When ever I see one of these dumb devices (this one is on the corner of Pine and Boren)...


I recall this passage from Jane Jacob's last book, Dark Age Ahead:
Given this enviable professional background [of engineers in general], plus the extreme tendency of North Americans to admire scientific achievement and give it the benefit of the doubt, it is little wonder that traffic engineers have been trusted to do pretty much as they please, and that departments of public works have gratefully accepted and followed their recommendations for design and specifications of streets and roads.

In what traffic engineers have chosen to do and have recommended, they have abandoned and betrayed science as it is understood. "Engineering" also has an opprobrious connotation of manipulation without regard for truth, as in "engineering consensus," or "It looked spontaneous, but it was engineered." It is popularly assumed that when universities give science degrees in traffic engineering, as they do, they are recognizing aboveboard expert knowledge. But they aren't. They are perpetrating a fraud upon students and upon the public when they award credentials in this supposed expertise.

Considering the current state of things, we can say with the certainty that we know the earth is older than 6000 years, that traffic engineers are only good at keeping themselves employed. Outside of that, they do nothing but dig a city deeper and deeper into the abyss of the negative city, the satanic urban. If we are going to get the city we want, we need to do as Jane Jacobs did and furiously attack this profession, file its sharp teeth down to nothing, and make it into a sheep rather than the lion of urban planning. For a traffic engineer to be at all useful to a city, he/she has to be committed to the destruction of his/her profession.