Sam’s career in transportation commenced in 1950 when he joined the staff of the City of Toronto as the Assistant City Traffic Engineer. Some 39 year later Sam retired from the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto as the Commissioner of Roads and Traffic.
During Sam’s tenure, Toronto experienced significant growth in travel demand. In 1953 the Province of Ontario passed the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto act creating a federated system of government made up of the City of Toronto and 12 other municipalities surrounding encompassing some 240 square miles. And Sam was at the helm of an agency employing 300 staff and some 700 contract staff. By the time Sam retired, metro was responsible for over 427 miles (688 km) of arterial roads and over 1,570 traffic signals. Toronto sought to offset and manage demand through the expansion of public transportation, effective land use planning, and traffic management. In 1963, Toronto implemented the world’s first application of digital computers to operate a centralized traffic signal control system. Sam was a visionary who was early to grasp the changing role of transportation in shaping modern cities, and the public’s changing expectations for transportation infrastucture.
Sam was a significant contributor to the profession’s technical literature by authoring of over 36articles and papers. He wrote chapters in the Traffic Engineering Handbook, 4th edition, An Introduction to Transportation Engineering, and Transportation and Traffic Engineering Handbook, 1st edition. He is a proponent of expanding the horizon of the transportation professional to look around the world for effective solutions to transportation needs and issues. Sam also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto and a lecturer at the traffic training program of the Ontario Traffic Conference.
Sam’s service to ITE includes elective offices in ITE’s Canadian District (formerly the Canadian Section) including President. He was also Head of Department 4 of Technical Council, chair of the Urban Traffic Engineers Council, chair of the Program Development Conference, Technical Program chair of the 1963 and 1979 Annual Meetings; and memberships and chair of numerous other committees. Sam also was nominated to be a candidate for International Secretary-Treasurer and for Vice President.
Sam served on the Council of Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Canada and chaired the Signal Committee. He unselfishly gave of his time and shared his experience through active memberships in the Ontario Association of Professional Engineers, the Ontario Traffic Conference, the Roads and Transportation Association of Canada (now the Transportation Association of Canada), the Transportation Research Board, the American Road and Transportation Builder's Association, and the Ontario Good Roads Association. Sam also served on committees of the National Highway Cooperative Research Program.
Sam has a B. A. Sc. With honors from the University of Toronto and a M. Eng. in Civil Engineering-Transportation Planning from the University of Waterloo.