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Engineering Insanity on Display: The Diverging Diamond Interchange

4:15 PM EST on November 11, 2011

Charles Marohn is the critic the transportation engineering field desperately needs.

Over and over again, this former traffic engineer and head of the engineering reform nonprofit Strong Towns has made himself the voice of reason to a field gone mad on automobiles.

His latest coup is a sardonic verbal takedown of a nightmare "complete street" interchange that Missouri engineers are calling "progress." But the design is less than revolutionary, preserving the field's allegiance to almighty car capacity. The project's real triumph is in finding ways to satisfy the most basic elements of complete streets while completely missing the spirit of the movement.

Says Marohn of the video:

Did we need more proof that the engineering profession is insane than this video of the "diverging diamond"? If we had infinite resources (we don't), this would still be crazy, but the fact that we're broke just shows you how insulated from reality so many of them are.

Sometimes I feel as if I'm shouting into the wind with the engineering profession. This may just be more of that. If nothing else it was therapeutic to me.

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