Thursday, December 13, 2018

SHA adds digital signs warning of speed limit change on River Rd - a week after changing the speed limit

Elected officials in Bell, CA raised taxes while
raising their own salaries, and ordered police to
aggressively ticket drivers, earning themselves a
trip to the slammer - is it the MoCo cartel's turn?
Once again, I've had to take on the role that our elected officials are supposed to play. Only after I filed a complaint with the Maryland State Highway Administration have warning signs now been placed on River Road to alert drivers to a change in the speed limit from 45 to 35 MPH. Worldwide traffic safety protocols require that such signs be posted before a change is implemented; SHA failed to follow its own best practices in this case.

While the speed limit change was made in the dead of night about a week ago without a required public process or notification, only on Wednesday did the digital signs appear, two days after I filed my complaint and demanded answers from SHA - the only local media outlet to question the unusual actions of the agency. Apparently local officials saw the change as a low-down dirty money grab, as well. as police were instructed to immediately begin pulling over and ticketing drivers used to the old 45 MPH limit.

Now that they've been caught with their hand in the cookie jar by Suburban News Network, the required warning signs are suddenly being rolled out. Hopefully I've helped hundreds of drivers avoid getting a ticket. Too bad your elected officials aren't looking out for your interests as much as I am.

Derek Gunn, an assistant traffic engineer for the SHA's 3rd District (which includes Bethesda), cited several factors that are considered when a speed limit change is proposed. However, none of the criteria he cited in response to my query apply to this stretch of River Road to justify a 35 MPH limit. 35 MPH is certainly not the speed at which 85% of drivers feel comfortable maintaining between Kenwood and the Capital Beltway on River Road. That's one reason the road was approved for 45 MPH in the first place.

The "85% rule," which is largely determined by the engineering and design of a road, is the major consideration for traffic engineers. That's why, for decades, the SHA has refused to lower the speed limit. Which makes it so awkward and embarrassing for SHA to now suddenly capitulate, and claim the same criteria that didn't qualify for decades now qualifies.
Bell City Council arrested for jacking up their salaries like
the MoCo Council did - but even the Bell Council
didn't embezzle $7 million in public funds from
the taxpayers like the MoCo cartel did
None of the lesser factors considered apply or have changed between the 1980s and today - land use patterns along the road (same as they were in 1940), qualification as a school zone (nope, too far from the actual entrances to Walt Whitman High School), urban-to-rural transition (sorry, it's solid suburban along the entire stretch affected by the new speed limit), accident history (as horrifying as the deadly 2016 crash on River was, the speed limit change SHA made applies to far more than the intersection where that occurred; the frequency of accidents is unchanged, and the intersection could have simply been closed if the danger is so extreme).

SHA has a hard time making the case for urgent action, as it has sat on its hands for many months, failing to implement changes to the accident intersection that actually did have significant public support. Instead, under pressure from the Montgomery County cartel, it has taken action that affects tens of thousands of commuters each day. The speed limit change has been roundly booed by the general public since it was implemented, and the Dukes of Hazzard-style speed trap sting has many crying foul.

Welcome to the Bell, California of the East Coast.

46 comments:

Boyce Bowles said...

Follow the money.

Anna said...

Look at Robert Dyer...trying to trigger us with a Bell, CA reference.

Deja moo. When you know you've experienced this BS before.

Anonymous said...

"The speed limit change was made in the dead of night"

Was it actually? Or you just happened to be awake in the middle of the night and saw a speed limit change that was made earlier that day?

Also, how many people have been ticketed for driving between 36 and 45 mph last week? Or between 46 and 56 mph, what would have been the grace-period (speed limit plus 12 mph) under the old speed limit?

Anonymous said...

This is terrible government to not give notice or allow input. Common themes at this point.

Anonymous said...

Robert, you sure do have a lot of haters. I can't imagine leading a life where you get joy making idiotic comments on every one of someone's posts. To each his own, I guess.

Anyway, thanks for the great work here. Crazy that they just changed it without any public discussion and no warnings. Definitely something strange here. Thanks for making them be (or attempt to making them be) responsive.

Anonymous said...

"Free beer at opening of The Berliner in Georgetown tonight"?? What the hell? Now you're trolling in DC for news unrelated to the Bethesda community, while you ignore the SamEig area for months. Some journalist shill you are. I'd much rather be a Resident Troll than a wannabe Clark Kent, Jimmy Olsen. STAY IN YOUR LANE!

Woodmont said...

Has Hans decided on a color for his prison jumpsuit?

Too late to scoop up our former Chief Innovation Officer who meddled in a Council election awhile back in Randolph Hills? What is statute of limitations for election law?

Anonymous said...

#UnsignedDyer @ 10:21 AM - perhaps you could clarify to what activity you are referring, and what laws were supposedly broken by it?

Anonymous said...

"With the shortage of German restaurants in the area, any news on the German dining front is always of interest."

You know who likes German food?

Nazis, that's who.

Anonymous said...

"Robert Dyer (R):
From: The Echo
Volume 54, Issue 1 - September/October 2010
"The Newsletter of the Randolph Civic Association"

Your 2010 Neighborhood Voting Guide
The 2010 Voter Guide of the Randolph Civic Association

Candidates for At-Large County Council

Robert Dyer (R):

[Rating graphic: 1.5 stars out of a possible 5; average rating for the 7 other candidates was 4 stars out of 5.]

"The responses in his questionnaire showed a clear misalignment with our
neighborhood priorities. This candidate testified in opposition to the White
Flint Sector Plan. Also, many responses did not address the question and
instead made negative attacks."

– Dan Hoffman, RCA President

What campaign laws were violated by this statement?

Anonymous said...

Linkie dinkie here:

http://randolphcivic.org/echos/echo_sept_10.pdf

Anonymous said...

Using Civic Association funds to unleash ad hominem personal attacks and lying about candidates responses surely can't be legal. He happened to then be hired by hired by the folks he shilled for.

Still in statute of limitations?

Anonymous said...

"Lying about candidates responses"

What were Dyer's responses?

Anonymous said...

Did someone say free beer? I will have 209 tall boys...

Anonymous said...

Rober Berliner is opening a bar? That's breaking news. Comments not allowed

Anna said...

Wow...now trying to trigger the whole Randolph Civic thing again?
Been there, provided tons of links. They did nothing illegal. Nada. Zero. Zilch.

Here's a taste:
They are a 501(c)(4), a social welfare organization, they may get involved in some political activity. It just can't be their primary activity.

https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/other-non-profits/political-activity-and-social-welfare

See the comparisons on this chart:
https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/common-tax-law-restrictions-on-activities-of-exempt-organizations

Now, delving further, it seems that clarifications, including Rev. Rul. 2004-6, 2004-4 I.R.B. 328 (revenue ruling) seem to indicate that a free community HOA newsletter, even if it includes some political activity, is not a violation of their non-profit status.

Maryland campaign finance laws agree with this assessment. (State campaign laws over-ride local jurisdictional campaign laws so I went directly to state statute)

So, it could be dependent on their IRS-approved code status when they were accepted as a non-profit. 9 times out of 10, a HOA is a 501(c)(4), and in that case, the mention in a community newsletter is allowable.

Anonymous said...

Is Roberto Dyer even a legal resident of Maryland?

Scott Orkin said...

That low a speed limit is non sense. Jones bridge road, wisco Ave by nih, and I think lower than most of old Georgetown road . I would say 85% are comfortable at 50 mph .

All you assholes stop ruining the comment section hating on Dyer. I don't see you doing any reporting.

Anonymous said...

Scott, I have no problem discussing whether 35 mph or 45 mph is the appropriate speed limit for this stretch of road.

What's "non sense [sic]" is trying to tie the change in the speed limit to the corruption scandal of Bell, California in 2010.

Anonymous said...

Hey Robert I heard the Short Bus took you to Baltimore by mistake. I hope you got home OK and your Mom wasn't too upset.

Anonymous said...

Anna @ 12:37 AM -

Here is the documentation of RHCA's 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status:

https://pdf.guidestar.org/PDF_Images/2014/526/017/2014-526017744-0c422575-ZO.pdf

Robert Dyer said...

4:31: It's just common sense, not nonsense - the Bell Council ordered police to aggressively ticket drivers. Our elected officials did the same thing by ordering police to aggressively enforce the new 35 MPH speed limit and ticket drivers without posting the required notification signage in advance.

Both Councils raised taxes while simultaneously raising their own salaries to equally outrageous degrees.

12:37: You continue to be fractally wrong on your assessment - civic association CANNOT use membership dues to campaign for political candidates. You go to the slammer for doing that in the state of Maryland. Looking forward to seeing them in orange!

Anna said...

You are incorrect. They did nothing illegal. Nada. Zero. Zilch.

I wasn't the one to use "fractally"-I just posted the definition of the word. No matter how many hoops you jump through trying, those lines just.do.not.connect.

If you can't understand or accept the truth, that's all on you. All I can do it put the truth out there.



Anonymous said...

"Civic association CANNOT use membership dues to campaign for political candidates.

Why do you keep saying that - when you've been showed, repeatedly, that the law covering 501(c)(4) organizations such as the Randolph Hills Civic Association "may get involved in some political activity. It just can't be their primary activity"? It just boggles the mind why you can't acknowledge reality.

"You go to the slammer for doing that in the state of Maryland. Looking forward to seeing them in orange!"

Since you're so convinced this activity is illegal, have you actually reported it to the proper authorities? And IF NOT, WHY NOT?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Dyer, since you have failed to report multiple felonies that you have uncovered, to the proper authorities, you yourself have been reported to the proper authorities, on multiple counts of Misprision of Felony.

18 U.S. Code § 4 - Misprision of felony

"Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both."

Anonymous said...

Fractally wrong:

"A phrase made up by men who have failed to achieve their goals to falsely assert superiority over "lesser" individuals who they cannot create a rational argument against. In a basic sense this phrase means "nana nana boo boo, stick your head in doo doo. " The use of it is a clear sign that the speaker has a firm belief in his own ideas, and will declare that everything he says is right and everything anyone else says is wrong. Many individuals who use this type of language hold a strong belief that everything is wrong with the world, and that they are the only perfect individuals, but in reality these people are often socially-inept outcasts who still live with their parents and play Pokémon during their break at McDonald's."

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=fractally%20wrong

Anonymous said...

@ 8:09 AM - LOL

Anonymous said...

"Robert Dyer (R):
From: The Echo
Volume 54, Issue 1 - September/October 2010
"The Newsletter of the Randolph Civic Association"
http://randolphcivic.org/echos/echo_sept_10.pdf

Your 2010 Neighborhood Voting Guide
The 2010 Voter Guide of the Randolph Civic Association

Candidates for At-Large County Council

Robert Dyer (R):

[Rating graphic: 1.5 stars out of a possible 5; average rating for the 7 other candidates was 4 stars out of 5.]

"The responses in his questionnaire showed a clear misalignment with our
neighborhood priorities. This candidate testified in opposition to the White
Flint Sector Plan. Also, many responses did not address the question and
instead made negative attacks."

– Dan Hoffman, RCA President

How did this statement in any way misrepresent your response to their questionnaire? How was it "ad hominem", rather than directly addressing the claims that you made?

What campaign laws were violated by this statement?

RHCA are a 501(c)(4), a social welfare organization, they may get involved in some political activity. It just can't be their primary activity.

https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/other-non-profits/political-activity-and-social-welfare

Here is the documentation of RHCA's 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status:

https://pdf.guidestar.org/PDF_Images/2014/526/017/2014-526017744-0c422575-ZO.pdf

Anonymous said...

8:27 AM Unethical and improper at best to lie about a candidate's responses, not give said candidate opportunity to respond and send this lie to every home using civic association funds.

Probably better to let candidates speak for themselves.

Robert Dyer said...

8:27: You're simply wrong on every point. The statement by Dan HOffman was false and defamatory, and completely mischaracterized my responses. HOffman did not disclose that he was an operative for, and financial donor to, Hans Riemer, who received an overall positive characterization (what a shock!) from the RHCA.

It's very clear that civic associations may not use membership dues revenue to campaign for or against specific candidates. That's a clear violation of federal and state law.

The RHCA newsletter was used for political campaigning, another clear violation. Hoffman was then rewarded with a $150,000 County government job after the election for his work for Riemer and on behalf of White Flint developers.

Burt Macklin can't wait to look into Riemer, HOffman and the RHCA.

Anonymous said...

Dyer, you're just saying the same thing over and over again. You're not even responding to the commenters who have refuted your claim that any and all political activity is prohibited for organizations such as the RHCA. It very clearly is not, per the relevant statutes.

You keep claiming that your response to the RHCA questionnaire has been "mischaracterized" and that the summary of them is "false and defamatory". Why not share your actual response to the questionnaire here, and let readers decide for themselves whether it was "mischaracterized" in a "false and defamatory" manner.

Anonymous said...

Also, "Burt Macklin" is a fictitious character, and the FBI (or any other law enforcement agency) is not going to know about your concerns UNLESS YOU ACTUALLY CONTACT THEM.

Robert Dyer said...

5:52: LOL - there is no statute that allows a civic association to use general funds to campaign for or against political candidates.

Anonymous said...

Saith Dyer: "There is no statute that allows a civic association to use general funds to campaign for or against political candidates."

That's not how the laws in our country work, Dyer. Activity is presumed to be allowed unless it is expressly prohibited by law. Now let's see you find that clause that prohibits a civic association's newsletter from endorsing or not endorsing candidates in local elections.

Anonymous said...

Still waiting for Dyer to post the full text of his response to RHCA's questionnaire, and show how it was supposedly "mischaracterized" in the article, and how the article was supposedly "false and defamatory".

Anna said...

To quote Dan Bongino: "You’re wrong so often, and in such a publicly embarrassing way, it’s almost as if you’re trying. Back to the basement now."

Robert Dyer said...

6:43: I'm sure you've won over the overwhelming Democratic majority in Bethesda by quoting Dan Bongino. LOL

7:47: You seem to have unlimited time this weekend. Why don't you use some of that energy to dig it up?

Anna said...

7:06AM - What makes you think winning them over was my focus?

Anonymous said...

"@ 7:47 PM - Hey Dyer - one but YOU"

S/B "@ 7:47 PM here - Hey Dyer - no one but YOU"

Sorry I a word out.

Anonymous said...

The speed limit change has been debated for about two years, since the death of a Whitman High School family. There has been numerous public discussions about this stretch of River Road, and the speed limit change is one of the items put in place to allow Whitman students to safely cross River Road by foot as well as by car.

Anonymous said...

Why won't Dyer release the answers that he submitted to RHCA's questionnaire? Is it because it would show that

"The responses in his questionnaire showed a clear misalignment with our
neighborhood priorities. This candidate testified in opposition to the White
Flint Sector Plan. Also, many responses did not address the question and
instead made negative attacks."


is in fact an accurate description of his remarks?

Robert Dyer said...

5:05: The only speed limit change that was ever debated was limited to the stretch between Whittier and Wilson. This change impacts the whole road between the Beltway and Kenwood, and was never put forward by SHA at any official public meeting.

In fact, the SHA has been derelict in implementing the actual changes that WERE discussed at public forums.

Robert Dyer said...

5:34: You seem obsessed with the 2010 campaign finance crimes of Hans Riemer and Dan Hoffman - could it be you are someone in their camp?

Anonymous said...

That would be your unsigned self, "Woodmont", here:

"Has Hans decided on a color for his prison jumpsuit Too late to scoop up our former Chief Innovation Officer who meddled in a Council election awhile back in Randolph Hills? What is statute of limitations for election law?

Robert Dyer said...

10:12: No, it wouldn't, dumpster pig. Your mental illness - and the orders of your MoCo cartel bosses - not only compel you to keep posting repetitive troll comments around the clock, but also make you unable to admit that, yes, there are actual readers posting comments here.

All of my own comments are posted under my real name. Your testosterone-challenged cowardly self cannot say the same. Punch yourself.

Anna said...

3:33AM "All of my own comments are posted under my real name. "

Well, I know mine are...but remember that time I caught you? I've mentioned it before.

"Once he posted a snarky comment under his own name and on the very next thread, one minute later, was posted the exact same comment by "anonymous."
I immediately posted "Caught you! Dyer commenting as 'anonymous.' Guilty!"
Within minutes both my post and the "anonymous" post disappeared.
Before I thought to take a screenshot.
But it happened. I know it, Dyer knows it, and now all of you do too."