American Street Interview with Karen Jehanian

KMJ Consulting, Inc. Newsletter
January 2018


An Interview with Karen Jehanian, President

KMJ Consulting, Inc. had the privilege of working with Gilmore & Associates, Inc., JMT and others on the transformative American Street Improvement Project. Please read the interview with Karen Jehanian below.

Interviewer (I): Tell us about the project

Karen Jehanian (KJ): The City of Philadelphia received federal funding to make improvements along American Street between Girard and Indiana Avenues. This fast-tracked TIGER project is situated along a nearly two mile section of American Street that traverses several communities, two councilmanic districts and is home to numerous businesses. Improvements to the pedestrian environment are achieved through reduced street crossing distances.  One lane of traffic in each direction will be provided along with bike lanes and parking lanes. Median treatments along American Street will vary but will include Green Stormwater Infrastructure (through a bio-swale or landscaped median) or a striped median where needed to facilitate access to properties. Updates will also be made to the pavement striping, signage, and lighting along the corridor.

I: What is different about the project?

KJ: The maintenance and protection of traffic aspect of the project required coordination with both the City of Philadelphia and PennDOT.   All work must be completed while maintaining all modes of travel along the corridor as well as access to all businesses.

I: What was KMJ Consulting’s role?

KJ: KMJ was responsible for all aspects of Stakeholder and Public Engagement, development of construction sequencing, preparation of maintenance and protection of traffic plans as well as design of ADA ramps at select intersections along the corridor.

We were delighted to work with our Prime, Gilmore & Associates, Inc, as well as Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson (JMT) on this exciting project. The project sponsors, City of Philadelphia Department of Streets, the Philadelphia Water Department and Commerce Department worked together in an integrated fashion, putting the project needs first.

I: Is stakeholder engagement a new practice area for KMJ?

KJ: KMJ senior staff have been performing stakeholder engagement as part of major and sometimes controversial transportation projects for the past 25 years. Recently, we have had the opportunity to focus more attention on this practice area and prioritize stakeholder engagement as a service area for KMJ. Having the lead role on the American Street stakeholder engagement process enabled us to apply our “secret sauce” recipe, which of course I will not divulge here. That said, we worked hand-in-hand with the entire consulting and agency project team to develop and execute a public engagement program that met the project needs.

I: What made the stakeholder engagement successful?

KJ: The project was the priority! All team members worked as one project-focused team. Here are some key aspects:

  • Demonstrated that their (the public) concerns were heard
  • Provided a safe place for comments
  • Created a community-like atmosphere
  • Accommodated needs of the attendees

I: Do you have any final thoughts?

KJ: I wish every project had the same high level of teamwork, technical expertise and client involvement and support.


Newsletter Summer 2017

KMJ Consulting, Inc. Newsletter
Summer 2017

Bridget Postlewaite is now a Senior Project Manager

Bridget Postlewaite, P.E., has been promoted to Senior Project Manager. “Bridget’s willingness to go the extra mile for our clients and staff exemplifies KMJ’s core values. I am excited to see her continue to grow and to mentor our staff.” – Karen Jehanian, President. Bridget excels in capturing and analyzing data and working collaboratively in a team to achieve project success. Please join us in congratulating Bridget!

Martin Williams is promoted to Project Engineer 

Martin Williams, a registered P.E., was recently promoted to Project Engineer. “Marty is a reliable, responsible and detail-orientated engineer,” said Karen Jehanian, President. He has designed dozens of curb ramps and traffic signals for the City of Philadelphia and PennDOT. Marty is currently working on MPT, ADA curb ramps, and traffic signal designs related to projects for the City of Philadelphia and PennDOT D6. Congratulations to Marty!

KMJ welcomes their newest team members!

Welcome to the Team, Nicole Procknow

Nicole Procknow is KMJ’s new Marketing Coordinator. Nicole earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Cabrini University located in Radnor, Pennsylvania. As an undergrad, Nicole marketed events for regional philanthropies including the American Lung Association, Congenital Heart Defect for Kids, and Feeding America. “Nicole will be working with many of our clients on KMJ’s proposal submissions as well as other projects involving stakeholder outreach. Please join me in welcoming Nicole.”- Karen Jehanian, President.

  Welcome to the Team, Nana Fares

“Transportation engineering makes me feel like I am contributing positively to society. I could not think of a greater feeling to experience every day for the rest of my life.” As an entry level Traffic/Design Specialist, Nana will be involved in many of KMJ’s projects. Nana earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Villanova University. “Nana is a bright and energetic young engineering graduate. Please join me in welcoming her to the KMJ traffic engineering crew.” – Karen Jehanian, President.

Customer Service Tip 

Be prompt, polite, and proactive.

Create a brand that is so strong and compelling it makes your customers think of you more as a partner than a vendor. Listen to both current and future needs of clients in order to provide them with effective solutions. Proactive service is doing something for your customers before they know they need it.



KMJ Newsletter Spring 2017

KMJ Consulting, Inc. Newsletter
Spring 2017

Looking Back… A conversation with founder Karen Jehanian

KJ Office-webdsite

Emily White, Marketing Coordinator, recently sat down with Karen Jehanian to reflect on the past as KMJ enters its 20th year in business. Karen has always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and when the opportunity presented itself to start her own firm she took the leap! KMJ is built on the values of Inspiring Creativity, Thought Leadership, Improving Mobility, and Caring for Clients. The atmosphere at KMJ is generated from Karen’s leadership style, “We are not just growing as a stronger team, but growing individually as well. We work hard to make it work but it’s not hard work.” Karen describes what drove her to start KMJ, leadership style, and her definition of success. Read the full interview here!

KMJ Educates aspiring engineers at Drexel University 

Drexel Class of 1982 Alumni, Karen Jehanian, PE and Darin Gatti, PE (Chief Engineer and President of the Board of Surveyors for the Philadelphia Streets Department) along with several KMJ staff members brought their expertise and work experience to Drexel’s Urban Transportation class. This marks the fifth year KMJ has guest lectured at Drexel and as always, it was a learning experience for both KMJ’s staff and Drexel’s engineering students. KMJ brought real-world situations to various topics including, Communication, ADA Curb Ramps, Connected and Automated Vehicles and Innovative Intersections. “Students were engaged and interested in our first-hand experience in both the technical and communication presentations” – Karen Jehanian, President

Customer Service Tip 

Always use Positive Language 

Positive language is a great way to avoid accidental conflicts sprung from miscommunication. While the change is subtle, the effects are dramatic.

  • Negative language: “I don’t know the answer to that. Sorry.”
  • Positive language: “That’s a good question. Let me find out the answer for you right now!”

Redirecting the conversation from negative to positive places focus on the proposed solution. When the outcome takes center stage, it improves the probability that clients will be satisfied.


KMJ Newsletter January 2017

KMJ Consulting, Inc. Newsletter 

January 2017

KMJ Team Attends Transportation Camp & TRB

kj-Jf-TRBOn January 7-9, 2017, KMJ team members attended Transportation Camp and TRB in Washington, D.C. The conferences highlighted various trending topics in transportation such as integrated corridor management, connected and automated vehicles, and what to expect from the upcoming Trump/Chao administration.

“It is exciting to get together with a multidisciplinary crowd each year and talk about transportation issues. When you have planners, engineers, utilities experts, technologists, lawyers, and financial analysts in the same room talking about a complex issue, the synergy of ideas effects broader understanding, mutual respect, and a real feeling of progress.” – Justin Ferri, IT Specialist II

KMJ Consulting, Inc. is honored to have been part of the Philadelphia 30th Street Station District Plan team that has won the 2017 AIA Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design! 

30th St.Congratulations to AMTRAK, Drexel University, SEPTA and Brandywine Realty Trust, along with the entire team who worked on the plan to transform Philadelphia’s 30th Street into a gateway for millions of transit users. KMJ, as part of the WSP | Parsons Brinkerhoff consulting team, evaluated the existing and future traffic conditions in the District. Learn more about KMJ’s role on the project here. Image courtesy of: 30th Street Station District  Master Plan Team

MSW P.EMarty Williams, PE, Traffic/Design Specialist II, recently passed his Professional Engineering Exam! “We look forward to great things from Marty as he continues his trajectory in engineering”- Karen Jehanian, President. Learn More about the KMJ Staff here!

E7Business Etiquette for Young Professionals 

Emily White, Marketing Coordinator, recently had the opportunity to speak to a group of graduating students at her alma-matter Cabrini University in Radnor, PA. As a recent grad, Emily provided a down-to-earth perspective on business etiquette when entering the work world. Her topics included communication, in the office and out; never being afraid to make mistakes; and most importantly bosses are people too!

Customer Service Tip

Is your client satisfied? As engineers and technical professionals, we work to solve complex technical issues, but this is only a portion of the solution. Our clients need emotional fulfillment as well.  A client’s anxiety or stress level is reduced based on how they are treated and how an issue is resolved. Delivering excellent customer service requires not only asking the right questions, but also being a very good listener.



KMJ Consulting, Inc. Fall Newsletter 2016

KMJ Consulting, Inc. Newsletter
Fall 2016

American Street Improvement Project

Photo Jul 26, 6 51 54 PM

The City of Philadelphia Department of Streets and Philadelphia Water have joined forces to transform the 2.2-mile-long corridor of North American Street in the  Kensington area of Philadelphia. The aim of this project is to make American Street work better for its users, and by providing improved streetscape amenities, including green storm-water infrastructure. KMJ, as part of the Gilmore & Associates consulting team, is providing Stakeholder and Public coordination throughout this project. Learn More about the Project here via Plan Philly.


WillWelcome to the team, William Jeffrey! 

“As a graduate engineer, it is gratifying to be able to make a contribution to improve our transportation system.”

As a Traffic/Design Specialist, Will has been involved in various traffic signal designs and intersection analysis projects for the City of Philadelphia Department of Streets and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Will earned his bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania.


Customer Service Tip

Technical solutions are not enough. You may believe that in creating the best technical solution for your client, you have successfully completed the task. But the job does not end there. You must provide your client with excellent Customer Service to match your technical acumen.

“Customer service is at the forefront of my mind at each interaction I have, both inside and outside our organization. Our concern for our client’s best interest reflects upon everything we do, and is expressed in every communication we have.”- Karen Jehanian, President

PBJ KMJ is ranked 41 this year on the Philadelphia Business Journal’s WBE  List! KMJ has been on the list for 5 consecutive years.


MAP2  KMJ is now a certified DBE in the District of Columbia! D.C. rounds out KMJ’s         DBE certifications of 10 states!


KMJ Consulting, Inc. Newsletter Summer 2016

KMJ Consulting, Inc. Newsletter 

Summer 2016

i95 2I-95 Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Conference 

Justin Ferri, IT Specialist II, participated in the I-95 Corridor Coalition (I-95 CC) Connected and Autonomous Vehicles Conference in Baltimore, MD on June 21-22, 2016. More than 200 attendees from 112 agencies in the I-95 CC region and beyond convened to discuss Connected and Autonomous Vehicle benefits, recent progress, and next steps. Topics ranged from NHTSA regulations to Mobility-on-Demand financial feasibility, and everything in-between.

IMG_50912Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station District Plan Revealed 

AMTRAK, Drexel University, SEPTA and Brandywine Realty Trust joined together to complete a District Joint Master Plan for 30th Street Station. This Plan lays the ground work for development, connectivity, and community. Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station serves as a gateway for millions of transit users each year. KMJ, as part of the WSP | Parsons Brinkerhoff consulting team, has evaluated the existing and future traffic conditions in the District.  Learn More about the Plan here 

KJ Taking the Lead PodcastPhotoWomen Taking the Lead: Karen Jehanian on Leading a Collaborative Team

Karen Jehanian recently shared her inspiration, motivation and leadership style with Jodi Flynn of Women Taking the Lead Podcast, Listen Here


ITS-NY- 2016 195


Karen Jehanian receives ITS-NY Board Services Recognition Award 




BP- Newsletter


Bridget Postlewaite was recognized as a GVF Top TDM Professional






Quote of the Day 

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

Communications Tip

Communication in the Office

  • Determine the appropriate form of communication. It should be based on the subject and the timeframe.
  • Pick up the Phone – the message will be more clear and many questions may be resolved up front.
  • Speak in person (if possible) – it allows for understanding of body language (do they still look confused after you have explained it?)
  • Send an Email – remember to state the purpose, any action you would like the recipient to take (up front) and give a timeframe for any action.
  • No matter how you communicate – Follow Up! 

KMJ is Hiring! Project Engineer & TMC Technician Openings


April 2016 Newsletter

KMJ Consulting, Inc. Newsletter 

April 2016

Karen Jehanian featured on Drexel University’s Starters Review Podcast 

DSC_0054Karen Jehanian recently sat down for a conversation with Donna DeCarolis, founding Dean of the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship at Drexel University. Dean DeCarolis launched her podcast series, ‘The Starter’s Review,’ as a forum for discussion with Philly’s top innovators and entrepreneurs. A Drexel University Engineering alumna herself, Karen has always had an entrepreneurial spirit, but honed her skills in the Drexel Executive MBA program. Karen made her dreams of starting her own business a reality in 1998, when KMJ Consulting, Inc. (KMJ) came into play. KMJ has flourished into a premier transportation engineering, planning and consulting firm. As an entrepreneur, Karen has developed her business intellect to create a collaborative culture at KMJ. The atmosphere at KMJ is generated from Karen, promoting a supportive camaraderie among the staff. Quality content, writing, and communication skills are paramount in all of KMJ’s efforts. “As one of the youngest in the firm, Karen has enabled me with the tools and confidence to, as she would say, ‘Make it Happen’ “- Emily White, Marketing Coordinator. Employees are encouraged to explore their passion, while achieving individual and team goals. Watch & Listen to hear as Karen explains her mantra: get out of your comfort zone and take the risk!


Lunch & Learn Series

KMJ’s Lunch & Learn series offers an opportunity for employees to present on subjects they are passionate about, while educating the staff. Justin Ferri, IT Specialist II, led the team through a discussion about Connected and Automated Vehicles. Justin provided updates and insight on the advancements of this technology and how it will shape the future of transportation.

Quote of the Day 

“There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come.” – Victor Hugo, Poet

Communications Tip

On Communication with Co-Workers

  • Value the relationship
  • Treat each other with respect – including each other’s TIME
  • Positive interactions between co-workers make for an encouraging and pleasant work environment!

KMJ is Hiring! Project Engineer & TMC Technician Openings


March 2016 Newsletter

KMJ Consulting, Inc. Newsletter 

March 2016

KMJ Shares Experiences and Insights with Drexel Engineering Students

Drexel Group

Drexel Class of 1982 Alumni, Karen Jehanian and Darin Gatti (Chief Engineer and President of the Board of Surveyors for the Philadelphia Streets Department) along with several KMJ staff members brought their expertise and work experience to Drexel’s CIVE 585 class. It was a learning experience for both KMJ’s staff and Drexel’s students.

The guest lecture session was broken down into several categories, each relating to a different facet of Urban Transportation Engineering.

Darin began the class with an overview on Complete Streets and how the Philadelphia Streets Department is adapting to an ever-changing urban landscape. Marty Williams spoke on his experience with curb ramp design specifically the Historic Street Project in Philadelphia. Marty engaged the students in a real-world conversation on ADA Ramps. He noted – “anyone can become disabled and rely on ADA ramps for mobility. It is our responsibility as civil engineers to provide accessibility to all members of the community.” Justin Ferri gave students insight on Transit Signal Priority and how it improves mobility and assists the shift toward a more universal multimodal transportation. Bridget Postlewaite brought real-life urban traffic engineering issues to the students by exploring the 30th Street Station Master Plan.

The students were also given vital tips on communicating in a professional setting. Joanna Reagle emphasized the importance of communications with clients, colleagues and peers to get positive results. Darin demonstrated two methods of presenting to the public, the ineffective way and the much more effective manner showing that it is not just the data/analyses you provide but how you do it that matters. The session was engaging and interactive with several students staying after to ask further questions.

Field trip to Signal Service, Inc.

Signal Services Group 2KMJ visited Signal Service, Inc. of West Chester, PA for a tour and information session. Signal Service representatives gave KMJ staff an update on Synchro Green Adaptive Signal Management Software, FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared Radiometer) detection for vehicles/pedestrians/bicycles, Trafficware Pod Magnetometer, and Campbell Audible Pedestrian Stations for crosswalks. This session provided a collaborative forum on traffic signal design and traffic engineering.

 Quote of the Day 

“Don’t wait until conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes conditions perfect”– Alan Cohen, writer and motivational speaker

Email Communications Tip

  • State the purpose and action needed up front
  • Give the response timeframe
  • Be professional – email replaces a letter
  • Write it, then, look at it three times!
    – Read it
    – Read it aloud
    – Read it backwards

KMJ is Hiring! Project Engineer & TMC Technician Openings


February 2016 Newsletter

KMJ Consulting, Inc. Newsletter 

February 2016

KMJ Team Goes to Transportation Camp & TRB

Karen_Justin @TRBOn January 9-12, 2016, KMJ team members participated in Transportation Camp then TRB in Washington D.C.! These few days provided a very informative discussion on automated and connected vehicles and the future of transportation.

“Transportation Camp was a unique experience with the attendees creating the sessions themselves. It worked beautifully and there was an incredible variety of topics, panels and idea sharing with innovative transportation minds.” — Martin Williams, EIT, Traffic/Design Specialist II

Justin Ferri, IT Specialist II, presented at Camp on the web-based application (the Transportation Information Gateway) that he is currently working on as part of the project team for the New York Metropolitan Council (NYMTC). KMJ fosters constructive dialogue between NYMTC Stakeholders and the Cambridge Systematics development team.

Quote of the Day 

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence” — Vince Lombardi 

Communications Tip

Communicate – It is a verb, it is a word that requires you to take ACTION

Methods of Communicating

  1. Primary- verbally in person or on the phone
  2. Secondary- in writing

Whether you choose verbal or written communication, it pays to follow up with the other method.

Remember to smile while you do it!

KMJ is Hiring! Project Engineer/ Project Planner Opening

Learn More about KMJ’s Staff and Experience!