaborative leader, the Traffic Engineer values the opinions of others and encourages diversity of thought. The ideal candidate is flexible and always looks for solutions within the regulatory requirements. Considered a calculated risk taker, the ideal candidate maintains a focus on safety while routinely supporting innovative ideas that drive success. The preferred candidate is an active listener that values honesty and integrity and believes in fostering mutual respect at all levels. Importantly, the Traffic Engineer is confident and diplomatic with a willingness to push back as needed.

The successful candidate naturally develops positive relationships, establishes a high level of trust, and enjoys leading a talented and dedicated team. The Traffic Engineer has a strong background in leading and managing staff with empathy and compassion. The ideal candidate employs a leadership style that invites participation and gathers input, but at the end of the day is decisive and results oriented. Above all, the Traffic Engineer promotes an environment where creativity, communication, and customer service are highly valued.

Total Compensation

City of Fort Collins offers a competitive comprehensive benefits package, which includes a market competitive salary of $115,000 – $125,000. Other benefits include medical, dental, vision, life, and short- and long-term disability insurance. Additionally, the City of Fort Collins offers other benefits, including 401(a) and a 457 deferred compensation plan with an employer contribution, optional Health Savings Account, Flexible Spending Accounts, and relocation assistance for the successful out of area finalist.


At least ten years of progressively responsible professional traffic engineering experience with at least three years in a leadership and management capacity, preferably with a municipality. Advanced knowledge of traffic engineering practices and procedures, including design and construction, and the ability to apply full scope of theory, principles, concepts, and methodologies is essential. Strong familiarity with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices is crucial. Prior experience developing and managing a budget is required. A professional engineering license is required with a Professional Traffic Operations Engineer (PTOE) certification encouraged. A bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, or related field. An equivalent combination of experience and education that enable success as the Traffic Engineer will be considered.

How to Apply

The City of Fort Collins is deeply committed to high-quality public service and cultivating an outstanding culture for its employees. As a high-performing government, Fort Collins attracts and employs diverse and competitive talent, retains its workforce through development and growth opportunities, and promotes intelligent risk-taking to address increasingly complex challenges. 

Applications will be accepted electronically by The Novak Consulting Group. Applicants complete a brief online form and are prompted to provide a cover letter and resume. Please apply no later than January 10, 2021.


Heather Gantz 

Manager, Executive Search

The City of Fort Collins is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity at all levels of its workforce. Applicants selected as finalists for this position will be subject to a criminal history/credit/ driver’s license check prior to the interview. Under the Colorado Open Records Act, information from your application or resume may be subject to public disclosure.

Close window