Monday, October 22, 2012

Flower Street Decision

The gist of it is that the road will be closed to motor vehicle traffic, but the DOT should created a reasonable option, like a bridge, for pedestrians and cyclists. I think it's an ok resolution, though I don't think should is a very binding word, the hearing officer doesn't give any reason why people were denied intervenor status and doesn't mention any written testimony. I think the process was pretty messed up and I think there should have been some chastisement of the DOT by the hearing officer.

Here it is.

Thanks to Robert Cotto for sending me the PDF. It was mailed to him.


Kerri said...

Part of the problem is that someone within the organization is ruling on what another part of the same organization is doing.

Brendan said...

That's ok. They're kept separate, etc. There are all sorts of controls that are meant to maintain the integrity of that. It's something I learned in administrative law. The decision is reversible if there's an impermissible ex parte contact with the hearing officer.

Kerri said...

Anyway, I disagree with your analysis of the ruling. Yes, "should" is used (I noted that in the piece I wrote), but the language throughout consistently supports maintaining access for pedestrians and cyclists.

Brendan said...

I found wikipedia pretty helpful here: Shall as obligation
"Shall" derives from the Old English "sceal" meaning "must". "Should" is the past simple and conditional (and therefore less direct and harsh) form of "shall", just as "would" is the past simple and conditional form of "will". In this sense, both "shall" and "should" maintain this meaning and usage (which is not typically interchangeable with "would", and slightly more interchangeable with "will") even in modern times and are in fact the most common way to express such obligations. Should is used with a sense of quasi-obligation, synonymous with ought to:
You should not say such things. (You ought not to say such things.)
Why should you suspect me? (What reason do you have to suspect me?)
In more formal language shall (or the archaic second person variant "shalt") is used for similar purposes: "Thou shalt not steal".
[edit]Shall in protasis
Should (and in archaic usage, shall) can be used in the protasis in conditional clauses (and by extension, similar phrases, such as those beginning with "who" or "so long as"):
If you should require assistance, please just ask.
The prize is to be given to whoever shall have done the best.
Should you require any assistance, please speak to your flight attendant.
The sentence above: "The prize is to be given to whoever shall have done the best" may be restated as "The prize is to be given to whoever does the best".
[edit]Should in expectations
Should may be used to express expectation of certain conditions, being utilized as the conditional form of "shall".
You should have enough time to finish the work (a prediction).
I should be able to come (another prediction).
There should be some cheese in the kitchen.
Should cannot be replaced with would without drastically changing the meaning of these three sentences.

Quasi-obligatory. If the DOT determines that it's just too darn hard, they can get out of it.