What do you think, Larry Summers?
Will your boss’s political cabal allow you to speak for attribution, or is the down-low indicative of City Hall’s permanent address?
CAN YOU BE AN ENGINEER AND SPEAK OUT FOR REFORM?, by Charles Marohn (Strong Towns)
… I’ve long opposed the American Society of Civil Engineers. They don’t represent me and they should not be allowed to speak for this profession unchallenged. Their stands on how our country should be developed are frequently cited, despite how stunningly radical they are. American prosperity is not simply a function of how many roads, pipes and hunks of metal we can construct. Our infrastructure investments must work to support the American people, not the other way around.
I’ve also been an outspoken critic of the Move MN coalition and their version of success. I’ve had professional colleagues suggest to me that I’m on the wrong side here, that a more lucrative path for me and this organization would be to get on board and advocate for more taxpayer money for expanding the current system. I’ve been told privately that I’m not a “real engineer” if I don’t support more funding. That’s just wrong.
Most importantly, I’ve been critical of how the engineering profession approaches safety within our cities. I coined the word “stroad” to describe the industry’s standard approach of over-engineering America’s urban and suburban streets as if they were high speed, high-capacity roads. The current variant of the engineering profession gained prominence in the era of highway building, but that knowledge set does not apply to complex places where people exist outside of automobiles. It is malpractice to suggest otherwise, a term I will not back down from using.
Our urban streets need to be safe for everyone, whether in a car, on a bike, in a wheelchair or simply walking. Today they are not and that is unacceptable.