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T&DI Member Highlight: Joel Leisch

Friday, January 17, 2020

Joel Lesich - Headshot
Joel Leisch

Joel Leisch has been engaged in transportation and traffic planning and design with an emphasis on urban freeway corridors and other high type urban facilities for more than 50 years. He has been responsible for the planning studies of more than 2,000 miles of freeways, toll facilities, and arterials including more than 900 interchanges in major metropolitan areas in 28 states, Canada and 4 foreign countries. A number of these projects have incorporated high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) facilities, managed lanes, surveillance and control, and integration with public transportation (BRT or rail) in environmentally and socially sensitive areas.

After two years on active duty as a decorated Naval officer in Vietnam, he began his career with DeLeuw Cather and Company of Canada in 1966 as a Highway Planner/Designer and then as Highway Planner with Alan Voorhees and Associates in McLean, VA. For nearly 20 years beginning in 1971 he was Vice President and then President of Jack E. Leisch and Associates and from 1987-1989 also Director of Transportation for PBS&J. During this period of time Jack Leisch, Joel's father, was a mentor who transferred his philosophy of designing for the human environment and viewing a solution as part of a system. Joel Leisch has been an independent consultant carrying on his father's approach to solving traffic problems.

Joel Leisch - Naval Portrait
Joel Leisch in his Naval Officer uniform, 1966.

Mr. Leisch has conducted professional education training seminars, workshops, and programs in highway and traffic planning, freeway and interchange planning, and intersection and roundabout planning and operational analysis for State DOT's, Canadian agencies and overseas agencies and consultants and numerous Universities throughout the US. Mr. Leisch has published numerous papers with and made presentations to TRB, ASCE, AASHTO and ITE. Participated in the development and teaching of the ITE Dynamic Design for Safety workshop series. He is primary author and editor of the ITE "Freeway and Interchange Geometric Design Handbook." He was a researcher on the FHWA project "Field Evaluation of the Double Crossover Diamond (Diverging Diamond)."

He has been involved in the development of highway design criteria and analysis procedures contributing to several of the AASHTO design policies and the 1985, 1994, 1997 and 2000 Transportation Research Board's Highway Capacity Manual. Mr. Leisch is a Fellow Life Member of ITE, Emeritus Member of the TRB Geometric Design Committee, was a 20-year member of the TRB Highway Capacity and Quality of Service Committee, and former chairman of the ASCE Highway Division. His involvement with ASCE has been a positive career influenced by many members.

Mr. Leisch holds a BSCE from Purdue University (1964), an MSCE in Transportation Engineering from Northwestern University (1968) and is a registered Professional Traffic Engineer in California and a Professional Engineer in Wisconsin and the Province of Ontario, Canada.