Total disregard for the law by County highway engineers

Email; important sentences are in RED.

At 9:22 AM, 7/15/02,
Dan Collen [Highway and Bridge Design Dept.] wrote:

The department has "jurisdiction"

Reply of MTS by Akos Szoboszlay, Vice-President:

I said I handed you the Legal Opinion in 1996. It states:

"... where authority to prohibit ... exists, the authority rests with the city in whose jurisdiction the expressway or portion thereof may lie." [by Herb Keaton, Deputy County Counsel, dated 3/16/88, section 2, titled "Jurisdiction of Cities vs. County."]

Because you are a department of the County, not of a city, your department cannot have jurisdiction because the County does not.

You made the same claim in 1996 before the County/VTA BAC and claimed that your department can prohibit pedestrians at will. When I gave you the legal opinions I had from County Counsel, you re-interpreted them to the BAC, again claiming you can prohibit pedestrians at will. This dragged on during many BAC meetings. Eventually, the BAC requested a new legal opinion which showed MTS was correct, and this forced removal of a lot of illegal "pedestrians prohibited" signs. You know full well what the law is and so does your boss Rollo Parsons, whom I forced to remove many illegal "bicycles prohibited" signs in previous years. If you and Rollo want to pretend that your Highway and Bridge Design Department makes the law, and again waste everyone's time doing it, then all I can say is: Here we go again, for the third time.

Dan Collen wrote:

We are talking about the pedestrian prohibitions in part to make people aware that they are there, and to help focus on where the prohibitions might be limited in application.

Reply of MTS by Akos Szoboszlay, Vice-President:

You must recognize that pedestrians are allowed on most expressway miles and most expressway shoulders, yet your draft Pedestrian Plan Guidelines seek to impose pedestrian prohibitions on all locations they use shoulders with a total disregard for the law. That is a contradiction you have not addressed yet. You need to focus on that contradiction with the law and explain it to everyone, or change your guidelines.

If you don't want people to walk on shoulders, which are safe for pedestrians as shown by current roadway design practice, you can get the gardener to trim shrubbery and create a trail, or you can place a sidewalk, but you cannot take away people's right to use the roadways. MTS and SVBC have proved that repeatedly by forcing sign removal.

-Akos Szoboszlay

Also see:

Previous email: WARNING to the highway engineers: BACK OFF!

Rebuttal to the County highway engineers

Expressway topics, links page

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