Skip to comments.Citizen activist grates on state over traffic signals
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 ...
God forbid you could ever do skilled work, without a license.
What an arrogant p****.
If you don't do it in crayon you are subject to arrest.
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.
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.
Demand that the city engineer be cashiered for malfeasance.
After reading it I scrolled to the top expecting the publication to be The Onion or Scrappleface. I’m stunned.
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.
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.
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.
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...
Given it was a computer guy, I bet #2. Reverse engineering is common in computer science.
The convolution of logic here is beyond the pale. We need a RICO type law for this kind of stuff.
"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.
I’m sorry. Words fail me. Perhaps I should hire a licensed wordsmith to comment for me on this subject.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Does the state also certify “traffic counters”? How ridiculous does it get? (They might want a time stamped video for evidence, but gee whiz.)
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.)
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.
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.
This is pure bullshit.
Unless you did the work for compensation that is tangible, no license is required.
>> “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.
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.
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.
He's being investigated because he's too smart for his own good!
“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?