This Solstice in Traffic: 21 June 2007

Happy Longest Day of the Year (in the northern hemisphere)! I don’t really consider this to be “the first day of summer” because it’s been summer for over a month. If you want to know what I really think, see my opinion on the topic.

The New Orleans Hurricane Protection System

The American Society of Civil Engineers has released a report detailing the failures of the New Orleans Levee system and some of the root causes. There are some fascinating things in here; things that make you say, “huh?” For example, there were two main types of concrete-and-steel levees used around the city: I-Walls and T-Walls. T-Walls are by far stronger than I-Walls (which are the steel-posted walls that the news copters big breaches through). There was a mandate that whereever a T-Wall (stronger) butted against an I-Wall (weaker), the T-Wall was to be built higher. This, however, makes no sense because if there is to be any overtopping of the wall, you want the water to flow over the stronger part of the wall, not the weaker. Oops. Every levee and dam built has an emergency spillway in case the water gets too high; you’d rather have a controlled flood than an uncontrolled one, which is what will result from a dam or levee collapse rather than the release of excess water. The I-Walls were acting as the emergency spillways of the system, and they couldn’t take it, resulting in numerous breaches.

Personal Transportation

But can I land it in my driveway?

Cool Looking Classic Car

I’d drive this around.

Railing about Rail Hardware

There are fundamental hardware difficulties for the rail commuter from Connecticut to New York City.

Bagdad Traffic Woes

Amongst all the other reasons I don’t want to live in Bagdad, traffic congestion.

Traffic Cops and Pollution

I’ve heard that oxygen concentrators are good for hangovers, too.

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