Jerome Gonzalez earns Professional Transportation Planner certification

IMEG Senior Civil Planner Jerome Gonzalez talks about earning Professional Transportation Planner certification—the first such designation in the firm—and his role as a senior land planner in the following Q&A.

Q: What inspired you to pursue land and transportation planning as a career?

A: Growing up in suburban Texas, I was always happy to go to the downtowns of major cities or walk through the residential neighborhood where I lived. I enjoyed riding a bike and driving in a car. I pondered how the physical forms fit together, even the mundane questions—Why is this pipe here? How does a traffic signal work? Why does a building look and feel this way? How do we get around it, move within it? How are these decisions made?

As a teenager, I visited Bogota, Colombia, and was amazed at the layout of apartments, plazas, and greenspaces, and the ability to walk and take a bus. I later lived in New York City, walking and taking mass transit, and in Washington, D.C., where I rode the bus and accessed the amazing biking trails through nature and the built environment. The bus and bike paths hooked me—how do we design these networks to best serve people? How do we accommodate all modes of travel?

Once I discovered the field of planning, I knew it was something I wanted to do. I enjoy working with the history of an area, with different people based on the ongoing decisions in comprehensive plans and zoning ordinances to provide a comfortable environment for all to discover.

Q: What is Professional Transportation Planner (PTP) certification? What did it take to get certified?

A: PTP certification is the premier nationwide credential for a transportation planner. It sets a planner apart in all things transportation, whether from a regional perspective or at the site analysis level, and with the ability to come up with solutions. To me, it provides the perfect combination of transportation planning and transportation engineering.

These two elements are intertwined in the PTP certification, showing an understanding of the conceptual and putting numbers to the concept for productive interactions with stakeholders. This certification requires three to five years of related experience and passing a multiple-choice exam assessing the fundamental knowledge of the field. Continuing education credits are required to maintain certification, so you keep current in the trends and developments in transportation.

Q: How are you and IMEG uniquely positioned to help clients with transportation planning?

A: I have been in public and private sector positions working with the public, other professionals, and governmental agencies, which honed my technical ability to reach and present a solution. I benefit from collaborating with great managers and coworkers and appreciate the opportunity to meet with clients, understand their experiences and concerns, and come up with an innovative solution for them that serves the public interest as best we can.

As a nationwide firm, IMEG can tap into local resources to find creative solutions to site-specific or regional transportation issues, based on our broad experiences, whether they relate to efficiently moving people and goods, accessing properties, or safely reaching destinations, or other needs. We also have an extensive track record of successful projects within our other in-house engineering, surveying, and landscaping specialties. IMEG has a talented group of dedicated people who think of transportation solutions from different perspectives to find solutions for clients and the public.