Have you noticed increased traffic through your neighborhood?
Starting to notice a lot more cars on streets that were once not used very much?
The culprit is Traffic apps. These apps are being created to show drivers alternate routes. One such app is the Waze app. Waze looks at all roads the same whether they are designed to accommodate large amounts of traffic or not. It is a community based app that works by tracking all drivers who have the app activated. It then uses real time data to tell drivers the fastest or shortest route. It looks at the time it took all drivers to get to an area then analyzes what route got them there in the shortest amount of time.
This has become a big problem for a lot of communities that are now experiencing a large influx of traffic cutting through their neighborhoods. If you live on a quiet street that happens to connect major roads together, you now may have I-25 in your front yard.
Below are two very interesting articles on how Traffic apps works and what type of issues they are causing in the community.
According to Denver Business Journal, Colorado ranks on the top 10 list of the fastest growing states in the nation. As the article explains, Colorado is 2nd in the rankings behind Florida. Denver, specifically, is one of the top 10 Cities to live in in the United States, considering population and salary, as stated by Business Insider and US News . So many people are moving to Denver, which had me asking why? Here are some reasons why people are moving to Colorado:
Drinking water is becoming a limited resource in Colorado with the growing population. Douglas County municipalities have put water restrictions in place in order to aid with the growing population and water demand. In 2012, construction of the Rueter-Hess Reservoir was completed to provide safe, clean drinking water for the residents in Douglas County. This project has solved the long-term water shortage problem. With the large amount of open space surrounding the reservoir, municipalities in Douglas County have partnered to find a way for residents to enjoy recreational activities in the area by developing a Recreation Master Plan. These municipalities include the City of Lone Tree, City of Castle Pines, Town of Castle Rock, Town of Parker, Parker Water and Sanitation District, and Douglas County. These recreational opportunities include hiking, fishing, kayaking, and much more! Click here for more information regarding the Recreation Master Plan for the Rueter-Hess Reservoir.
As engineers, we’re asked to find solutions - to easy problems, to complex problems, to singular problems, to multi-faceted problems. And as engineers, problem-solving is what we enjoy. We’re natural puzzle-piecers, and we like to think analytically, strategically, and critically to find the best course of action for resolving an issue.
However, as Veritasium would testify, it is important not to get bogged down in the question and to think about problem-solving from more than one angle. Take, for example, a site that combines rainwater harvesting, stormwater detention, and rain gardens to offset impervious surface while at the same time feeding landscaping and operating toilets and maintenance water functions .
Or, a porous pavement system that combines sandy soils and porous pavers with an underground pipe system to de-flood a critical intersection while simultaneously adding character to a downtown block . It is important to remember that not all problems are fitted to the same solution and that while there are simple problems with simple solutions, there are also simple problems with unique solutions.
This Veritasium video, titled "Can You Solve This?” demonstrates this principle perfectly. Check it out. Can you solve the problem? And remember, when you call an engineer to design a solution, call an engineer who will take the time to find the right answer, not just the easiest answer.