Appendix D: Deception and lack of public process at the County level
Deception was used even at the County level, in order to
conceal details of the requested legislation from the public and most of the
Deception on the agenda, and improper and false agendizing.
This entire matter originated when County Supervisor
Alvarado, Chair, referred to staff, at the Oct. 7, 2003 Board of Supervisors
meeting, the question: “Why are the discriminatory signs still posted when they
violate the Supervisors’ policy, and are illegal even according to County
Counsel’s legal opinion?”
[See: How this all started.]
Staff responded by a dual effort: a public one and a hidden (non-public) one, with staff contradicting itself in the process.
The (public) staff report to the Housing, Land Use, Environment, & Transportation (HLUET) Committee of the Supervisors (
There was improper agendizing to keep the public from knowing about the (hidden) effort to change law:
All these factors resulted in no public input to these (hidden) agenda items of Dec. 4 and 16, 2003. There would have been much public input had the public been notified by non-deceptive agendas. When it was properly agendized (the pubic effort), the public did participate, and speakers at the May 4, 2004 Board meeting included:
Requested legislation was never approved
A false pretense was used to seek legislation by requesting authority to “install” and “post” prohibitory signs. This authority already existed by CVC 21351. As for posting of speed limit and other regulatory signs, the Cities having jurisdiction "cause [signs] to be posted" [CVC 21351] by informing the County of their regulatory ordinance(s). This has been the case for 40 years, since inception, and was never disputed by anyone, to our knowledge. [Update: County staff reveals the real reason for SB 1233.]
The agenda item before the Legislative Committee of the County Board of Supervisors
was to approve a 15-item "2004 Legislative Policies and Priorities, 12/4/03" an 82-page document,
There was nothing more than these two sentences --other than background (below)-- so nothing more was approved. There was no mention of eliminating the right of access stipulation of CVC 21960, eliminating the freeway stipulation, nor that rights of bicyclists are also affected, Statewide. Furthermore, no legal text was provided to the public. If the Board action would have been complied with, it would have been innocuous.
The summary on page 77 is also deceptive:
"Statutory authority for the County to install ‘pedestrians prohibited’ signs on County expressway right-of-way."
Different section of Vehicle Code was changed from what was approved.
Even the Senators were fooled by the many false statements of County staff, who stated it was just to "install" and "post" signs, and they never mentioned "prohibit." Despite the title "Expressway Signage" used on the County Board of Supervisors agenda, the Vehicle Code chapter "Traffic Signs, Signals and Markings" was not changed at all by SB 1233. Instead, the chapter "Pedestrians’ Rights and Duties" was changed. The right to use roadways was removed from that chapter.
Derogatory statement about pedestrians
The background section of this agenda item gives a vivid demonstration of the attitude of County staff towards pedestrians and transit patrons. (Furthermore, it starts with a false statement as described in Appendix A, “Authority” contradictions). It states:
Current law does not provide explicit authority for the County to post “Pedestrians Prohibited” signs along side [sic] of County expressways. At the same time, it is the County’s responsibility to keep this area free of pedestrians to maintain safety on the roadside.
The derogatory “free of pedestrians” is more suitable for situations such as “free of contamination” or “free of vermin.” Staff claims that allowing pedestrians to use sidewalks, walking paths, wide shoulders and bus stops are unsafe on arterial roads declared “expressway.” Staff desires to destroy these facilities for more traffic lanes. Previously, they claimed bike lanes are unsafe for bicyclists for the same reason. Furthermore, the Board does not have a responsibility to discriminate, as staff states.
Similar effort, in 1988, was a public process
The anti-bicycle and anti-pedestrians interests in the
County succeeded in accomplishing in 2003-4, by a secret process, what they
failed to do in 1988, by a process with public input and honest agendas. In
1988, these interests requested the Board of Supervisors to seek legislation in
The 2003 action was hidden from the public
In contrast, the similar action in 2003 that resulted in changing CVC 21960 was accomplished, in full contradiction of the County Expressway Plan [Master Plan], by use of deceptive and improper agendizing. There was no referral to any advisory committee or commission to seek legislation.
The County did not inform the City of
The only related public process that occurred on or prior to the
2003 action was for the County Expressway Plan [Master Plan], and the 1988
process (described above). The Plan went before the [County] Bicycle Pedestrian
Advisory Committee (
"shoulder or path facilities can serve ... for occasional pedestrian use." [page 93]
Proposal: Allow Santa Clara County to post "Pedestrians Prohibited" signs on right-of-way
along County expressways.
Background: Current law does not provide explicit authority for the County to post "Pedestrians Prohibited" signs along side of County expressways. At the same time, it is the County's responsibility to keep this area free of pedestrians to maintain safety on the roadside.
It is believed that this minor modification could be made through as part of the Legislature's annual omnibus Local Government or Transportation bill.