With an increase in development and improvement applications, Frederick officials are considering adding another traffic engineer position to the city’s staff.

A move by the aldermen would move money in the city’s engineering department to replace a currently vacant lead survey tech position, Engineering Department Manager Scott Helgeson told the aldermen at a workshop Wednesday.

The average time for an engineering review for improvement plans has increased from 24 days to 38 over three years, according to a report prepared by the city’s staff. That type of increase in their workload has left the city’s two-person traffic division having a hard time keeping up, Helgeson said.

The new traffic engineer position’s responsibilities would include collecting data, performing traffic studies and engineering analysis, designing minor transportation, intersection and signal upgrades, managing the planning and execution of transportation-related capital projects, and researching and updating engineering standards.

The vacant survey tech position has led the city staff to determine that “the greatest need, best use of existing resources and greatest benefit to our customers would be to reallocate resources and the vacant position towards a Traffic Engineer,” the staff report said.

Alderwoman Donna Kuzemchak said she supported the plan as long as they were replacing a position rather than adding one, and Alderman Ben MacShane confirmed with Helgeson that the department didn’t plan to add the survey position back into its request for the fiscal 2022 budget.

Improved technology and equipment has decreased the demand for field surveying staff, and the city could hire contract workers for any extra surveying work, Helgeson said.

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Ryan Marshall is the transportation and growth and development reporter for the News-Post. He can be reached at rmarshall@newspost.com.

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