Daily Archives: August 4, 2013

Red Clay’s new school road impact study comes under fire!

Traffic at root of NCCo, state fight Red Clay district gets break on impact review Written by Adam Taylor The News Journal

Please read the entire article here…………………………………

In a nutshell there is concern how Red Clay was able to obtain a district favorable impact study on surrounding roads and intersections in the ares of Red Clay’s new school being built on Graves Road. There seems to be a Republican pro Red Clay political fix.

That study changed in July, shortly after lobbyist Roger Roy successfully persuaded the General Assembly’s bond committee to slip in a change in a larger state funding bill that allowed the district to study only four intersections in its traffic study Roy, a former legislator, served as head of the bond committee for 22 years that considered state transportation spending.

Red Clay spokeswoman Pati Nash said the district didn’t bring Roy into the process to circumvent the rules.

“Red Clay will do what is required to address any traffic flow that is generated by building that new school,” Nash said.

And it really comes down to this

The November 2012 traffic study that DelDOT gave Red Clay for its proposed new school at Newport Gap Pike and Graves Road came under the department’s old regulations.

After facing criticism about Barley Mill and other projects, DelDOT changed those regulations in May. DelDOT officials said at the time the changes would be an improvement because they would allow the agency to study a larger area around a proposed development, rather than just several nearby intersections.

Construction of the new school hasn’t begun! So it appears Red Clay is grandfathered in re: old regulations. But that’s what I “assumed”

So Roy found a way to get the project under DelDOT’s new regulations without the district losing any time. He asked the Legislature’s bond committee to add a few sentences into the annual transportation spending bill that require DelDOT and the county to process the district’s plan under the new regulations. The spending bill passed in June.

So now it looks like the old rules would have applied 

“He made a direct appeal to the committee for this language at the hearing,” DelDOT spokesman Geoff Sundstrom said of Roy. “DelDOT did not take a strong position for or against the change.”

Roy said he wasn’t paid by Red Clay for his lobbying work, instead acting as a concerned citizen. Nash said Roy is a member of Red Clay’s education foundation and district officials knew he is experienced and connected in Dover.

Roy lives in Hockessin which is within Red Clay School District and is an active member of his community and some people don’t look for money to help their community (like Kilroy 🙂 ). Now the real question is how did Roy become in engaged in the issue? Who contacted him from Red Clay or on behalf of Red Clay to ask for his help?  Wait! There it is, “member of the Red Clay’s Education Foundation”.

Roy said he sees nothing wrong with the change.

“The new regulations are supposed to be better, or they wouldn’t have passed them,” he said. “I think it’s a win-win for everybody.”

I am confused? If Roy feels the new regulations are better why did he lobby to bend  the old rules?

Last month, DelDOT issued the new traffic study requirements to Red Clay. Twelve of the intersections to be reviewed under the old study were gone. Two of the intersections that remained are the proposed entrance roads into the school.

Language changes; The county’s Smith, who also is an attorney, said Roy’s assertion that Red Clay could have withdrawn its plan and resubmitted it to get out of the first, more rigorous traffic study is wrong.

Are we in Kansas yet! WTF ! 

“That language that was inserted into the bond bill is absolutely necessary to have the county and DelDOT try to use the new regulations,” Smith said.

Beam me up Scottie! WTF! The new rules does apply! 

County officials are not convinced they have to follow the Legislature’s requirement that they process the plan under the new regulations.

“It’s kind of unusual for the Legislature to direct the county like this,” Smith said. “We’re studying the specific language to see if we agree with the state that we are bound by this language to use their new procedures.”

Does this mean the state infringed on the County’s autonomy? 

DelDOT Planning Director Drew Boyce said the new traffic study is more fair to Red Clay. The original one would have forced the district to fix intersections that are mostly clogged because of poor land-use decisions in the past.

Folks were talking millions $$$$$$

Boyce said the language, which directed DelDOT and the county to use the new regulations, was needed because the county hasn’t yet signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing to the new regulations.

“The language provides the school with certainty that the county has to accept to the new regulations,” Boyce said.

WTF! Does DE DOE and DelDot officials get the same Markell cluster-fuck training! Wait!!!!!!! Doesn’t Red Clay’s former CFO work for DelDot. the guy who screwed-up the Red Clay accounting books with double entries and told the former district super, sure we can afford buying an office building in Pike Creek? But I think Roger Roy was able to handle this one on his own!

The old regulations would have simply identified intersections near the school for analysis. The new method uses a predictive modeling technique to identify the most likely intersections that will be most impacted by the school.

To be fair, we’re not talking about building a large school and I do foresee major impact on intersections beyond ones closest to the school. It’s the intersections closest to the school that could be safety concern putting children and drivers at greater risk!

Opinions split Nash, the district’s spokeswoman, agrees with Boyce. “We would prefer a plan that would deal with traffic that is only generated by our school.”

Yep we’re on the same page 1T

Smith, however, said DelDOT’s new methodology is flawed.

“I don’t know how they’re going to predict which directions the parents’ cars will be coming from,” he said. “And the new system essentially gives the school a bye for some of the traffic, because they’ll potentially be making some failing intersections worse without studying the impact and not having any responsibility to help correct it.”

Well I think its time for Mr. Smith to go to Dover and address the lack of methodology capacity at DelDot and perhaps swing-by DE DOE and address their cluster-fuck mentality! Also, swing by Jack Markell’s office and see if he can pull Matt Denn’s head out of Jack’s ass!  

Even though the language Roy got inserted into the Bond Bill was discussed at a state hearing, Gordon wasn’t notified about the potential change and didn’t learn about it until after it happened.

“This circumvented the process and is a bad way to conduct land-use policy,” Gordon said. “Roy shouldn’t have intervened. The district wanted some of the failing intersections out of the study because they didn’t want to fix them.”

I support Tom Gordon’s position! But you know, if the district knew some of those intersections are dangerous and the new school will increase the danger, the district will have blood on their hands god forbid if something happened.   

State Rep. Mike Ramone, a member of the Bond Bill Committee, said Gordon doesn’t have a detailed understanding of what took place.

Ramone said the language was debated by the committee. Eventually, the committee agreed to it after researching the issue and concluding no other school was caught in between DelDOT’s old and new regulations like Red Clay.

“Everyone had a little bit of angst that there would be a perception that we bent the rules,” Ramone said. “But after researching it, we found that there were no other schools in a similar situation, and we didn’t think it was fair for Red Clay to be caught in the middle of two sets of regulations.”

Duh! How many new schools are currently under construction or approved in New Castle County. So why did Roy involve himself in addressing General Assembly bond committee? One would think state legislators involved in changing regulation of the county would at least consult the county! But then again our state legislators support federal intrusion in local school control and involve themselves in bias charter school laws and rules.

Mark Blake, an officer with the Greater Hockessin Area Development Association, who ran against Gordon in last November’s election for county executive, agrees with his former opponent on this one.

“Red Clay should have to use the regulations that were in place at the time the plan was filed,” Blake said. “The roads around the school site are already overloaded. If you’re going to ignore some of the major intersections near it, the data on the school’s impact on those roads isn’t going to come even close to reflecting reality.”

So how many GDADA members voted for the Red Clay referendum for the new school on Graves road? Isn’t Roy a member and doesn’t he attend GDADA meetings? Why didn’t GDADA confront Roy on his home turf?

Folks it comes down to this; the intersections closest to the school are the most dangerous for children and the community. We must make sure no $$$ corners are cut to ensure that safety. If down the road an intersection further down the road is severely impacted as a result of the new school then the district, school community, county and state have an obligation to address those concerns!

I opposed the new school for other reasons but was concerned about traffic impact re: safety. However, the community spoke and approved a new school! I support Tom Gordon call for better land use regulation involving impact! There are serious fractures between the state legislators and their respect for the county autonomy. The real problem is fucked-up politics and lobbyist acting on the interest of those paying them or are in bed with them. Roy was acting on the interest of Red Clay and his community! He has special powers that us common folks don’t have! But it appears his community many have some concerns!