Oh what a week

It (the week) ends on a Friday the 13th, the only one in 2011, BTW. Maybe that’s why the commute tonight was “driving” me crazy. Folks were coming to a complete stop to make a turn, people were pulling out of parking lots across 2 lanes and unable to get in line straight…so both lanes are blocked, drivers were leaving 200 car lengths between them and the guy/gal in front (all that does is let people cut-in uninhibited). Everyone was being superstitious…yeah, that’s it, superstitious!

But lets not talk about friggatriskaidekaphobia, no, lets speak of LID!

LID = Low Impact Development.

Why does Tim babble about these things you ask? Because a numbing two days were spent in a City Council Chamber listening to a gang of experts, who wrote or read a book on the subject, teach us about:

  • Sequestered pollutants
  • Filter strips
  • seamless integration
  • sponge capacity
  • big pond mentality
  • Legacy pollutants
  • erosive velocities
  • “snirt”, “gunk”, “gack”, and “crud”
  • hydraulic barrier
  • rain garden
  • permeable friction
  • bio-retention
  • raveling
  • silo environment
  • porous pavement
  • iSWM (acronym is pronounced as “i-swim”)
  • budding communities
  • filter swale
  • bio-basin
  • WQ basin
  • bridge stone
  • underdrains
I shouldn’t say all the speakers were inexperienced…that has not entirely the case. There were several speakers that were quite knowledgeable in theory, all were smart (except maybe 1 from a federal agency), and a handful were well practiced in the principles preached.
But here’s my three beefs with the 2-day LID training (and the design professions that are elbowing each other for expertise and recognition, for that matter):
  1. landscape architects, for the most part, have been practicing LID for decades, whether deliberate in our design or not…glad the rest of you pros are now learning this stuff,
  2. academia is good for conducting and presenting research, but the professionals need to take it from there and make the real world application…don’t you research students (now I didn’t say “punks” or “whippersnappers”) working on a Master’s degree come into the house and tell me how I should be doing my job, especially since I’ve been doing LID stuff for all those previous decades, remember? (see #1 beef above – does that not sound like an old fart?), and
  3. why are some engineers really closet wannabe landscape architects? Y’all need to “get out da closet” and figure out what it is you really fear in/from us.
Just my Friday the 13th luck early, huh? I got to go-sit-listen to everyone’s “ah-ha” moments. Mine came when I made it to my truck in a sprint during a downpouring of…rain, ironically. On second thought, maybe that was just a “ahhhhhh” moment of finally-dry.

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