Get to Know Littleton’s Employees: Aaron Heumann – Transportation Engineering Manager

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Name: Aaron Heumann

How long have you worked for Littleton: I started working for the city at the end of 2016, so I have been working in Public Works for 15 months now. However, I had been interested in working for the city ever since Craig Faessler, the previous City Traffic Engineer, resigned from the position in 2008. I had inquired as to when the city would hire a new traffic engineer for eight years until Mark Relph was hired on as the new Public Works Director and determined the need to once again fill the position.

Job Responsibilities: As the city’s Transportation Engineering Manager, my responsibilities extend between Public Works and Community Development. On the Public Works side, I am responsible for the operation of the 60 existing traffic signals in the city, along with the pedestrian signals, emergency signals and school zone flashers. I am also charged with determining the appropriate location for any new traffic control devices. I direct our traffic crew on the configuration and maintenance of pavement markings utilized on the city roadways and the type and location of regulatory signs installed to direct motorists and pedestrians. Then there are special projects and studies that arise, such as evaluating and improving key corridors in the city, developing and revising signal timing coordination, studying locations for pedestrian safety, conducting vehicular speed studies, studying parking conditions, and addressing a variety of council and resident concerns regarding anything from transportation operations and accommodations to neighborhood traffic calming needs to school safety concerns. I also am responsible for data collection in the form of traffic volumes, speed data, and accident data, and evaluating the information for historical changes and identifying locations of concern. There is also regular collaboration among all of the engineers who work in Public Works with regard to ongoing roadway and utility construction projects, and coordination with adjacent municipalities and regional agencies. I attend regular meetings with the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG), CDOT and Arapahoe County, as well as working with our neighboring cities and counties on specific projects and teaming opportunities, such as the Platte Canyon Road Task Force.

For Community Development, I am responsible for reviewing any development projects for potential impacts to traffic operations on adjacent roadways, the location and allowance of access driveways, the internal project circulation and parking configuration, as well as assuring the City Code and federal regulations, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, are adhered to appropriately. I also assist with providing any planning for the future of the city, whether that may be through updates to the city Comprehensive Plan or Transportation Plan, or participating in master planning studies, such as those currently under way for our two light rail station areas, or review and improvements to our standards and codes by which we abide. I also work with other agencies on planning for the region, such as the Arapahoe County Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Planning currently ongoing.

What is your favorite part of the job: In many ways I am a typical engineer in that I like to solve problems. I take a lot of pride in the city in which I live, am raising my family, and work, so I find the most joy in resolving issues in the city and improving the safety and operations for everyone, no matter how big or small.

Hobbies: I try to stay busy outside of work. I have been a board member for South Metro Housing Options for more than 11 years, I am currently the president of my neighborhood HOA and have been for the past three years, I am a past president for my local professional society section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and a co-chair for the upcoming Western District of ITE conference that will be held in Keystone in the summer of 2018. My wife and I have two boys we adopted from Guatemala, so we attend a weekend summer camp for adoptive families of Latin American countries, where I have volunteered as the soccer coach for the past several years. Having coached soccer for many years, I have resolved myself to being the team manager for my oldest son’s competitive soccer team as part of the Littleton Soccer Club. In fact I just returned from an out-of-state tournament with the team where I chaperoned the 16 players in Dallas, TX. Finally, I enjoy exercising, so in addition to currently training to run my fourth marathon next month, I also take Krav Maga (Israeli self defense) fitness classes two or three times a week, and go on long road bike rides when I have a chance on nice weather weekends.

Personal Statement: Life has thrown me some curves over the years, but I believe in trying to stay as positive as possible and focusing on the long vision and not worrying about the little things. This past year has been an especially challenging roller coaster ride. On the one hand I started my dream job of working as the traffic engineer in the city I love and chose to live and raise my kids. Unfortunately, on the other hand I had to witness the rapid deterioration and eventual succumbing of my hero and inspiration when my father passed away to a combination of illnesses, including a rare cancer and Alzheimer. As a retired professor in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois, my dad taught me how to integrate engineering and planning, the importance of being involved in your children’s lives and an active participant in your community, and to treat everyone with compassion.