Unfortunately I did not make it to the mic on Tuesday but here is what I wanted to say.
I have two questions but first a little precursor.
My name is RJ Mueller and this is my third rodeo regarding the Lake Pickett properties. Some of you may know me from my website called FixMyRoadway.com where I blog frequently on the subject of traffic in East Orange County.
On the first go around I was just a casual observer. On the second I was strongly opposed as I live right on one of the most failing roads in the area, McCulloch. But this time I have become cautiously optimistic as I see a plan starting to form. I would like to see this move to the next step BUT ONLY if it means commuters will have a better commute … police, fire and rescue can respond faster … school buses can get our kids to school safely … AND … the roads will become less congested. I believe that is what we have all been asking for and vehemently complaining about to the county for years.
I see signs talking about 15,000 more cars on the road. I used to be one of the people standing out on Hwy 50 holding those signs during the second go around. But here is how I think about 15,000 more cars today. I am ok with 15,000 more cars on the roads … IF … the roads can handle them and traffic moves freely. I am NOT ok with even a few more cars on the same roads with no improvements and I think we are heading for many more than a few even without these developments.
It appears we are being presented with an interesting choice. A choice between a potential traffic solution using money funded by these developer … or … keeping the area rural and being faced with the reality of not fixing the traffic problems we have now and watching the problems get worse and worse over time until a fix is forced upon us because by law the county must maintain the roads to a certain standard.
So now to my first questions.
Would it be a true statement to say that this desire to keep everything rural in this area over many many years has led us into this traffic dilemma and the firm conviction to stay rural is the main reason the county will not put money into roads in the rural service area here which has consequently led to the money paid in impact fees being used elsewhere in the county? If this is true please elaborate on how impact fees are used in the county and why the money went elsewhere.
My second question:
Is it also true that the county relies heavily on money from development to build roads where otherwise they could not be built which is the case in this area as all of these county roads are named as partnership roads? If this is true, please explain what partnership roads are and how they are built.
If these developments do not move forward and the only change is that Hwy 50 is 6 laned to Old Cheney, will this road improvement be enough to fix all the traffic problems we have in this area which includes, McCulloch, N. Tanner, Lake Pickett, S. Tanner and 419 as well as additional traffic that will come even without these developments. If the answer is no what would the county do to fix the failing roads with the knowledge that the county is obligated by law to maintain the roads to a certain standard?
Is there a cost estimate on how much the developers will have to contribute to the road improvements in order to fix the failing roads as well as accommodate the additional traffic these developments will generate and at the end of the road will the developer end up paying nothing due to credits?
What is the guarantee to the residents in this area that the money that is generated from these developments will be used in this area to improve these roads?