BOOK: Confessions of a Recovering Engineer

Confessions of a Recovering Engineer by Charles L. Marohn, Jr., is about streets, roads, and transportation.

The book’s Web site home-page briefly introduces the author:

Drawing on his decades of experience as a professional engineer and planner, he explains why the conventional approach to traffic engineering is making people less safe, bankrupting towns and cities, destroying the fabric of communities, and actually worsening the problems (like congestion) engineers set out to solve.

He also talks about how transportation can be fixed—and why fixing it will involve not just engineers, but local residents and officials who have become effective and empowered advocates, connected with others to make real change.

Even though the author focuses primarily on laws and examples from the United States, virtually every chapter is equally relevant to Canadian cities, large and small.

The bookʼs introduction

Because the PEI Public Library Service does not yet have a copy of the book available (it is on order), and not everyone will buy it, the Introduction: Conversation with an Engineer is being replicated here in instalments.

Throughout the entire book, the author uses clear, descriptive, and expressive language that makes it easy and interesting to read.

In the introduction, he cleverly illustrates — through a composite conversation with a home-owner —how the underlying values of our transportation system are not human values, but values unique to a profession.


This is how it starts:

Eng.: Hello, Iʼm the project engineer. I heard you have a concern about the street improvements we have planned for your neighbourhood.

To be continued …

Report an error, or send a question or comment by e-mail to:
newcharlottetownproject @ eastlink.ca

Author: New Charlottetown Project

Barbara Dylla has lived in Charlottetown since 2017. The aim of this blog is to inspire and encourage Charlottetowners to be more aware of municipal affairs, to participate as engaged citizens, to support an issue close to their heart, so that together we create a sense of the larger community we live in. And, along the way, become a united community passionate about making Charlottetown the best it can be.

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