Sayed Sadaat’s story has gained particular prominence with the chaos unfolding at home.
Sayed Sadaat used to be communications minister in the Afghan government before moving to Germany last December in the hope of a better future.
Now he is a delivery man in the eastern city of Leipzig.
He said some at home criticised him for taking such a job after having served in the government for two years, leaving office in 2018. But for him now, a job is a job.
“I have nothing to feel guilty about,” the 49-year-old British-Afghan dual citizen said, standing in his orange uniform next to his bike.
He had quit the Afghan government because of disagreements with members of the president’s circle, he said.
“I hope other politicians also follow the same path, working with the public rather than just hiding.”
His story has gained particular prominence with the chaos unfolding at home after the Taliban takeover.
His family and friends also want to leave – hoping to join the thousands of others on evacuation flights or trying to find other routes out.
With the withdrawal of US troops on the horizon, the number of Afghan asylum seekers in Germany has risen since the beginning of the year, jumping by more than 130 percent, data from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees showed.
Even though his dual citizenship meant he could have chosen to move to the United Kingdom, where he had spent much of his life, he relocated to Germany at the end of 2020, seizing his last opportunity to do so before that path was closed by Britain’s exit from the European Union.
He chose Germany because he expected it to have a better economic future and a leading role in the telecom and IT sectors in the long term.
But even with his background, Sadaat has struggled to find a job in Germany that matched his experience.
With degrees in IT and telecommunications, Sadaat had hoped to find work in a related field. But with no German, his chances were slim.
“The language is the most important part,” said Sadaat.
Every day he does four hours of German at a language school before starting a six-hour evening shift delivering meals for Lieferando, where he started this summer.
“The first few days were exciting but difficult,” he said, describing the challenge of learning to cycle in the city traffic.
“The more you go out and the more you see people, the more you learn,” he said.
A man convicted of stealing a vehicle last December will spend the next year in prison.
Acting U.S. Attorney Jan Sharp announced that 20-year-old Lonnie Woodhull of Macy was sentenced Friday in federal court in Omaha for interstate transportation of a stolen vehicle in violation of the Dyer Act.
Chief U.S. District Judge Robert Rossiter Jr. sentenced Woodhull to an incarceration term of 12 months and one day. After his release from prison, he will begin a three-year term of supervised release.
On Dec. 18, 2020, Woodhull stole a black 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe in Sioux City, Iowa, and drove across the state line to South Sioux City, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The Dakota County Sheriff’s Office attempted to stop the Tahoe, which at times was traveling more than 100 mph.
Woodhull drove through Winnebago and arrived at the entrance to Macy on the Omaha Reservation before crashing through a COVID checkpoint barricade, almost striking two tribal workers manning the roadblock.
He was arrested by tribal police and later confessed to stealing the vehicle in Iowa and driving to Nebraska.
The case was primarily investigated by Omaha Nation Law Enforcement Services and the FBI.
On August 6, 2021, at approximately 1:50 a.m., officers from the Charles County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area of Billingsley Road near Sunridge Lane in Waldorf for the report of a motor vehicle crash.
A preliminary investigation showed the victim, age 17, was operating a motorized scooter, which did not have operating lights, in the travel portion of Billingsley Road. He was accompanied by his two brothers, also age 17. The siblings were operating a motorized scooter and a bicycle on the roadway.
The victim, who was wearing dark clothing, was in the slow lane of Billingsley Road and his siblings were in a turn lane. The victim’s brothers saw an oncoming car and tried to warn their brother, but he was wearing earphones and did not hear them.
As the victim continued riding eastbound on Billingsley, he was struck by the vehicle.
The driver immediately stopped and rendered aid until emergency workers arrived.
The victim was transported to a hospital with critical injuries.
Anyone with additional information should contact PFC D. Walker at 301-609-3251. The investigation is continuing.
This entry was posted on August 9, 2021 at 3:14 pm and is filed under All News, Charles News, County, Fire & Rescue, Law Enforcement, More News, z 600X120 Top Ad Bottom, z Police Ad Top. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
It was three days after a bicyclist died in a late-night crash with a Honda Accord on Charleston’s Ashley River Bridge.
Mayor John Tecklenburg and other city officials gathered on July 19 for a virtual meeting of the city’s Traffic and Transportation Committee to discuss a yearslong project that would have saved that bicyclist’s life.
“That’s the reason we’re doing this, to have safe passage back and forth between the peninsula and West Ashley,” Tecklenburg said. “Hopefully, when this bridge is completed, an incident like that just wouldn’t happen again.”
Chad Johnson, a 23-year-old from Texas was riding across the bridge around 11:50 p.m. July 16 when the crash claimed his life. He died at the scene and police continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding his death.
Two drawbridges cross the Ashley River where Johnson died. They provide critical connections from downtown Charleston to the bustling suburbs of West Ashley. Each day, thousands of cars and trucks rumble their way across the U.S. Highway 17 spans.
But critics and transportation advocates have long argued the bridges were never designed with pedestrians and bicyclists in mind. A slim sidewalk, barely raised from the roadway and unguarded by any rail, fence or other barrier is all that separates them from injury and death.
Advocates had pushed off and on for safe passage across the Ashley for almost a century, but efforts fell short time and time again until November 2019 when the city learned federal transportation officials had awarded an $18.1 million grant for a stand-alone bicycle and pedestrian bridge now known as the Ashley River Crossing.
Despite the challenges and delays brought by the coronavirus pandemic, officials like Jason Kronsberg, the city’s parks director, said the staff has never stopped pushing the effort forward.
They have been working with HDR, the city’s design-build support consultant, and with federal and state partners on environmental impact studies, aerial mapping and traffic studies, Kronsberg said during the committee meeting.
“Lots of stuff’s been going on behind the scenes where nobody’s seeing a lot, but (there’s) lots of work happening,” he said.
The city aims to award a design-build contract by November 2022, have the final design complete in September 2023 and finish construction by late June 2025, Kronsberg said.
The estimated price tag of the project is about $22 million.
For Katie Zimmerman, executive director of Charleston Moves, a nonprofit that’s long advocated for the bridge, seeing city officials committed to the project is helping to ease the frustrations of what’s proving to be a long, arduous process.
And Zimmerman said she’s been trying to convey that message to other frustrated Charlestonians.
“Because the majority of the funding is federal dollars, that adds a whole new layer of requirements,” she said. “There is no slow movement. It’s really all about the list of things that the city staff has to do in order to legally comply and follow all the federal requirements.”
Like Tecklenburg and other officials, Zimmerman points to
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office issued Texas transportation company All Gas LLC two summonses in Leesburg on July 6 after the company received its second truck safety complaint in as many weeks.
Authorities said a tractor trailer traveling in the area of Harry Byrd Highway and White Gate Place around 6:41 a.m. had violated its hauling permit and was 52,800 pounds overweight.
Patrol deputies responded to the area after a caller stated that the vehicle in question “was creating sparks and now the back is on fire,” according to the July 9 LCSO incident report.
After deputies initiated a traffic stop, the patrol supervisor observed the truck and subsequently requested assistance from units with LCSO’s Motor Carrier Safety division.
The ensuing inspection found the tractor trailer’s front escort vehicle did not have a height pole, and that the tractor trailer did not have a proper rear escort vehicle.
Both of those deficiencies violated the truck’s hauling permit, which was itself not issued to All Gas LLC but rather to a different company, Florida-based KCE Transport Solutions, per the LCSO.
The hauling permit violation meant the transport vehicle was not permitted to carry such a heavy load, resulting in a weight violation.
The vehicle had two additional “out of service” safety violations in addition to the two LCSO-issued summons, according to officials.
Authorities said All Gas LLC was also responsible for a June 25 incident in Hillsboro, in which a truck became stuck in a roundabout and damaged a guardrail while hauling a large piece of equipment on eastbound Route 9.
The LCSO issued citations for that vehicle not having a Virginia Department of Transportation Highway Hauling Permit, being 59,300 pounds overweight and having improper brakes.
“That way, my marketing is completely targeted. It’s coming from a trusted source: a neighbor, rather than myself, who’s a random person. And it’s 100% free,” Oestreich said. “I don’t know of any other marketing technique that checks those boxes.”
Oestreich doesn’t set hours for the pop-up, but usually stops taking customers when he hits 15 bikes and calls it quits when the last bike is done. Each tune-up costs $75. Replacing things like inner tubes and chains costs extra. More than that and it’s a job for someone else.
“If your bike is falling apart and it needs all sorts of replacements, I don’t do that,” Oestreich said. He specializes in speedy, nearby service for everyone from the occasional weekend rider to daily bike commuters.
It’s the perfect business model for the pandemic, he said. The business is entirely outside, with little customer contact required. And by traveling to residential neighborhoods, he meets customers where they are — which at the peak of the pandemic was mostly at home.
New year, new neighborhoods
By the time Orangetheory offered Oestreich his job back, he turned them down.
Curbside Bicycles “fully supports me,” he said. “I feel super fortunate. The fact that the pandemic was a boon to me is kind of an amazing phenomenon.”
Jimmy Chen, a professor and program chair of the Virginia Commonwealth University Urban and Regional Studies and Planning program who attended ConnectRVA 2045 public meetings this summer, said the Richmond region is car dependent due to many people traveling for work, as well as the lack of other reliable travel options.
“You cannot rely on the [Greater Richmond Transit Company] bus to get 100% access to destinations,” Chen said. “Right now the population is so dispersed .. and job and housing is unbalanced.”
Chen said while driving provides “unprecedented mobility” for travel, it emits more pollutants than other modes of transportation, so it is important to eliminate unnecessary car trips and support sustainable travel.
“[The plan] mainly focused on supply side, how do we improve the intersection, how do we widen freeways,” Chen said. “but we also need to make sure that travel demand should be reduced … we need to encourage more transit-oriented development.”
However, Chen said it’s an overall great plan, adding the plan is not permanent and will be adjusted in the coming years — the plan is updated every four years.
“This blueprint is great,” Chen said. “This year they’ve had a lot of meetings and made a lot of progress.”
The projects list is in a public review and comment period for air quality testing from July 9-24, which examines projects to see their potential for ozone emissions. If a projects emissions are high, the board could reconsider whether toinclude it, Parsons said.
Few roads better epitomize the frustrations of Peninsula’s bicycle advocates than El Camino Real, a critical north-south connector that offers both the most direct and, arguably, the most perilous route between Redwood City and Mountain View.
Living up to its moniker as “The King’s Highway,” the original connector between California’s network of Spanish missions is today dominated by cars in just about every Peninsula jurisdiction through which it passes, despite years of talk around the region about converting it into a multimodal “grand boulevard.”
And even as each city has been making its own bike-safety improvements (Palo Alto, for instance, is now completing construction of a bike bridge over U.S. Highway 101 as well as planning for further bike improvements along East Meadow Drive and on the Charleston-Arastradero corridor), these efforts have largely steered clear of El Camino.
A recent traffic analysis commissioned by city managers from Peninsula cities concluded that the 12.5-mile stretch of El Camino between Redwood City and Mountain View has a “high concentration of bicycle collisions” and virtually no bike infrastructure.
But even as it poses a steep challenge for city leaders across the Peninsula, El Camino also represents their greatest hope. During the pandemic, the cities of Redwood City, Menlo Park, Palo Alto and Mountain View collaborated on a Peninsula Bikeway study, a survey of bike amenities in each city with recommendations for further improvements to bike connections between the jurisdictions. The study, which was released in November, evaluates three different possibilities for separated bikeways that would stretch along the Peninsula. After considering other routes, including Alma Street and Middlefield Road, the study concluded that a bikeway on El Camino, despite the massive challenges it would entail, “represents the most viable opportunity to implement such a vision and help improve safety and connectivity for all bicycle users.”
The Peninsula Bikeway study is an outgrowth of a partnership that city managers from four cities formed in 2016 to discuss stronger connections between their jurisdictions. Known as the Managers’ Mobility Partnership, the effort initially focused on using existing bikeways and routes to design an interim “low-stress bicycle connection” between the north and sound ends of the segment.
The latest effort is far more ambitious. The new study bills itself as “the first phase of implementing a high-impact bicycle superhighway network in the Bay Area helping residents and workers increase connectivity and safety to jobs and activity centers.” Its goal is to offer a “long-term, high-quality, bikeway suitable for bicyclists of all ages and abilities.”
Unlike the interim route — a meandering path that forces riders to cross El Camino Real once and the railroad tracks twice to avoid hazardous road segments in the various cities — the new bikeway would be direct. All three of the study’s options feature a straighter path between Redwood City and Mountain View. One would rely predominantly on Middlefield Road; another would stay within El Camino Real; the third would run along the Caltrain right-of-way and rely on Alma Street in the
The Bridgeport Transportation & Land Use Study was created as a planning initiative with a goal to enhance walkability, transportation, transit choices and neighborhood character within the Bridgeport area of Lancaster County, according to the study.
The project is a collaboration between East Lampeter, West Lampeter and Lancaster townships, and Lancaster city, with support from Lancaster County and the state Department of Transportation.
Following are some of the recommendations from the “Recommended Action Plan” section of the study, which is attached to the end of this post.
— A roundabout connecting Old Philadelphia Pike that would provide access to Lincoln Highway and Pitney Road.
— Widen Pitney Road to allow for dual southbound through lanes.
— All left turns from Route 462 (East King Street and Lincoln Highway East) would be made via a new street north of Lincoln Highway.
— Redevelop the existing four-lane Lincoln Highway East into a three-lane highway.
— Construct central landscaped medians and consolidated access points at key locations along Lincoln Highway to reduce traffic speeds and beautify the roadway.
— Curbing, crosswalks and sidewalks along both sides of Lincoln Highway to create safe pedestrian travel ways.
— A shoulder to create additional separation between pedestrians and vehicular travel.
— Build a trail from Lancaster County Central Park to the Conestoga Pines Pool.
— Enhance pedestrian safety and provide traffic-calming measures along the following streets located in residential neighborhoods south of Lincoln Highway and east of Lampeter Road: Longfellow Drive, Tennyson Drive, Wiker Avenue and Buttercup Road. Suggestions include speed cushions, speed humps, raised intersections, and/or landscaped gateways.
— The adoption of a Village Center District and a Village Mixed Use District within a 10-minute walk radius from the Bridgeport Crossroads.
— The following use types should be permitted and encouraged within Bridgeport’s commercial and mixed use zoning districts: Apartments over retail stores, artisan production businesses and small specialty stores to encourage entrepreneurial businesses, anchor retail stores and food markets, restaurants and outdoor dining and townhomes and other forms of attached dwellings.
— Each municipal ordinance should promote the use of shared parking within the Bridgeport Crossroads area according to the standards established in the most current version of the Urban Land Institute’s Shared Parking Manual.
— With four bus lines converging at the Bridgeport Crossroads, a bus transit hub should be considered to promote greater connectivity and transfers between routes.