Traffic Engineers: Who Needs Them?


Some folks almost didn’t make it through the weekend.Had they not, It would have been the traffic engineers’ fault!Let me tell you the story…

It was Saturday morning and I was about my weekend routine.I had picked up sausage biscuits and gone to Randy’s for the weekend morning discussion.We had a good morning and a fun talk.When it was time to leave I went home by way of Riverside Drive.It‘s the beachside road where some genius thought putting orange flags at a couple of intersections would allow pedestrians to control traffic and make crossing the road safer…or so they thought.

On the other side of the island the flashy light crosswalks have brought essentially the same idea and pretty much the same results- nada!

Back to Riverside…I am a mile or two north of the orange flags, past the only light between where I started and Eau Gallie Boulevard.There are side streets and entrances to housing developments.There is no crosswalk and certainly no flashy lights or flags, but there is a dad and a kid on bicycles waiting to cross the road.

Here is where the unintended consequences of these ignorant devices come into play.A car that is two in front of me decides that coming from 35-40 miles per hour to a dead stop is a good idea so the cyclists can cross the road.This driver must have not looked behind him at all.He was nearly rear ended by the vehicle in front of me.I was also forced to slow and stop abruptly because this idiot in front seems to believe the rule of the road is to allow any and all cross traffic to go in any circumstance.

The traffic engineers will never be held to account for this, but it’s certainly on their heads.When we forget the purpose of roads and highways is to safely facilitate vehicular traffic, we create rules and devices that serve to confuse drivers, the very people we are trying to help operate in a better fashion.

Oh, and before I forget, on the way to Randy’s around 6:30am I was southbound on A1A and there, all on her own with no intersection, no cross walk and certainly no flashy lights to distract and supposedly stop traffic, was this lady.She actually crossed all 5 lanes of A1A and made it across the highway with no assistance from those less-than-stellar devices.She did so with no danger to herself and no hazard to traffic at all.

Maybe we don’t need traffic engineers.She certainly didn’t!


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