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Public Corruption in Chester County, PA

I believe an unlikely mix of alleged drug trafficking related politicos and alleged white nationalist related politicos united to elect the infamous “Bloc of Four” in the abysmal voter turnout election of 2005. During their four year term the drug business was good again and white nationalists used Coatesville as an example on white supremacist websites like “Stormfront”. Strong community organization and support from law enforcement, in particular Chester County District Attorney Joseph W. Carroll has begun to turn our community around. The Chester County drug trafficking that I believe centers on Coatesville continues and I believe we still have public officials in place that profit from the drug sales. But the people here are amazing and continue to work against the odds to make Coatesville a good place to live.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Today is the birthday of the Interstate Highway System

The article in Wired describes one half of the system. The other half is the FHA mortgage program and the Zoning Law that went along with it.

Maybe the road designers didn’t foresee the degradation of our towns and cities and the end of small farming the interstates eventually brought but the people that designed the overall system including FHA mortgages did.

The Interstate Highway System was part of a military plan that was not confined to transportation. Zoning to insure a spread apart population was the other part.  Strategic long range bombing came into being during WWII. In Europe and Japan the population was centered in large close knit cities. It was relatively easy to kill large numbers of people in cities compared to the country side.

The zoning that we now universally use prescribing large lot sizes with parking came along with the FHA mortgages. Until the Civil Rights Act was implemented FHA mortgages were segregated to whites only and eliminated blacks or other races from locating in the new suburbs thus confining blacks to the now deteriorating cities. You could say that the military planners designed the system to kill off blacks first in the event that the United States was attacked by bombing raids.

Blacks were excluded from FHA mortgages and were thus confined to the populations that the military said were easy targets for bombing designed to create firestorms. Later the spread our population apart (except for blacks)  strategy still was a part of national defense. When the hydrogen bomb and the universal annihilation that went along with it was implemented the military significance of the Interstate Highway System and FHA inspired zoning disappeared. Deterrence and mutual annihilation was the only effective defense.

The designers of the Interstates and FHA partly by accident and partly by design have left us with social isolation, racial isolation, air pollution, stormwater runoff pollution (mostly from suburban lawns), extra transportation costs built into our isolated industrial system, family farms converted to suburban housing and large petro energy reliant industrial farms isolated from markets.

All US municipalities have adopted the FHA inspired zoning that insures widely separated homes or businesses with parking lots. Altogether our Zoning uses an incredible amount of land. We get around it with “zoning overlays” such as we have on the “flats” in Coatesville and the “Village Commercial Zoning Overlays” in small towns like “Skippack Village in Montgomery County.  

We try to ease the isolation and congestion of highway driving by bringing back rail transportation, trolleys and buses.

The article states, “Shopping plazas and malls catered to their needs, and America’s suburbanization became complete. This was not foreseen by the interstate system’s designers, and old forms of traffic congestion gave way to new.”  It was foreseen and the shopping plazas are designed into our Zoning. The FHA and the Zoning that went with it together with Interstate Highway System isolated Americans from work, school, play and each other. The new efforts of town and city planners are a way to get back the connections we once had.

Most of what I wrote about above is explored in detail in “Save our Land, Save our Towns” by Thomas Hylton:

The link brings you to a website devoted to town planning. Tom Hylton is a local guy from Pottstown. 

The book and a video of a PBS TV show is in all of our libraries.  

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