From Ft. Lee to Elk Grove, Traffic Matters; What About Elk Grove's Proposed Amusement Park?

UPDATED January 11, 2014 | Whether you are a larger-than-life tough-as-nails call-em-as-you-see-em Governor with Presidential aspirat...


January 11, 2014 |

Whether you are a larger-than-life tough-as-nails call-em-as-you-see-em Governor with Presidential aspirations or a city council member slogging away in a bedroom suburb hoping to climb up the political ladder, one thing you both have in common is the need to take care of constituents' problems, or at least not creating additional ones. 

This week Republican Presidential hopeful and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie got a taste of the blowback for his staffs' creation of a traffic problem for a suspected political payback. The epic politician-created traffic jam that occurred on the first day of school last September for residents of Ft. Lee N.J. may seriously affect, or even  sink, Christies' presidential aspirations.
A Bridge to Small?

While many of us with an inside-baseball perspective tend to micro-view politics, for voters what often matters most is how traffic flows or if your garbage is properly gathered and picked-up on time. As Tip O'Neil noted, it is the things that affect your day-to-day life that matter most. 

Coincidentally, Elk Grove's city council this week heard about a traffic problem affecting numerous residents near Franklin High School on the city's far west side. While the city council dealt with the situation, sort of, in the process of reaching a short-term solution, the council collectively sought to distance themselves and pass the buck by blaming the problem on the Elk Grove Unified School District.  

While the Ft. Lee traffic debacle is still unfolding, in the near term Christie, who has often been characterized as a bully, showed contrition about the traffic jam that affected thousands of constituents. The Governor recognized the need to be held to account for actions of his staff that negatively affected constituents.

With this in mind, it will be interesting to see how the Elk Grove City Council properly plans for a potential huge traffic problem. This future problem centers on the city's proposed civic center water amusement park that is planned for an area that is already full of families and their homes with hundreds more in the pipeline. It is not unlike the unfortunate people who live near and are affected by traffic and trash at Franklin High School.

Will visitors to the amusement park attempt to avoid parking fees and park in nearby neighborhoods? If they do park in the neighborhoods, will city resources, money, be used to enforce parking rules? Will parking permits have to be issued to those in the neighborhood? Will property values for those families who were in the neighborhood well before the amusement park plummet? 

Furthermore, another problem the council will face is that the proposed noisy, and we presume successful amusement park, is not only located in the heart of an existing and fully planned residential neighborhood, the roads feeding visitors to that area are already congested, particularly on weekends. If the city builds the proposed interchange near Whitelock Parkway and Highway 99 to relieve some of the traffic congestion along Elk Grove Blvd., will they be willing to forsake a large portion of Elk Grove's heritage, specifically the Elk Grove regional park, in the hopes of making the city a so-called destination?

When that time comes, and it may happen this year, those council members making the decision will not be able to easily blame the school district or the county. To paraphrase Gen. Colin Powell, they will have broken it, so they will own it.

So Mayor Gary Davis and the other three council members hoping to ascent the political ladder, remember the decisions you make about things like traffic do matter and voters and the media will not forget. If you don't think so, we are quite sure Gov. Christie will attest to that, particularly if his Presidential aspirations are decapitated.

As a service to our readers with mobile devices, here are the direct links to the videos referenced in comments below.

More videos from Hewitt Mosiac's YouTube Channel of traffic problems can be viewed here


Post a Comment Default Comments


Anonymous said...

It's obvious to me that the city council had not done their homework when this closing of Hewitt was agendized and took a jab at the EGUSD in placing blame. Even asking the city attorney to write them a letter. Much like the proposed water park which is surrounded by residential and schools and will present a major traffic problem for the residents. Our electeds seem to live in another world than the one I do and have little common sense when it comes to spending our tax dollars on their frivolous hairbrained schemes in trying to make a name for themselves.

I found these videos on's obvious this traffic problem has been ongoing for a long time and it was only after a petition was brought to the cities attention that they did what I call "a band-aid fix." They never did GET IT!

Flop Goes the Weasel said...

The Elk Grove City Council’s deliberation on the Hewitt street closure matter was atypical of the council of late. . .attack, attack, attack! This time it was Steve Detrick trying using his bullying tactics to once again go after the EGUSD. What is Detrick’s ax he continues to grind?

And then Detick’s solution to defray the costs of the closure of a “public” street was to charge the homeowner’s $1,000 each. Detrick needs to get his head out from behind his private gate with his private street and realize that you can’t charge homeowner’s for costs related to public streets that belong to – wait for it -- the public. That is why the city department to do with streets is called “public” works.

City Attorney Jon Hobbs tried to stop Detrick but couldn't find a pause in order to save Detrick from continuing to embarrass himself even more; but alas could not and so Detrick went on and on and he certainly flopped.

Marcus Breton’s article this Sunday was about Council member weasels and their actions. In Elk Grove, we have a couple of those as well. And by the recent comments from the dais, ones that are far from intelligent, also proving, when it comes to understanding how government works, are a bit on the stupid side.

Instant Karma said...

This is heresy! It is not an "amusement park", it is an "aquatic center"! Aquatic Center sounds more prestigious and will help trick nearby homeowners (who bought into the "gem of Elk Grove" master planned community)into believing their property values will benefit. "Stonger neighborhoods", remember?

As for the traffic, hey, keep reminding them that they are living in a "destination city" which will help their property values. This is not about helping out the chamber of commerce businesses and chasing sales tax and minimum wage jobs, it's about you and me and our quality of life! So we have to subsidize it a little (or a lot!)--our leaders have a good track record dealing cards with the private sector folks--remember the ice rink!

So stop whining, keep paying your Mello Roos taxes, and enjoy life in elk land!

Lynn said...

Good Article. I most certainly would not want to live in the Madeira area with their high assessment fees and supposed sell of being the city's "first planned project". Before this the leaders blamed the county for all of the city troubles; including traffic problems. When the recession hit; blame all the city problems on the economy...of course it created the jobs housing imbalance; not the poor planning decisions of our city leaders. Before that recession hit I had termed the phrases for our city; "Developer's Delight" "MND is alright"(MND: Mitigated Negative Declaration; just what it says every problem can be mitigated away; this means on paper it can be made to be alright...yep...over riding considerations; yes traffic could be a problem but we need the homes; more homes.... NOW our city leaders will make efforts to push Whitelock Parkway through to Hwy 99 to deal with the traffic issue and at a cost of Elk Grove much of the park is encroached on...unknown at this time...but as one councilmember said; This was in our general plan...Who supported this general plan and approved it? Yep the planning commission and city council. So of course it makes it right to tromp on the Park. Most certainly this council was not responsible for the creation of this regional park. I can say that for sure because when they boast of the parks; the park sizes in Madeira(the gem) were reduced and a park size in East Elk Grove with this new rezone plan supported by the planning commission because as one commissioner said " No development is not really an option for us". Really so reducing the park size? How about leaving the size of the parks as defined in original plans? Isn't the city supporting recreational activity and health? Of course the city will blame Caltrans for how much of Elk Grove Park is infringed upon. Minimal or not it should not of been. However, just as the city went into Stonelakes National Wildlife Refugee, mitigated and spent our tax dollars...this park will be reduced....
The School District is not totally at fault with this traffic issue, however I was not surprised to hear the council blame the school district. When the General Plan was released the school sites were not on the plan...I asked...the city and school district didn't and were not working together. Schools needed to be on that plan. Our district and city need to work together. Yes, the district ended bus service; the monies needed to be used in the classroom. What I didn't hear from our council; making the streets safer for walking and biking. Working with the school district to not have "walk your child to school one day a year" campaign, but have it "walk every day, bike everyday" Walk with friends. Healthy communities should begin with our young people; walking and biking to school in a safe area will give students exercise and energy to put their brains to work, keeps the short term cars rides off the streets, brings us cleaner air. There are other options out there besides; spending a great deal of money to gate communities off from one another. Is this really what we want for our city?
Do residents really want this "sunsplash" the feature of our city? Are not the "Barrack apartments" enough? I believed Madeira and the Civic Center was to become the center of our city bringing together east and west....the plan of our council is not doing it. I am almost believing the near million spent on the denied architectural plan would of offered and created something better then what we will end up with.

Anonymous said...

Why don't they pave over the wetlands while they are at it?

For that matter plow all the parks under and pave those too.

Developers Delight - Perfect Label!

This city will be known as Stockton north or South Sacramento south.

Anonymous said...

I don't live anywhere near Franklin HS but after watching a few of these links, I am appalled that our city hasn't stepped in to provide safer access to schools. This neighborhood is really overburdened with traffic, noise, trash, obsessed drivers, clueless kids who think they are envinsible. And what is with the ice cream trucks?? There must be an ordinance that requires them to "keep moving" through neighborhoods as opposed to stopping on a corner, creating a traffic nightmare to residents, parents and students alike. The council can blame the school, who will turn blame the cops, who will in turn blame the students who will continue using bad judgment and end up being killed. Let's not assign blame; let's work together to solve the problem. Create a unified voice. Act like adults. It is our collective community who will suffer if puffy chests are not deflated and the problem properly addressed by engineers, school personnel, police and city leaders. The city can move mountains to re-write city ordinances for Gil Moore, but they cannot come off the mountain for school kids and safety?? Doesn's seem right now, does it??

Anonymous said...

Where was the public outcry on this issue at the meeting, seems like a wasted opportunity to put heat on city council? I guess it's safer to complain on-line.

Michael M. said...

This is a late comment.
What a circus!
The school lets out in the afternoon, and all hell breaks loose.
There's no place for the kids to go.
What kind of resource is the school?
And what sort of planning did the city do to incorporate young people into it's environment?
There is no social planning from the city, nor from the school district (unless, of course, you're in some sort of after-school sanctioned activity.)
Kids are like adults---we all like to hang out.
There is no place to do so.
Everyone is unwelcomed in this destination city.

Follow Us



Elk Grove News Minute

All previous Elk Grove News Minutes, interviews, and Dan Schmitt's Ya' Gotta be Schmittin' Me podcasts are now available on iTunes

Elk Grove News Podcast