Learning to Love Your Traffic Engineer ? Cost

Wednesday, December 4 by JerryFoster

NJ.COM Picture

NJ.COM Picture

To learn to love our traffic engineers, we must understand why they prioritize cost least when designing roadway improvements. Cost varies a lot – $1M / lane mile is a general rule of thumb, but the NJ Turnpike?s current expansion costs $14.7M / lane mile and Boston?s Big Dig cost $136.2M / lane mile.

Standard engineering practice is to build for more speed, which means more and wider lanes, plus expanded roadside sight distances, which may require purchasing right-of-way, etc., all adding to the cost. Also, engineers are required to forecast volume 20 years into the future and build for anticipated increases.

But other factors are at work – e.g. a 1961 bridge in Washington State cost $159M in today?s dollars, but the replacement is projected to cost $4.6B, including 2 additional lanes.

This dramatic $4B increase over inflation points to issues on the process, financial and political sides, including the revolving door between government and private industry, politicians? dependence on corporate contributions to get re-elected, government dependence on borrowing to finance road projects, even ?commonplace? corruption, according to a New York State report.

If nobody has an incentive and/or is held accountable for cost containment, neither politicians nor engineers, it?s easy to see why it?s not a priority.

We?ve finished examining how citizens prioritize safety, cost, volume and speed differently than traffic engineers, so our next installment will look at one reason engineers use to convince us that they know best – because of the standards.

Comments Off on Learning to Love Your Traffic Engineer ? Cost

Archives

Categories

Tag Cloud

bicycle bicycle commuting bicycle safety Bicycle Tourism bicycling Bike/Ped Path Bike Commuting bike lanes bike path bike racks bike ride bike safety biking Community Bike Ride Complete Streets crosswalk D&R Canal Downtown Princeton Junction East Coast Greenway Historic Bike Trail League of American Bicyclists Learn to BIke Livable Communities Main Street Mercer County mercer county bike commuting Mercer County Park multi-use trails National Bike Month pedestrian pedestrian safety Plainsboro Princeton Princeton Junction train station Ride of Silence Route 571 Safe Routes to School safety sidewalks Smart Transportation speed limits traffic Trolley Line Trail walking West Windsor

Upcoming Events

Monthly meetings are held on the second Thursday of the month, either at 6:45 pm at the WW library or at 7 pm via Zoom. Email us at [email protected] for details, including the Zoom code.

Find us at the West Windsor Farmers Market (Vaughn Drive parking lot) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every other Saturday from May through Halloween.

June 18 — Weekly walking group at Community Park

June 21 — find us at the annual Dive Into Summer! pool party

June 25 — Weekly walking group at Community Park

June 29 — find us at the farmers market

July 2 — Weekly walking group at Community Park

July 9 — Weekly walking group at Community Park

July 11 — monthly meeting

July 13 — find us at the farmers market

July 16 — Weekly walking group at Community Park

July 23 — Weekly walking group at Community Park

July 27 — find us at the farmers market

July 30 — Weekly walking group at Community Park

Aug. 8 — monthly meeting

Sept. 12 — monthly meeting

Oct. 10 — monthly meeting

Nov. 14 — monthly meeting

Dec. 12 — monthly meeting

Become a Member/Donate

Pace Car Program

Ongoing – Register your bike with the WW Police Department for free

Volunteer Opportunities – Sign up to give back to the community

Now Accepting Applications for WWBPA Student Advisory Board

March 14 — annual meeting; guest speaker is Charles Tennyson, head of transporation for Princeton University

April 11 — monthly meeting

May 9 — monthly meeting

June 13 — monthly meeting

July 11 — monthly meeting

Aug. 8 — monthly meeting

Sept. 12 — monthly meeting

Oct. 10 — monthly meeting

Nov. 14 — monthly meeting

Dec. 12 — monthly meeting

Become a Member/Donate

Pace Car Program

Ongoing – Register your bike with the WW Police Department for free

Volunteer Opportunities – Sign up to give back to the community

Now Accepting Applications for WWBPA Student Advisory Board

More Events »

Visit our Facebook Page

Follow us on Twitter

Google Group