Presentation and handout by County staff reveals the real reason for SB 1233

Given to the VTA/County Bicycle-Pedestrian Advisory Committee on June 8, 2005

Staff in their handout (copied below) effectively state, using different words, that the reason for 1233 was:

1) Thwart the repeal of the pedestrian prohibition by Sunnyvale City Council in 2003. Note how it cryptically merely states "2003 campaign." Staff (Dan Collen from Roads and Airports Department) verbally stated that the "2003 Campaign" (below) means the 2003 repeal by Sunnyvale of the pedestrian prohibition.

2) "County Administration" does to agree with BOS policy regarding "pedestrian use of expressways," and specifically, the statement that, "[Wide] shoulder or path facilities can serve for occasional pedestrian use." [page 93 of County Expressway Master Plan] All expressway locations in Sunnyvale have wide shoulders and are fully compliant with Board policy supporting use of wide shoulders.

3) Eliminate the right of access stipulated in the law so pedestrians/bicyclists could be prohibited from working at companies or accessing businesses on expressways, and to prevent use of arterial roads. SB 1233 only succeeded in achieving that in Palo Alto. Elsewhere, SVBC and MTS had already forced removal of illegal sign that violated right of access.

None of these reasons was the reason told the Board for seeking legislation (on Dec. 4 and 16, 2003) which falsely stated:
"Current law does not provide explicit authority for the County to post 'Pedestrians Prohibited' signs."
This was the false pretense to eliminate the right of bicyclists and pedestrians to use roadways. [Details in Deception and lack of public process at the County level.]

For other statements by staff, see the the detailed rebuttal.

Staff (Dan Collen from Roads and Airports Department) verbally stated that the "2003 Campaign" below means the 2003 repeal by Sunnyvale of the pedestrian prohibition in this handout:

Handout (excerpt) of staff

Below: Legal Opinion of County Counsel was also distributed to the VTA BPAC

[next page]

Notes regarding the legal opinion

There is one inaccurate statement in the memo where Kretchmer tries to justify the change in law by stating that prior language
"resulted in confusion and uncertainty ... where rights of access [had] or had not been acquired."
The fact is, there was never "confusion and uncertainty" because the property records in the County Property Records Department clearly and precisely state for each property in the County whether the right of access was acquired. As for easements, the default (no mention) is that the property owner has full rights. (I, Akos Szoboszlay, have obtained a copy of such record myself, after getting a ticket by police for using the safe shoulders of the arterial-category road named "expressway", to prove to the court that I was not violating the law, but rather, the County was the law-breaker by displaying illegal signs.)

Furthermore, the Roads and Airports Department had (and probably still has) property records documenting where the Department purchased access rights from property owners. These are legal contracts. To imply that these contracts were destroyed or lost is absurd, unless the Roads and Airports Department admits to being incompetent.

The simple fact is, that Murdter drafted the law to eliminate those rights so he would not have to comply with them, nor with the Board directive of 5/4/04 to comply with right of access. It was never because of "confusion and uncertainty" except in the context of the Department deliberately wanting to be confused by not checking its own records, or that of the County Property Records Department.

Question for staff: Why was Kretchmer's information kept from the VTA BPAC in 2003 and 2004, despite the Committee having official input to the County Expressway Plan?

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