Violations of law and County Supervisors' policy by the County highway engineers.

This web page was created to offload the Expressway Topics, Links page,
which had grown too large due to all these events, below.

How this dispute all started: with our request to the County Board of Supervisors (BOS) that staff comply with City codes, State law and the County's own policies which were being violated by posting illegal "pedestrians prohibited" signs.

Details are in a Letter to the County Supervisors and a second letter, Unjust discrimination by the County.

Instead of complying --a 3-hour job to unbolt and remove signs-- Mr. Michael Murdter, Director, County Roads and Airports Department, wrote a staff report that sought approval from the BOS for his violations of the law and BOS policy. It does so by not recognizing the existence of the County Expressway Master Plan -- while contradicting major points -- and by omitting and contradicting ALL relevant legal opinions from County Counsel. This item was agendized for the HLUET Committee without giving any notice to the Modern Transit Society (which had requested BOS action) that this item was being placed on the agenda.

Subsequently, MTS brought to the attention of the County Executive Office three major deficiencies in the staff report. These were corrected for the full vote of the BOS, which accepted the staff report on May 4. For those interested, the deficiencies are detailed here:

Photos showing the many self-contradictions of Mr. Murdter in his report to the County Supervisors.

Three major deficiencies in the staff report are described in the MTS letter to the County Supervisors [download .doc file now or see it on the web]. It rebuts the primary points that leave the entire staff report without basis. The full MTS rebuttal rebuts all the secondary points also. Also uploaded to the MTS web site is the staff report itself

Victory for pedestrians! (also, transit patrons and bicyclists) on May 4, 2004. See details in this Thank You letter. For links to the staff reports, scroll to agenda item #63 at this link.

But the stonewalling continues! Mr. Murdter continues his stonewalling on illegal sign removal, despite his promises to the Supervisors to comply. See details in these letters to Supervisor Jim Beall and the Deputy County Executive. Mr. Murdter then falsely claimed to Supervisor Jim Beall (on 8/4/04) that signs were removed on two expressways when in fact they were not, and ignored other violations of the Vehicle Code which MTS had pointed out [see previous two links].

Also see our ignored Letter to Michael Murdter, Director: Violations of State, BOS policies for walkers' safety; BOS directive on signs.

Another pedestrian fatality on Capitol Expressway partly due to non-compliance by the current stonewalling!
See the brief letter and speech to the County Supervisor McHugh, with attached comments by the Deputy County Executive, Jane Decker.
Or, see full details and actions to prevent another fatality to Councilmember Cortese and Supervisor Alvarado.

Sept. 28, 2004: Speech to Supervisors and letter re staff's de-facto refusal to comply with the Board of Supervisors.

The basic legal issue is simple and has been true from day one for both bicycles and pedestrians, as follows. [Update: Using deception, false statements, and avoiding a public process, County staff succeeded in obtaining changes to the law, which became effective on January 1, 2005. See: The right of bicyclists and pedestrians to use public roadways was eliminated. The 3rd legal violation (below) is no longer valid. The second and fourth items have been complied with. The first item is still in effect, although jurisdiction for prohibiting pedestrians is now by County with city approval.]

In addition to violating law as described above, the County Roads and Airports Department is violating the County Supervisors' policy, and also contradicting policies of VTA, FHWA, Caltrans, a new Legislative Resolution, and a new Vehicle Code by posting "pedestrians prohibited" signs.

Also see:
Expressway topics, links page
Why were pedestrians and bicycles originally prohibited?

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