The traffic engineers in my area (Howard County, Maryland) have become enamored with "traffic calming" - the idea is explained here, but it can be explained a lot more succinctly: someone let the highway department have too much fun with a batch of play-doh, and they decided to toss the shapes they created onto the roads. Here are two pictures of some of the stupidity in action in my neighborhood:
The road hazards here are in the center of the road, going around a turn. In the winter - as you can see above - they can't be plowed properly. Heck, the snow and ice in question fell a week ago, and there it is, still in the roadway. In fact, chunks at the end of these are missing, as plows have previously ripped them out. Worse, snow and ice are just left in the center of the street between the hazards (fun if you want to turn across it).
Even when there's no snow, you should see school buses try to make their way around these - or moving vans, or emergency vehicles. As best as I can tell, the morons who advocate these things have never actually driven a car. When I get a chance, I'll take a photo of the lovely "S" turn they've implemented in a different part of the neighborhood - that one actually aims you into oncoming traffic. These things are just stupid, and many of the chokers they've put up have eliminated bike lanes as well.
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