Thursday, March 4, 2010

Around Town: Stoplights

If you commute to or from the west end of La Cañada Flintridge, you may have noticed the regular traffic jams at our YMCA. A couple of ago, columnist Lauren Oakes wrote about getting a ticket for turning left at the YMCA parking lot. (Oakes View: “Traffic court test a bust,” Valley Sun 2-18-10). Lauren pointed out that the sign is not clearly visible.

She said, “The sign that is clearly visible as you walk through the lot toward your car becomes invisible once you are in your car and turn on your driving mind. It’s just too tall to be seen, the roof of the car allows only the sight of the pole and I ignore poles other than just to avoid running into them.”

The no-left-turn sign at the YMCA is apparently invisible to others, or perhaps it is a rule more honored in the breach. By anecdotal observation, a fair percentage of the YMCA members are from La Crescenta. They enter and exit the YMCA from the west and disobedience to the no-left-turn sign is a temptation.

I must admit, I do have a dog in the fight. I live in the neighborhood. Like others in the neighborhood, I know these facts:

1. Cars headed toward the YMCA from the west generally drive at 10 to 20 miles per hour above the speed limit. advertisement

2. People who cross Foothill from the YMCA in the evening are nearly invisible to those drivers. It would be safer for them to walk the extra distance to the stop light at Palm.

3. I have seen lots of near misses involving people who turn left into the YMCA lot against traffic.

4. There have been two serious accidents involving cars turning in or out of the YMCA at the west entrance. OK, one was 30 years ago, and the kids drove a VW, but two teenagers were killed. The other accident seriously injured a local sheriff’s deputy who was passing by the Y on his new motorcycle.

5. The no-left-turn sign makes no sense on Sundays or Saturday evenings when there’s very little traffic.

6. It is difficult to turn left from Foothill into the YMCA on busy evenings.

Perhaps it is time for the city to reconsider a traffic signal at the west YMCA entrance. A fancy signal, in keeping with our high civic standards and need for exercise. It can have a pressure plate for cars , a button activator for pedestrians and a timer system so the traffic doesn’t back up on Foothill. I’m not a rocket scientist, but can’t these signals be timed to coincide with the light at Palm?
La Cañada Valley Sun: La Cañada Flintridge, California

No comments: