14 Sep 2021 Blog

A Day in the Life of... Justin Effinger, Senior Traffic Engineer


// Name and location
Justin Effinger, Franklin, Wisconsin.

// What is your position?
Lead Writer & Proposals Manager.

// What’s the 1st thing you do each morning?
The first thing I do is take our dog, Hershey, out for a walk. We’re living next to a beautiful park, also gives me time to reflect and prepare for the day.

// What does your office setup look like? What tools and software you cannot live without?
I’m working from my home, so outside of my Asus ZenBook and an Insignia 22″ external monitor, I am surrounded by toddler toys. Being responsible for our proposals and PoX documents, Microsoft Office is a key tool in my ‘arsenal’, primarily Excel and Word. As a traffic engineer I use Excel a lot to ‘dive-in’ to the traffic data, identifying trends, for both our customers and our product team.

// When did you join NoTraffic and why?
I joined NoTraffic a few months ago, primarily because of the culture of the company and the innovative technology we are developing. After years of working on the customer-side of the transportation industry, NoTraffic opened an opportunity to join the vendor-side, doubling-down on the already amazing foundation.

// What’s the most mis-understood thing about your job?
I think the most misunderstood thing about my job is traffic terminology. It is hard to grasp that the traffic engineering field is very concise and saying the wrong things can lead to big miscommunications.

For example,  progression and delay are often used interchangeably, but they can be opposites of each other. Progression improvement is usually referred to reducing travel time along a coordinated route, when delay is referred to reducing overall delay at the intersection – which can put an emphasis on pedestrian, side street and left turn delay if their traffic volumes are high enough.

Another example would be the use of the term recall. A recall is when a phase is manually programmed to always be served, not when vehicle detection is not working, which is a detection fault. Also, there are many different types of recall like pedestrian, minimum, maximum and soft. Each one has a different impact on traffic.

// Why would you recommend people to join you?
It is a very rewarding type of work. We are saving people’s time and frustration, and seeing the benefits after working hard on a project is one of the best things.

// What’s your favorite hobby, how a typical weekend looks like?
My favorite hobby is golf, although not ready for the Masters just yet.. still I enjoy playing with friends. My typical weekend usually consists of spending quality time with my family – Sammi, my wife, and our twin toddlers (Madelyn and Henry). We’re playing outside, going to pools, parks, doing long walks, and going to various attractions that are toddler friendly.

// How do you spend your time commuting to work?
Since walking down the stairs doesn’t constitute ‘commuting’, I take advantage of my morning walks with Hershey to catch up on podcasts or simply enjoying the silence.