Central Snark

Dear Crummy Civil Engineers by crummyjoel
Tuesday, 24 July 2007, 8:03am
Filed under: crummy letters

Dear Civil Engineers of the City in Which I Reside;

I swear to you that if another traffic light goes up on the road between my house and the interstate, I am going to absolutely lose my &*%(*&. Seriously, it’s like a 3-mile stretch of road. There are 11 stoplights I have to cross. There are less than 30,000 people in our paltry little town. Is it all really necessary?

It would be one thing if they were regular old stoplights. You know, the old fashioned kind where if someone on a side street pulled up to the light they would have to sit there waiting on the light to change, often for minutes at a time with absolutely no oncoming traffic in sight. Ah, the good old days.

But no. That’s not the case here. Every single one of these eleven stoplights can sense traffic and has the trigger finger of Jules and Vincent. If a car on a side street even thinks about pulling up to the stop light, the main artery immediately gets a yellow light.

Now, during a typical rush hour, do you have any idea how many times I have to stop at a light over this three mile course? I’ll give you a second to do the math….eleven stop lights….eleven stop lights with traffic sensors….eleven stoplights with trigger fingers……

Yep, you guessed it…..FIFTEEN. Why fifteen? Because so much traffic backs up because of the lousy system you have installed, that by the time I get anywhere near a green light at a major intersection it’s back to yellow again!!

Look, yours is a difficult job. Not everyone can just waltz into college and become a civil engineer. I get that. But just take 10 minutes one morning rush hour and observe how traffic flows on the main road. And by “flows” I of course mean “grinds to a complete halt”. It is absolutely a shame upon your fine profession.

It is a shame because the term “engineering” implies that some sort of mathematical or scientific thinking occurred, when it is apparent that all that happened in our town is that 11 sets of traffic-sensing stoplights were purchased and installed. That’s not engineering. That’s “shopping”. You don’t want to be called “Civil Shoppers”, do you? Then start engineering something.

Change the stop lights on the cross-roads back to the old fashioned kind and set up some sort of timing system. One that allows cars on the main artery to approach some sort of normal driving speeds. We thank you in advance.


PS: Humor-blogs.com wonders if they could get their hands on one of those cool engineer hats? Thanks.

PPS: OK, seriously folks I am running out of Crummy Letter inspiration. Ideas in the form of comments to this post will be greatly appreciated.

12 Comments so far
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“that’s not engineering, that’s shopping”? HAHAHAHAHA. well done with this week’s letter, Not-at-all-Crummy Joel! i’m pretty sure we’ve lived in a couple of areas that shop at the same “engineer/stoplight/stoptraffic” store, and it is, INDEED, a pain in the royal patootie (oooh, good word that hasn’t been seen around here in a while. but i digress…)

as for your “next” round of letters? i hope folks DO offer up a few suggestions, otherwise, i think we might have to start making fun of them. just don’t make fun of me, m’kay? i mean, i think i’m good at that one, all on my own. kidding. if you need a topic, feel free to do a “Dear Crummy Ramblin’ Girl”! just make sure you spell “ramblin'” r.a.m.b.l.i.n.apostrophe — like Steve Martin does in the song “Ramblin’ Guy. which has nothing to do with this post, but is pretty darn hilarious, nonetheless!

er… sorry about that, and, again, great letter. 🙄

Comment by One Hot Puppy

airlines! bitch about airlines, or I will!

I always assumed that mathematical and scientific thought would be involved in engineering, but I also used to think the world made sense once you could grasp concepts.

Maybe we just don’t get it!

Comment by snuppy

Dear Crummy Super Sized Stores,

I realize that you need to please your shareholders, but if you have decided to make all your stores employee free, can you at least have the courtesy to put up a FREAKING sign! I have money, I want to buy something, but there is no one in the store expect the cast of ‘Gilligan’s Island’ and they look mighty hungry.



(Pissed Off Public)

Comment by Brian

bugger, the second comment from snuppy about the airlines is from me…the Penguin. That happens when you use the same computer together. Sorry about that, it might happen again though! be warned!

Comment by Penguin

Dear FART planners,
How come I can’t get a green light to drive parallel to your stupid train. I get why I can’t turn left, ok? What is the purpose of sitting and watching the train go by?
(btw- Folsom Area Rapid Transit, which is really part of the Sacramento system)
Dear Crummy Petco,
You have the worst customer service and stupidest pet products- EVER! Does a hamster really need living room furniture complete with fake tv? I could go on and on, but you go ahead Crummy Joel.

Comment by claire

FART?! hahaha – excuse my juvenille side, Claire, but you did that on purpose!

Joel, time to find a scenic route.

Comment by Lampsha

by the way “…do the math” is just plain hilarious. 11 stoplights with 11 ‘trigger fingers’ = 15 stops? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. (sorry, i don’t mean to laugh at your plight, but that’s pretty darn funny)

after reading those two suggestions from Brian and Claire (respectively), i’m thinking you could do a post on shopping at a large/impersonal super store.

or any Taco Bell, because, really, have you ever tried to order something even slightly different? like pulling teeth, my friend… pulling teeth. oy. 🙄

i’m ALSO not a fan of the “foreign” telemarketers hired by my credit card company, who try desperately to compel me to “protect my identity” (seriously, i got a call on my need for “identity theft protection” 5 times in the span of 2 weeks. aieeeeee!) and they’re like robots, these people — reading as freaking fast as they can without taking a breath, in hopes of wearing you down. i hate that!

Comment by snuppy

Dear Crummy Cable News Network
A.K.A. “Anna Nicole-Lindsay-Paris-Britney-a-thon”

Comment by Emily Bezaire

Thanks, all. I wasn’t a huge fan of this letter when I posted it, but upon re-read, I’m not as “down” on it.

I can’t do a rant against big box scores, because The Master has already done one:

However, both Snuppy and Emily gave me some solid suggestions. Thanks, everyone!

Comment by CrummyJoel

Gaaah! I was just going to suggest Home Depot. I still think you could do it justice.

‘That’s not engineering. That’s “shopping”’ got a snort out of me.

We obviously need to put our heads together and keep you doing these. You could do one on people who think that Harry Potter turns kids into Satanists….

Damn. I’ll get back to you.

Comment by Diesel

Crummy radio stations that play the same 6 stupid songs over and over?

Comment by Diesel

You are absolutely right, that isn’t engineering.
It is, however, politics.

The engineers didn’t decide how many lights to install. Someone with the right amount of clout got those put in. It happens quite a lot. You may not be able to “fight” city hall, but you can “buy” it.

Comment by Alpha Dude

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