Thursday, November 17, 2011

What a Traffic Engineer Thinks about Transportation

I ran across this video on a planning website I follow. It is originally from a traffic engineer, showing how "pedestrian friendly" the diverging diamond highway interchange is. I post it not for that per se, though it is funny to see their mindset on non-auto travel. I post it to show why our transportation system is so out of whack.

I think this echos a lot of what planners are fighting. If instead of traffic engineers, we had pedestrian engineers, things would look a lot different. Most planners tend to be for a balanced system, and when we compromise with the traffic engineer, it still sways towards the car.

My favorite line is near the end. "The design of this meets the standard engineer parameter of being able to move cars very quickly through here, and that being the first, second and third design criteria. And then in order to make it a complete street, in order to make it friendly to other modes of travel, we go down a checklist and see how we can accommodate all these other things."

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