Traffic Control Design Specialist (TCDS) Course



Course Length

Two days/16 hours (or One day/8 hours*)

*NOTE: The TCDS course is also available in a one-day (8 hour) format, which is intended for individuals who are already Traffic Control Supervisor (TCS) certified. Please note that the TCDS course does not grant authority to individuals to approve design plans.

For the full course description, prerequisite information, CEU value and registration information, click here.


Two-Day Course Outline

  1. TTC as a function of roadway design and ability of drivers
  2. Human factors - "controlling" the driver, system of communication, PRT, etc.
  3. Standards and Guidelines - Source and legal authority, including:
    • Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD)
    • Green Book
    • Roadside Design Guide
    • State Specifications
  4. Fundamental Principles
  5. Applications
    • Definition of "system" and TTCZ component parts
    • TCP development considerations - work type, location and duration; capacity issues; day vs. nighttime work; constructability and size
  6. Design considerations of the component parts of the TTCZ
    • Work space and clear zone
    • Buffer space considerations - longitudinal, lateral, SSD formula, options, crashworthiness of devices
    • Transitions - types of tapers, applications, formulas, graphic explanation, multiple tapers
    • Advance Warning Area - function, sign selection (visibility vs. legibility, speed, spacing, location and placement), right vs. both sides, mounting standards, supplemental devices
    • Termination - tapers, advantages vs. disadvantages, end road work location
  7. Typical Applications
    • Definition, Drawing, and Notes
    • Selection and combining of typicals
    • Designing for specific field conditions - engineering study vs. judgement, classification, adjacent land use, geometric configuration, superelevation, nighttime, detours and diversions, pedestrians and the ADA
  8. Putting together the TCP
    • Format
    • Scale
    • Orientation
    • Approvals
    • Software applications
  9. Modifications/Adjustments to the TCP
    • Authority and Approval Process
    • Emergency vs. Enhancement Situations
    • Adjustment Considerations - traffic flow, visual observations, pedestrian violations, field reports, citizen complaints, etc.
  10. Legal Aspects
    • Legal definitions
    • The civil lawsuit process
    • Designer responsibilities - documentation on engineering judgement, discretionary power and immunities


One-Day Course Outline

  1. Introduction
    • Impact of work zone traffic control on safety and mobility
    • The designer’s role in proper work zone traffic control
    • Transportation management plans (TMPs)
    • Sources of TTC standards and guidelines
  2. Design Strategies
    • Planning considerations
    • Design strategies
  3. Types of TTC Activities
    • Factors used to categorize TTC zone applications
    • Various types of TTC activities
  4. Positive Protection
    • Defining positive protection
    • Clear zone concept
    • Barriers
    • Impact Attenuators
  5. Other Considerations
    • Urban areas
    • Pedestrian considerations (including ADA compliance)
    • Motorcycle considerations
    • Bicycle considerations
  6. Exam


Register Now Course Description


  • The American Traffic Safety Services Association
  • 15 Riverside Parkway, Suite 100
  • Fredericksburg, Virginia 22406-1077
  • Telephone: (800) 272-8772



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