Browsing All posts tagged under »engineering«

a failure to meet federal standards

August 27, 2012

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From the Federal Highway Administration… A livable community is one in which people have multiple, convenient transportation and housing options as well as destinations easily accessible to people traveling in and out of cars. They also give this quick history… Livability builds off existing resources, policies, and programs: Context Sensitive Solutions Scenario Planning Planning and […]

bad streets for bicycling

August 20, 2012

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The photo contest hosted by @EllyBlue at Taking the Lane has wrapped. Should I be thrilled or embarrassed that I won? I’m not going to waste my time with introspection. I’m going to give my award reception speech. Ahem… Thank you, thank you. I would first like to thank the bicycling academy. I now graciously […]

flexible design is still not mainstream

April 28, 2012

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Thanks in part to FHWA releasing this document, roadway design flexibility has become a popular catch phrase in professional transportation circles. The basic idea is that engineers are smart people who should use good judgment and common sense when designing streets and highways. At the philosophical level, the message has successfully spread. At the practical level, not so […]

crossing a free right-turn lane

April 28, 2012

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The free right-turn is a traffic engineering tool that every driver has almost certainly passed through at some point. It is a tool designed to “improve” operations on a corridor (see also: biased language). Looks harmless enough. The two videos below put you into the shoes of a pedestrian attempting to cross the street where […]

evolution of highway decision making

February 19, 2012

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From the FHWA archives: “Risking Success Through Flexible Design“. Over the past decade, through conferences, training, and new partnerships, FHWA and its partners have been working to bridge knowledge gaps and enable transportation planners and engineers to design with flexibility and employ context sensitive approaches with greater confidence and regularity. Understanding this evolving landscape of […]

imagine your new product creates jobs but kills 33,000 people per year

February 8, 2012

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from the archive of @Brooklynspoke… In 2009, 33,000 people were killed by cars nationwide.  [Randy] Cohen asked the crowd to think about that for a second.  “Imagine you’re introducing a new transportation system,” Cohen said, “but there’s one catch: it will kill 33,000 people a year.”  Cohen hardly needed to point out that few Americans […]

wait…you mean we DON’T have to widen the road?

February 7, 2012

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The 2-lane road in the photo below is a U.S. Highway. According to the state DOT, it carried 16,000 vehicles per day in 2010. The communities along the corridor wanted a main street through their towns, not the high-speed/grade-separated arterial that was on the shelf. They happened to have well-connected advocates and won the battle […]

engineering language: “improvements”

October 23, 2011

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The process of transportation “improvement” projects is as follows:  Engineers verify that they have the latest editions of standards that were developed to favor vehicles at the expense of people; Engineers design roads that meet or exceed minimum thresholds in their standards, thereby “improving” the safety of motorists; Drivers are able to move faster and […]

lemmings

October 23, 2011

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Lem•ming (noun).  Doomed conformist; a member of a large group of people who blindly follow one another on a course of action that will lead to destruction for all of them. (Encarta Dictionary) En•gi•neer•ing lem•ming (noun).  Conformist; a member of a large group of people who blindly follow one another in the application of design […]