Saturday, March 3, 2012

What is AASHTO thinking?

What is AASHTO thinking?

"Now, a transportation research group known as TRIP has teamed up with AASHTO to produce a new report on how to keep baby boomers mobile as they age. Their solution: brighter signs and wider lanes."  Read more HERE

My reaction to the results of this ridiculous approach ranges from the joking about a future with seniors wearing helmets and bubble wrap suits driving in cities designed for bumper cars, to the more sombre reaction of how disturbing this kind of world view is for our communities' livability.  

Human scaled and pedestrian oriented urban design and development is part of the answer.  Mixed-use complete communities is part of the answer.  Designing and building networks of complete streets is part of the answer.  Getting people on bikes and walking is part of the answer.  The answer does not rest in finding ways of ensuring that people with reduced eyesight and reflexes can stay behind the wheel indefinitely.  

Is AASHTO really pushing us to go through another phase of "over-engineering" our communities for our machines, instead of designing them for people?  What a waste of resources and the creativity of Engineers. 

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