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Welcome - my name is Kevin Klinkenberg, and this site "The Messy City" is my blog and company website. I started blogging on urban planning and design issues in 2007, and began working in the field in 1993. Please feel free to connect with me on any of the social media sites listed here. Thanks for reading.

Repost: the ASCE Infrastructure Cult

Occasionally I come across a blog post from another source that is so well done that it must be shared. This week's piece on the blog Strong Towns is such an example.  Charles Marohn does a great job not just in skewering a typically lazy report by ASCE, but also tying it back to our entire approach towards transportation funding, and its lack of basis in anything rationale. The key passage for me:

"But the reason why we can't maintain our infrastructure is not because we lack the money or are afraid to spend it. It is because the systems we have built and the decisions we've made on what is a good investment are based on the kind of ridiculous math you see reflected in this ASCE report. We spend a billion here and a billion there and we get nothing but a couple minutes shaved off of our commutes, which just means we can build more roads and live further away from where we work. (Or, as we call that here in America: growth.)"

One day (perhaps when we actually run out of money, or it becomes too expensive to print), we will be forced to come to grips with how our planning and transportation policies have actually been a primary contributor to the bankrupting of all levels of government. Unfortunately, we're still in the Denial phase, and harboring the belief  that life will just return to normal after a few more months of economic malaise.

Enjoy the piece:

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What would a CCC or WPA do today?

What would a CCC or WPA do today?

Musical Interlude: Arcade Fire, Part II (letters)

Musical Interlude: Arcade Fire, Part II (letters)