Voigt Retiring from Ayres, Keeping One Foot in Traffic World

  • By Ayres
  • October 7, 2021

Voigt is interviewed about bicycle and pedestrian accommodations along North Avenue in his hometown of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.

Today officially marks the day Ken Voigt, PE, senior traffic engineer, retires from Ayres after 15 years with the firm and 55 years in the traffic engineering world. But anyone who knows Voigt suspects he’s not quite done contributing to the traffic engineering and analysis industry, given his continuing ties to the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), the Congress for the New Urbanism, and many other organizations.

Summarizing Voigt’s career is like trying to drive (or bike or walk) past every project he has touched over 55 years. That would be quite a road trip – perhaps one that Voigt will embark on in his Mustang convertible.

Suffice it to say that Voigt is a traffic icon, and not the kind of icon that shows up as you navigate with Google Maps. Voigt has conducted traffic safety studies, roadway operation analyses, traffic calming, and neighborhood street system design. He has led numerous focus group sessions to build consensus and to develop a context-sensitive design approach to projects. His public involvement skills made a real difference in how projects were received. One of his most challenging projects was building consensus for improvements along the East Washington Avenue Corridor in Madison.

David Dryer, the City of Madison’s traffic engineer, had this to say about Voigt’s work on East Washington Avenue: “Ken was instrumental in working with the residents, businesses, and nearby neighborhoods and neighborhood associations. He was able to take all views into consideration, and while not every idea generated by the public made it through the project development stage, the people felt their ideas were given a fair shake.”

ITE bestowed its highest individual recognition for professional achievement on Voigt in 2018, electing him to Honorary Membership. Voigt is an ITE past International President and has served as a leader at every level within ITE. He was instrumental in initiating the Collegiate Traffic Bowl and ITE’s Journal of Transportation. He’s served on the transportation Consultants Council, Sustainability Task Force, and Complete Streets Council Executive Committee. Voigt helped develop ITE’s new Strategic Initiatives Plan, the updated Professional Transportation Planner Certification exam, and the Diversity Scholars scholarship program.

Voigt is passionate about designing streets and traffic flow in ways that shape the character of the neighborhoods they serve. And he extolls the need to design streets that preserve safe routes for schoolchildren to reach school and for pedestrians and bicyclists of all ages to reach work, play, or the store. He was lead instructor for classes taught throughout Wisconsin regarding the Safe Routes to School program. He’s also been an instructor of Americans with Disabilities Act rules and regulations for the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals.

While Ayres is losing Voigt, he has shared his expertise with the next generation of traffic experts, having taught many students enrolled in courses on traffic control and the environmental impacts of transportation systems at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, as well as intersection design and traffic impacts of land development courses offered by the University of Wisconsin Engineering Extension.

Cheers to a transportation icon. Ken, may it be many years before you need help crossing the street.

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Comments

  • Tom Grisa says:

    Ken is the consummate engineering professional and the go-to-guy in traffic engineering. We were proud to have Ken provide his expertise in various ways in Brookfield and leave a legacy in not just traffic engineering, but soccer as well. Thank you Ken for all your contributions in so many ways!

  • Brian P Glaeser says:

    Ken, I would like to wish you the best of luck in your retirement, and thank you for the many years of service. Your help with many of our projects in Calumet County does not go unnoticed. Enjoy your ride and best wishes!!!

  • Brian Porter says:

    Ken,

    Thank you for all you’ve done for our profession! Your tireless advocacy, leadership, and mentoring is an inspiration and has had a positive impact on many people’s careers, including mine. Enjoy the next chapter!

  • Leeann Butschlick says:

    Congratulations Ken on a well-deserved retirement! From grad school professor to traffic consultant, I’ve enjoyed each of our many opportunities to work together. Enjoy!

  • Eric Sorensen says:

    Ken,
    It has been a real pleasure working with you during your time at Ayres. It was always comforting to know that I had access to an industry leader in traffic as well as someone who could manage the toughest of crowds for some of my more challenging and controversial projects. Your commitment to our clients and industry is unparalleled. Congratulations and I wish you nothing but the best in your retirement as you have truly earned it!

  • Leah Ness says:

    Congratulations Ken on your retirement! Your drive and dedication to the advancement of traffic engineering in all aspects is admirable. I appreciate the time that I was able to work along side you and learn from you. Know that your knowledge and commitment continues through your past students and co-workers. Enjoy and cheers to you!

  • david pantzlaff says:

    Great career, Ken! Passion is irrepressible!

  • Daniel Sydow says:

    Congrats Ken! It has been a joy working with you. You exemplify what is means to be a true professional and ambassador for our profession. Now go enjoy retirement. Well deserved!

  • Jan Zander says:

    Congratulations on all your career accomplishments Ken, and, thank you for all your contributions to Ayres. It was a pleasure to work with you over the last decade and a half.

  • Marc Hustad says:

    Congratulations on your retirement and a tremendous career and legacy. Thank you for being a great leader, industry icon and mentor to many (including me)!

  • Matthew Robert Barr says:

    Congratulations Ken. I didn’t have the opportunity to work with you on a lot of projects, but I did gain some good insight into traffic and planning related issues on several pursuits we were involved with over the years. Good luck and enjoy your free time!

  • Alex Cowan says:

    Congratulations, Ken, on your retirement. I’ve had the privilege of working with you throughout the entirety of my career and I owe much of my knowledge to the insights and guidance that you so willingly shared. Your influence on the industry through projects and people is incredible. Enjoy the next chapter and I look forward to catching up over our next cup of coffee. Aloha!

  • Tristan Hickman says:

    Ken – It was a pleasure first learning from, then working alongside you. There are many principles, even outside of traffic, that you’ve built your career around that have inspired the way that I approach career growth. Thank you for your contributions to the industry and I’m sure you’ll be enjoying nice road trips in one of your MGs!