Mario Kart and engineering don't normally go hand-in-hand, but Peter O'Halloran's love for racing games has transferred into his profession as he manages traffic projects. Peter was named one of the top Transportation Demand Management professionals under 40 by GVF, a local transportation management association. The award recognizes those committed to improving the greater Philadelphia region by implementing transportation demand management (also known as TDM), showing that Peter has sped ahead of his peers in the industry.
Originally from Ireland, Peter’s first job was in his father’s joinery sales business. He attended University College Cork, where he earned a degree in civil engineering before moving to the US. The toughest job Peter ever had was seasonal work for a company in Newport, Rhode Island, where he assembled tents and marquees. Despite the rough summer, he still says that moving to the United States was the best decision he ever made. “It was tough at first; I didn't know a lot of people. But I made friends easily through work,” Peter says of his move. “I am still friendly today with many of those people I initially met.” His great working relationships carry on today in the traffic department at Urban, and he views many of his coworkers as inspirational mentors.
A project Peter views as a highlight of his time with the firm is the Philadelphia Public Safety Services Campus, which will be the new home for vital city functions such as police administration, public health laboratories, and the medical examiner’s office. These will be on the campus alongside the new Philadelphia Juvenile Justice Services Center. The state-of-the-art facilities are said to be part of an effort to enable police and health services to attain additional accreditation and reduce operational costs. “The Police Department is an important Philadelphia institution, so being part of a project related to their new headquarters is exciting,” Peter says. “The new headquarters will benefit the department which will, in turn, benefit Philadelphians.”
The project ties into an overall feeling Peter has as a traffic engineer, which is that he can take pride in the fact that the work he and his colleagues do is part of what makes the world go around. “Roads are a vital part of today's society, without them the world would function very differently,” Peter adds.