Sometimes traveling on FM 1709 or other roads in Southlake can feel a bit like the old children’s game of my youth, Red Light, Green Light. Start….travel, travel, travel…Stop! The roads carry a high volume of traffic and can seem hard to navigate, but good traffic planning and control devices help keep everything as orderly as possible. The news gets even better when you have Miguel Palos and Trent Agan on your team. These two are focused on keeping the system operable and working smoothly. They come to work every day with the sole goal of keeping motorists moving and safe.
“Miguel and Trent do such a great job,” said Public Works Director Rob Cohen. “It takes technical expertise and skill, as well as a good relationship with our TXDOT colleagues, to maintain our system. They are capable and willing to do whatever is needed – day or night – to keep our traffic system working properly.”
Each of these employees has a strong professional background that has positioned them well to manage Southlake’s traffic. Palos joined the City as the Traffic Supervisor in January 2021. Prior to working for Southlake, Miguel worked for TXDOT, installing, maintaining, and troubleshooting traffic signals and illumination. He has also worked on networking and integrating intelligent transportation systems (ITS), traffic signals, and the timing of corridors.
Agan will begin his work as a Traffic Crew Leader in October. Since coming to Southlake in 2015, he has worked in the Public Works Department as a Streets Technician and Traffic Management Technician. Before working for the City, Trent worked for the City of Bedford for more than 20 years. His experience includes maintaining signs, markings, and signals, assisting with streets, water, and sewer operations, and conducting inspections.
Cohen recently reorganized the Public Works Department and allocated additional resources to the traffic management team. The changes allow the division to provide more timely responses to citizen inquiries and be more proactive in their work.
He notes, “The City facilitates large volumes of traffic daily, especially during peak travel periods. We must make certain that municipal traffic devices are in good working order, and coordinate with TXDOT when their equipment is down. This work is so important, and I want to ensure that we have sufficient resources. Safety and efficiency depend on our efforts.”
As traffic challenges continue with the growth of the City and region, the complex work will require strong management. Fortunately, Miguel Palos and Trent Agan are on the job and already preparing for the future.
For their work behind the scenes to ensure convenient and safe travel through and within the City, they are being recognized as two of the City’s unsung heroes.