Thoughts on the Engineering Industry

A blog covering engineering, technology and business topics

Can a study on Texas infrastructure ignore public transportation concerns?

Hello everyone, I hope your week went well.  I actually felt a little off in the middle of the week due to grass allergies which is annoying.  I did have a bit a good luck though in getting a job interview for a small structural engineering firm in Dallas.  It turns out he was looking for someone who knew revit though which I don’t know, but it gives me something to work on for the future and he did recommend a good tutorial book which I appreciate.  Overall, the experience was good.  Today I wanted to share with you an article I found talking about how Texas has the best infrastructure in the country.  When it comes to roads, I could find it believe-able but I think there is something essential that is not mentioned even in passing – our severe lack of public transportation options in places.

In the study by CNBC, they say that they “measured each state’s transportation system by the value of goods shipped by air, land and water.  The availability of air travel and the quality of the roads in each state were also examined.”  I’ll grant them one thing – this is an easy statistic to quantify.  It takes a lot more effort to do an in depth study of the number of commuters combined with all the transportation options and travel times to see a complete picture.  That, however, is not my issue.  It’s the fact that they neglect to mention this element they over looked at all.  The only thing they say that is closely related to this fact at all is this – “Despite Texas’ number one ranking in terms of the value of items shipped over its transportation system, North Texas drivers are dealing with some high numbers of their own as they contend with the most congested freeways in the state.  A 2011 study by TxDOT found that the LBJ Freeway carries more than 300,000 cars per day despite being built to handle only 120,000.”  I don’t see how you say that you are proud of your infrastructure and claim that it is meeting your states need when the roads are only designed to meet a fraction of the demand.  Not only that, they look into the topic any deeper on any level; if they did, I would think they would find research like this or this.  Even if the original assessment by CNBC is accurate by their standards, their choice to ignore the transportation system as a whole makes the conclusions in the study highly flawed.

What is your opinion on this?  Should studies like this be done as long as other elements are considered as well?  Or do studies like this always lead to a flawed analysis like in this article?  Thanks for reading and have a good week. 🙂

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