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Citizen activist grates on state over traffic signals
News & Observer ^ | Feb 03, 2011 | BRUCE SICELOFF

Posted on 02/03/2011 1:37:16 PM PST by antiRepublicrat

RALEIGH -- David N. Cox says he was merely exercising his right to petition the government, but a state Department of Transportation official has raised allegations that Cox committed a misdemeanor: practicing engineering without a license.

Cox and his North Raleigh neighbors are lobbying city and state officials to add traffic signals at two intersections as part of a planned widening of Falls of Neuse Road.

After an engineering consultant hired by the city said that the signals were not needed, Cox and the North Raleigh Coalition of Homeowners' Associations responded with a sophisticated analysis of their own.

(Excerpt) Read more at newsobserver.com ...


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; US: North Carolina
KEYWORDS: engineer; petitionredress; traffic
Don't show too much intelligence in your complaints to your overlords, they may decide to punish you.
1 posted on 02/03/2011 1:37:25 PM PST by antiRepublicrat
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To: antiRepublicrat
"Cox has not been accused of claiming that he is an engineer. But Lacy says he filed the complaint because the report "appears to be engineering-level work" by someone who is not licensed as a professional engineer.

God forbid you could ever do skilled work, without a license.

Overlords indeed.

2 posted on 02/03/2011 1:42:43 PM PST by sionnsar (IranAzadi|5yst3m 0wn3d-it's N0t Y0ur5:SONY|Why are TSA exempt from their own searches?)
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To: sionnsar
I once taught an architect how to do grading on a site plan because of my geological mapping knowledge of contours applied to the concepts. Guess I was acting without a license as well.

What an arrogant p****.

3 posted on 02/03/2011 1:45:05 PM PST by dirtboy
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To: antiRepublicrat
Andrew L. Ritter, executive director of the engineers licensing board, said it will take three or four months to investigate Lacy's allegation against Cox. He said there is a potential for violation if DOT and the public were misled by "engineering-quality work"- even if the authors did not claim to be engineers.

If you don't do it in crayon you are subject to arrest.

4 posted on 02/03/2011 1:45:50 PM PST by KarlInOhio (Washington is finally rid of the Kennedies. Free at last, thank God almighty we are free at last.)
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To: antiRepublicrat

So in a nutshell, a really smart guy put together really good plans on how a red light was needed at an intersection. The plans were so good they looked like they were done by a licensed engineer, so now the city is going after the man because he did such good work but is not a licensed engineer.


5 posted on 02/03/2011 1:46:33 PM PST by icwhatudo ("laws requiring compulsory abortion could be sustained under the constitution"-Obama official)
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To: antiRepublicrat
Why does the state have the right to "license" engineers anyway?

There are national boards that prove their qualifications.

The ONLY reason for the state to "license" any professional is so they can take some of their money.

6 posted on 02/03/2011 1:47:01 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum ("If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun." -- Barry Soetoro, June 11, 2008)
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To: antiRepublicrat

Demand that the city engineer be cashiered for malfeasance.


7 posted on 02/03/2011 1:47:53 PM PST by Seruzawa (If you agree with the French raise your hand - If you are French raise both hands.)
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To: antiRepublicrat

After reading it I scrolled to the top expecting the publication to be The Onion or Scrappleface. I’m stunned.


8 posted on 02/03/2011 1:51:21 PM PST by RobRoy (The US Today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: antiRepublicrat

The backstory is possibly that an engineer — possibly one connected with a firm that does a lot of work for DOT, or even with the firm that did the DOT’s study in this case — did do the report as a favor for the association. Cox might have put his name on it to preserve the engineer’s anonymity.

Or maybe they just copied the methodology of the DOT’s engineer’s work after sitting around and picking out the flaws over a few beers. A lot of reports like this can be attacked by picking apart the assumptions.

Or maybe they really are that good.

It’s still sick. If I have a heart attack, I sincerely hope that the good samaritan who does the CPR on me is good enough to get cited to the AMA for doing work that resembles the quality of an actual doctor or EMT too closely.


9 posted on 02/03/2011 1:52:49 PM PST by FateAmenableToChange
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
Why does the state have the right to "license" engineers anyway? There are national boards that prove their qualifications.

Actually, that's reasonable. A lay person passing his services off as a professional in engineering, architecture, electricals or even plumbing can be a real danger to people long after he's gone, when something collapses, burns or explodes. This is a state responsibility, not federal.

10 posted on 02/03/2011 1:54:51 PM PST by antiRepublicrat
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To: icwhatudo

They are penalizing this guy because he is too smart.

Notice nobody is claiming the information in the document is inaccurate.

In a nutshell, the city engineer (who probably has a wall covered with diplomas, certificates, and professional certifications) is embarassed that a neophyte did a better job.


11 posted on 02/03/2011 1:57:27 PM PST by Brookhaven (Moderates = non-thinkers)
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To: KarlInOhio
...said it will take three or four months to investigate...

Only an f'n gov't desk jockey overseer would take 4 months to determine if someone is or isn't licensed or find if there is a "potential" violation.

See my tagline...

12 posted on 02/03/2011 1:58:44 PM PST by Never on my watch (WTF happened to my country?)
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To: FateAmenableToChange

Given it was a computer guy, I bet #2. Reverse engineering is common in computer science.


13 posted on 02/03/2011 1:59:29 PM PST by antiRepublicrat
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To: antiRepublicrat

The convolution of logic here is beyond the pale. We need a RICO type law for this kind of stuff.


14 posted on 02/03/2011 2:01:09 PM PST by Free Vulcan (Vote Republican! You can vote Democrat when you're dead.)
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To: antiRepublicrat
I feel so much safer because the state licenses barbers.
15 posted on 02/03/2011 2:10:39 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum ("If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun." -- Barry Soetoro, June 11, 2008)
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To: sionnsar
"Lacy called on a state licensing agency, the N.C. Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors, to investigate Cox."

"Cox says Lacy is trying to squelch dissent."

That is standard issue government bullshit! It happens whenever a citizen knows as much or more than the state employee. What do you think the good old boys club would do to "Lacy" if he didn't play by the rules.

16 posted on 02/03/2011 2:13:15 PM PST by An Old Man
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To: sionnsar

I’m sorry. Words fail me. Perhaps I should hire a licensed wordsmith to comment for me on this subject.


17 posted on 02/03/2011 2:17:45 PM PST by zeugma (Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam)
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To: sionnsar

For crying out loud, it’s not rocket science. One needs to be an LPE in order to challenge the DOT’s assertions? I have multiple advanced science degrees and have worked as several different types of engineer, electrical, mechanical, nuclear. To suggest that anyone with a modicum of intellect cannot do traffic flow design is absurd on its face.

If you live in an area and can see that a proposed change in traffic would require a couple of lights and some consultant disagrees, then someone must die in a crash at the intersection(s) for the light to get installed. Those who drive those roads every day know them the best and have seen them at their worst.

The DOT guy is just mad that someone else is smarter than he is.


18 posted on 02/03/2011 2:27:13 PM PST by Ouderkirk (Democrats...the party of Slavery, Segregation, Sodomy, and Sedition)
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To: sionnsar

I’ve been in this exact same situation. Our organization ended up hiring an engineer to perform a study that confirmed our observations.

You can be darned sure that we had assessed the situation ourselves before bringing in the engineer, even though myself and the chairman were not engineers.

I have sympathy for his plight, but if he really wants to put the heat on he needs to hire a qualified engineer to confirm his observations.


19 posted on 02/03/2011 2:51:45 PM PST by BenKenobi (one of the worst mistakes anybody can make is to bet against Americans.")
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To: BenKenobi

Somewhere on the set of engineering documents there is a place for the name of, well, the engineer. It sounds like old-boyism, but there’s probably a law that requires engineering documents submitted to the state be signed off by a state certified engineer. If so, Cox should go get such a state certified engineer to do it. But it stinks, because you bet the state is going to have its own engineer check the work for accuracy anyhow.


20 posted on 02/03/2011 3:20:14 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Absolutely.

In our case, the state hired someone to perform a study, and we have evidence that they lied on their traffic counts. We did traffic counts that weren’t even within 25 percent of the state counts.

The engineer signed off on our plan, and offered suggestions and improvments. He also demonstrated where the state plan did not stand up to scrutiny, so you can understand why the government did not like the opposing study.


21 posted on 02/03/2011 3:24:25 PM PST by BenKenobi (one of the worst mistakes anybody can make is to bet against Americans.")
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To: BenKenobi

Does the state also certify “traffic counters”? How ridiculous does it get? (They might want a time stamped video for evidence, but gee whiz.)


22 posted on 02/03/2011 3:27:31 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
The ONLY reason for the state to "license" any professional is so they can take some of their money.

I was once invited to give a technical talk to a meeting of the Ohio Society of Professional Engineers. The speaker following my talk was from the Ohio Department of Transportation. I got no questions after my talk. The ODOT guy was bombarded with accusations that he was not using enough Registered Professional Engineers in his department. His response, repeated several times, was that he was using PEs in every position where it was required by law. That was a real eye-opener to me about professional engineers.

(Full disclosure: although I passed the Engineer in Training exam while in college, I never went on to take the exam for Registration, as I never held a job that required it.)

23 posted on 02/03/2011 3:38:42 PM PST by JoeFromSidney (New book: RESISTANCE TO TYRANNY. A primer on armed revolt. Available form Amazon.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

This is a really good question.

An engineer is licensed by the state because (in part) when he stamps and signs a document, it becomes a legal document that can be included in a legal contract.

States have this “right” because states have their own legal systems. While the federal government has specific, enumerated powers, states have whatever power their constitutions give them.

Note that there are no federally licensed engineers.


24 posted on 02/03/2011 3:52:19 PM PST by MontaniSemperLiberi (Moutaineers are Always Free)
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To: Ouderkirk

Mabye. Then again, maybe state law requires it to submit work to the DOT. I doubt it but I’m not a civil engineer licensed in the state of North Carolina.

From the article, “But Lacy says he filed the complaint because the report “appears to be engineering-level work” by someone who is not licensed as a professional engineer.”

I’ve never heard that doing what “appears to be engineering-level work” to be a requirement to have a license. If it were then thousands of contractors would be in jail.


25 posted on 02/03/2011 3:58:17 PM PST by MontaniSemperLiberi (Moutaineers are Always Free)
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To: antiRepublicrat

This is pure bullshit.

Unless you did the work for compensation that is tangible, no license is required.


26 posted on 02/03/2011 4:03:11 PM PST by editor-surveyor (NOBAMA - 2012)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

>> “The ONLY reason for the state to “license” any professional is so they can take some of their money.” <<

.
That’s a fact!

Be glad that you are not in Californicate. They have been raising our fees by forcing us to renew twice as often.


27 posted on 02/03/2011 4:07:16 PM PST by editor-surveyor (NOBAMA - 2012)
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To: FateAmenableToChange

Frankly, traffic analysis work just doesn’t require any professional level skills or knowledge.

All it requires is a bit of organization of your thought processes.


28 posted on 02/03/2011 4:10:52 PM PST by editor-surveyor (NOBAMA - 2012)
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To: MontaniSemperLiberi
No engineer or architect can work without insurance.

The insurance company has a lot more substantial stake in not insuring bad engineers and architects than the state, which incurs no liability with their "license."

The state just check credentials from other entities and collects their exorbitant fee.

Insurance companies check a lot more than that.

29 posted on 02/03/2011 4:20:08 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum ("If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun." -- Barry Soetoro, June 11, 2008)
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To: antiRepublicrat
Ummmmmmmm.............

WTF???!!!!

He's being investigated because he's too smart for his own good!

30 posted on 02/03/2011 5:34:30 PM PST by starlifter (Pullum sapit)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

“No engineer or architect can work without insurance.”

Really? Hmmmm. I’ve never seen that requirement. Can you show me a law that says that?


31 posted on 02/03/2011 8:52:54 PM PST by MontaniSemperLiberi (Moutaineers are Always Free)
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