Engineers are always right?

Some people like to mention how we should all follow blindly what esteemed Arlington “engineers” are saying. I guess they think that “Arlington Way” is the “Engineering Way”?

Well, on this point, 4 years ago, the same neighbor-activists fought with the county staff about repainting the 23rd/Ridge intersection to change to a left only lane southbound on Ridge in order to eliminate the merge just south of the intersection. Despite many years of documented accidents, including not-infrequent cars in yards and running up on the sidewalk because of being forced over in the merge, the staff refused to budge. They said that making a left only lane would result in backups onto 395 routinely. They were finally forced to make the change after a “walking county board meeting” when over 200 neighbors showed up. Guess what, the engineers were flat-out wrong. 23rd and Ridge is a much better functioning intersection. Backups to he 395 exit ramp are rare, and even at Rush hour traffic moves through the intersection efficiently. Bottom line, based on experience with the specific group of traffic “engineers” involved, we have reason not to believe in the quality of their work!


One response to “Engineers are always right?

  1. Having spent my 50+ year career as a civil engineer – research, teaching and practice – I can vouch for a number of times when a “one size fits all’ approach by engineers, meaning well, fails to fit unusual conditions and results in unintended consequences in safety, cost and operations.

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