Thursday, April 12, 2018

Picking up the pieces after government defeat of STOP

Several of our followers have written, having noted a hiatus in our posting of articles. Nearly every last ounce of effort and energy has been focused on saving the Orphanage Property as a Regional Park for the Ogletown-S. Newark region. Without ideas or submissions from fellow bicycling advocates, we've had little time for anything else.

Saving the last significant open space on the entire Rt.4 corridor suitable for such a purpose did have serious ties to biking in the region, including a bicycle-friendly destination, local place-making, and an enhanced quality of life. Now being paved over with hundreds of unneeded homes, thousands of residents are forever condemned to racking up and driving their bikes (or sneakers, if walking or running) about 20 minutes, either to Glasgow or Pike Creek if they wish to enjoy such a facility. This contradicts Gov Ruth Ann Minner's Livable DE and the Trails & Pathways initiatives, among others.

The Orphanage Property was an absolutely idyllic green space. At 180 acres of trail-laden forests, meadows and fields, it could have been the crowned jewel in a notoriously under-served area of New Castle County. It would have made a superb legacy for one or more of the region's County and State legislators. But tragically, it was payback time for their campaign donors instead (largely comprised developers, contractors, and others in the building industry) and in their minds, short term profits trumped any such need. So in the end, a very select few people -- NCC Exec Matt Meyer, Councilwoman Lisa Diller, Senator Bryan Townsend, and Rep. Ed Osienski -- collectively made the decision against the wishes of thousands of their constituents, and now we must live with it forever. It's disgusting, to say the least.

Notoriously absent among the STOP campaign's endorsements was of course Bike Delaware, who would never support open space or parkland acquisition if approached. Their Exec Director has even been quoted as questioning why anyone would. As opposed to their pro-development stance, 1st State Bikes is committed to a built environment in balance with the natural world. Not only is this critical for the well-being of humanity, but there is a whole host of socio-economic and environmental reasons why this is vital, if not imperative.

This is all for now. Here are the most recent links to our partner blog "Ogletown Resilience", bringing to a bitter end what was an exemplary campaign in the name of responsible land use.

STOP's Top 10 Unanswered Questions

Highest of odds that SR4 intersections already fail at LOS grade "F"

No stopping the Chestnut Hill "Preserve"

Conflict of Interest is not enough for Ethics Commission

Will NCC and DE turn a blind eye to the worst of unethical behavior?

Guest Contributor Bill Dilks: Felician Sisters Orphanage Property

Why didn't STOP Legislators invoke Eminent Domain?

"Ogletown Park" timeline mostly subjective, unproven

NCC, DelDOT appear resolute in accommodating Chestnut Hill "Preserve"

STOP Update: Construction rolls on despite AP Claim

STOP: Another Window Opens 

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