If you speed we’ll smash your car

I just read one of those “how did anybody think that was a good idea?” stories.  A DPW director explained the strange design of a city street.  It was designed to make speeding drivers crash.  And it has.

Planting trees to form a canopy over the road is traffic calming.  A stop sign forest is traffic obstruction.  What Springfield, Missouri is doing is vandalism.

I don’t know how sovereign immunity works in Missouri.  In most states cities are liable for failure to maintain roads in safe condition, but not liable for discretionary design decisions even if they’re totally moronic.

Politicians are probably listening to voters who want all nonresident drivers executed on the spot for disturbing the peace.  I guess I understand why they thought it was a good idea.

But city streets are supposed to be designed by professional engineers.  Engineers have a duty to make their products safe.  If your coffee maker catches fire when you make 9 cups instead of 8, the designer has no right to say “serves you right for drinking too much caffeine.”

Somebody wasn’t doing their job.  Will Missouri professional licensing officials do theirs?

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