Sunday, February 1, 2009

Traffic Safety Letter of the Week

In response to the smoke and noise devoted to traffic safety this week in the wake of several high profile crashes on Glenoaks and the recent report by Allstate Insurance ranking Glendale drivers as having the second to worst safety habits in the U.S., Steve Foster jumps above the fray with a concise letter in the News-Press:

City should go out on a limb

Regarding “Najarian introduces traffic plan,” Wednesday:

If the Glendale City Council, by raising penalties, can protect certain tree species from tree-butchers, the Glendale City Council, by raising penalties, can protect citizens from motorized people-butchers.



Good letter, Steve!  In addition to more severe penalties for dangerous driving, implementing leading pedestrian intervals along Brand Boulevard north of Colorado would go a long way towards making pedestrians safer downtown.

 On Friday, I was nearly run over twice.  The first encounter was with a woman inattentively driving down Maryland at a high rate of speed.  Maryland has two pedestrian crosswalks, but they are poorly marked (by elevated signs in the median and two shades of earth-tone bricks[!]) and drivers frequently don't notice them.  In this case, I was in the pedestrian crossing, saw a RAV4 squeal around the corner of Wilson/Maryland and accelerate towards me, and I literally had to wave my hands wildly (while preparing to dive out of the way) to get this idiotic woman to stop.

The second encounter on Friday was a few minutes later at Wilson and Brand, when a very young driver making a right onto Brand from Wilson decided to stomp on the gas as soon as the light turned green, and nearly ran over 5 pedestrians (including me) who had the right of way to cross Brand.  The second situation is exactly the type of dangerous conflict that leading pedestrian intervals are designed to eliminate.


Anonymous said...

It's a nice idea, but State law severely limits the City's ability to set the penalties for traffic violations. (See Vehicle Code sections 21 and 42000 et seq.)

They can, however, write as many tickets as they like.

Scott said...

Thanks for the info! They're certainly working on the tickets part - last week I must have seen a car pulled over on every block of Glenoaks.