When we consider the Scajaquada Expressway, Route 5, and every roadway in-between, we should ask ourselves one question – should engineers be designing our streets?
Remember when it seemed as if the entire city was against re-elevating a freeway in-between Tifft Nature Preserve and the Outer Harbor. Unfortunately, the entire design process was guided by people who are primarily concerned with one thing – moving traffic quickly and efficiently. These engineers should not be drawing up the plans when it comes to these types of high impact projects, rather they should be taking plans handed to them and making them work.
StrongTowns.com has published an article that talks about all of the negative implications that revolve around engineers who believe that they are able to design our roadways effectively. Unfortunately, the engineers are not proficient designers, they are proficient builders. There’s a big difference.
So what’s the answer?
Writer Charles Marohn suggests that many people should have a hand in designing our streets, before handing the designs over to the engineers who are then tasked with building the roadways. Engineers don’t care about parks and neighborhoods and people. Actually, they care about people when they are driving their cars. It’s about time that we took the power of design away from those who continually abuse it. Give that power back to the people and organizations that actually care about the short-term and longterm implications of designing streets so that they best serve the neighborhoods that bound them.