As with INDOT: “Good intentions get subordinated, on project after project, to destructive business-as-usual practices.”

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Reading this essay you begin to grasp the nature of the problem.

The same old engineering and design vendors who play the game by stuffing Jeff Gahan’s pockets with cash are the ones operating by INDOT template, institutionally reinforcing mistakes over and over, and yet they’re hired over and over again even as the Zombie Mayor chants “walkability,” which surely cannot occur in any substantive form when the same old engineering and design suspects are car-centric, declaring drivers the victors, not people seeking alternative mobility options.

Thus Gahan’s pronouncements about walkability can be viewed only as propaganda touts from a shill primarily concerned with campaign finance, not genuine solutions.

Why State DOTs Keep Making the Same Mistakes… and How to Break That Cycle, by Daniel Herriges (Strong Towns)

You know the saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?”

No; we’re not saying the people who work at most of our state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) in the U.S. are insane. But advocates for safe, welcoming, vibrant urban streets just might be if we think we can achieve our goals without comprehensive institutional reform within these agencies. That’s the message of a fascinating new blog post series by our friends at Smart Growth America, called How to Build a Better State DOT.

You can read the whole series here, and it is well worth reading. Smart Growth America’s insights here are not superficial, but come from people with a wealth of accumulated experience within these agencies, and a deep understanding of how good intentions get subordinated, on project after project, to destructive business-as-usual practices.

Some key insights …

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