Friday, August 22, 2008

This Way to the Egress!

I happened upon two Youtube videos posted by the Concerned Citizens of Western Howard County. This group is outspoken against a proposed car dealership that is to be located at the corner of Daisy Road and Union Chapel Road. The group believes that the roads near the proposed dealership will not handle the large trucks that will deliver the cars.

One of the videos shows a tractor trailer traveling from Rt. 97 to the proposed site, and the other video shows the tractor trailer going from the site back to Rt. 97. In other words, there is an ingress and an egress video. I posted the video going from the site to Rt. 97 below, mostly because I like the word "egress" thanks to P.T. Barnum. The ingress video can be found here. The testing appears to have been done on March 3, 2008.

I don't think that these videos show a threat to public safety. The video points out that there is "limited sight distance" at one point (which is true to both cars and large trucks) and it points out that the truck gets close to a guardrail on a bridge. I don't think that these concerns are legitimate. The most damning thing is when the truck encroaches upon the other lane when negotiating turns, but again I don't think that this is a treat to public safety unless someone in the oncoming lane is not paying any amount of attention at all. Furthermore, if there are bicyclists on the road, even small cars would have to encroach on the oncoming lane. Are the Concerned Citizens for Western Howard County against bicyclists on Union Chapel Road also?

I think the question is this: does this video show evidence that trucks should be banned from Union Chapel Road? I don't think that it does, and that is the only reason why county leaders should use the public safety argument to block the car dealership. Otherwise, they appear to be pandering to a NIMBY group under the guise of public safety.

I am not sure why there is no video of trucks going from Rt. 144 down Daisy Road to the site, but maybe there is a reason for that.


Anonymous said...

When two of the same vehicles won't fit when facing each other as oncoming traffic, then it's a problem. Adding increased traffic of that size looks bad from this video.

But also, I have nothing against NIMBY arguments. Homeowners are told constantly what we can and can not have in our own back yards, but we're supposed to shut up when we respond in kind?

Two sets of rules, friend. Not justice.

Freemarket said...

I don't think that anyone should shut up about issues that are important to them. I welcome the issues raised by the CCWHC although I disagree with their position.

If our rule of thumb is that unsafe conditions arise when two of the same vehicles will not fit when facing each other, then all tractor trailers and most large farm equipment should be banned on roads with no shoulders. I don't think that such a law would make sense.

Both tractor trailers and large farm machinery has been using this road for years, and I am not aware of any systemic problems resulting from those vehicles.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that the tractor trailer chose Union Chapel as the route to get to the proposed site, and not Daisy Road or Jennings Chapel. I suppose both those roads were easy to navigate, too convenient, and wouldn't have proven a point.