New Hanover County Safety Director tells kids walking is unsafe
(updated: Aug 26, 2009)
Last week I made that stuff up to demonstrate the thinking of some of the more influential members of the local Wilmington community, because that is what people who want to create a better society are up against. This week I'm not making anything up. I wish I were.
The folks from Getting Connected spent a year working on getting grant money for a multi-use path to connect to the one on Military Cutoff, and obtaining federal money through the Safe Routes to School Program. However, despite NC DOT and New Hanover County announcing a $200,000 grant for the multi-use path, it never came to anything more than the placement of two Share the Road signs on quiet residential streets.
Below is an email from Harris McIntyre, New Hanover County Safety Director, and Ed's response.
Begin forwarded message:
From: Marguerite Y Martin
Date: August 26, 2009 9:33:54 AM EDT
Cc: Tammy Bruestle
Subject: Ogden Crosswalk
This is the response from Harris McIntyre…
Greetings Ms. Martin,
I talked to Mr. Hance regarding the possibility of the cross walk during last school year. He informed me that bus transportation was made available for students living close by the school to avoid having them walk down the narrow busy road with no sidewalks or adequate space for students to walk to school. Therefore, based on the current conditions it would be unsafe to place a crosswalk in an area where there are no sidewalks or safe passage way to school.
Of course, I know we are also going to have to address the parents that continue to park on the side of the campus to avoid using the appropriate drop-off and pick-up system. Perhaps I can get Lt. Harrel with the Sheriff Department to give us some help with this problem.
Subject: Fwd: Ogden Crosswalk
Date: August 26, 2009 10:05:33 AM EDT
I am very disappointed that the School's position it it's not safe to walk or bike to School so let's not take steps to make it safer. This email was in response to me asking Ogden school officials to add a cross walk across Middle Sound Loop Rd. I find this to be contradictory to New Hanover County position that there is a walk/bike lane on both side of Middle Sound Loop rd. Also if it's not safe to walk or bike then why on Earth Day are we able to do so? I think this needs to be published on SirBikes and the GC WEB sites and If anyone has a news paper connection I would love to see this email published. I am not so sure the citizens of MS loop feel this way. I believe the only way to get things do is to become a very squeaky wheel!!!! We have tried the civil way and got a share the road sign for our year long effort.
Glide Bikes Inc
You know, the kids are walking to school anyway, so the solution is to just put the crosswalk in, not to tell them to ride the bus 10 miles to get across the street. This mental midget is actually making the situation less safe. In God's name where have you seen a school with no crosswalk, bike racks, sidewalks, or flashing school signs? I'll tell you where, New Hanover County, that's where.
In some states such as Ohio by law the school must provide street crossings and sidewalks so that kids can walk to school.
But in New Hanover County we are allowing bird brains like Harris McIntyre to ruin our community. They say they only do what their constituency wants. I say bullshit. Nobody in our corrupt government does that. People WANT sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes and bike paths.
So keep talking out of both ends of your mouths -- the health of children and childhood obesity rates and the need to keep kids "safe" by keeping them surrounded by several tons of steel all the time.
Treat cycling as transportation, not just recreation, and then go through the same process as what you do for new roads and highways. Why is the assumption we are growing immediately mean that we need to widen and build more roads? The world has changed. It needs to mean, we need to build more multi-modal infrastructure, and spend 10% of the annual transportation budget on bike and pedestrian facilities, for example.
But no, now we have the NC DOT telling us that they will someday need to take the multi-use path away to add more lanes to Military Cutoff.
But the long-term answer, whether environmentalists and residents like it or not, is likely more lanes.
And that could mean the loss of the multi-use path on the east side of the roadway that's increasingly popular with bikers and walkers.
State and city officials said that as part of a municipal agreement, the DOT promised not to touch the bike path, which opened in 2007, for 10 years.
"We have the right to use that right of way," said the DOT's Pope.
Again I wish I was making this up. Are these people completely off the deep end? Do not believe their bullshit about being near capacity, either. They simply want to spend money for more roads because more driving equals more revenue for them. Bicycles do not provide them with revenue.
The poor kids are going to get stuck holding the leftover crumbs of the oil age and have to deal with solving the problem because the current leadership is delusional. Not to mention having to pay back all the debt that our government is dumping on them.
That's a grave injustice. I'm not going to play nice anymore. It's been this way for 25+ years in this county. But it is unsustainable and will not stand the test of time. And the leadership need start getting the picture or the devil is going to drag Wilmington down to hell.
"It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark."
~Howard Ruff, How to Prosper in the Coming Bad Years, 1979
"The biggest problem in the world could have been solved when it was small." ~Witter Bynner, The Way of Life According to Laotzu
1. MLB said...
It amazes me that our local government does not have to answer to anyone or be accountable for anything? So many cities around the country are acting responsibly with respect to alternative transportation but NHC is asleep at the wheel.(and seems to be o.k. with it) This Fall would be a good time to get together and hold our Ciclovia and get this town to wake the hell up and see what it's citizens really want. Perhaps an online poll to see how many people would participate in such an event would be a good place to start.
Might as well be part of the solution otherwise we are just a part of the problem!
Aug 26, 2009 @ 9:06 PM
2. goofy said...
i completely agree with you on this and i also think a poll would help out greatly in finding out who is wanting to help out the community by getting these cross walks and paths back on track to make things much safer
Aug 27, 2009 @ 10:21 AM
3. Bryan said...
Aug 28, 2009 @ 1:38 PM
4. SBA said...
Aug 28, 2009 @ 7:57 PM
5. peter said...
Erol, Wilmington always has been and always will be a provincial town. As long as the money keeps flowing in (to select pockets) it will never change. To find your true happiness there are cities and towns with a progressive attitude. (Growth is the enemy of progress). You msy hsve to move to one of them before your head explodes. The change starts in our own backyards. Run for office. Strt a grassroots organization. Get involved with the outfits fighting the bull down here. My theory is that due to global warming, and the current sea level rise, Wilmington is going to be underwater within the next 100 years. Higher energy is leaving this place, with the lower forces filling the vacuum. Why would the universe expend energy on a no win situation? Or...you can fight like hell
Aug 29, 2009 @ 5:58 AM
6. SBA said...
DOT controlling the local roads is a problem because it severely handicaps local decision making. Local governments should be able to make decisions which affect the community, deciding what is in the best interest of its citizens. Having DOT own the roads takes this control out of local leadership and puts it into an authority which may not know what works best at the local level, or worse, does not care. They decide and the community has to deal with the consequences. Do you like the federal government deciding how to spend your money and decide what's best for you? I didn't think so. It's the same way with the NC DOT. And never forget their major incentive - more driving = more NC DOT revenue.
Aug 31, 2009 @ 8:09 PM
7. po boy said...
if you call the dot about why something wasn't done in foresight, their response is, and i quote..."we do things reactively , not proactively"
Sep 1, 2009 @ 5:42 PM
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