Road Diets

By: 
Ward Johnson

I read the article Kirt Ramirez about the “Road Diet Upsets Many” in the May 10 edition of the Beachcomber with no surprises being revealed in the context of the story. Over on Bellflower Boulevard a similar redesigning of the traffic flow has been implemented; I have yet to hear one compliment on this change. Road Diet is a term that implies motorists are fat and that is the reason for forcing all the changes that city has imposed upon the motorists.

Considering how broke our elected officials have been saying the city is and the numerous devious propositions forced upon the voters each election day leaves me wondering if the city is in dire straits then why are they spending a huge sum of money to install this costly luxury that we can do just as well without?

The city sent one of their fair-haired staff to speak to my homeowners association prior to installing the bike lanes, which in addition to eliminating a lane of traffic in each direction also removed a large amount of parking which is already in high demand since there is so little to be found as it is. The staff member implied that the city had been out and explained the whole concept to our organization on several occasions previously, which was not true.

Our esteemed city council member Suzie Price has been to exactly one of our monthly association meetings when she ran for re-election and has not been back since. Although she has been invited several times, she has managed to put us on the back burner; somehow, we have been swept under the carpet and forgotten about. She had an out-of-state emergency for one excuse at one meeting and that has been the end of our representation by her down at 333 West.

Meanwhile motorists still park in the newly created red curb zones on the aprons of the four driveways that access the Stoneybrook Villas making it impossible for motorists exiting the Stoneybrook Villas to clearly and easily see oncoming traffic. Recently I emailed Price and explained to her the issues of obstructed traffic views due to red curb violators. Her response was that the city engineer in charge of handling this type of issue was retiring in a week and I have yet to hear anything further from her or the city traffic engineer’s office.

While Craig Beck, director of public works, claims that these changes have made travel safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, he omits the many near misses most of us see on a daily basis. Someone has forgotten the mentality of motorists has always been a peddle to the metal first mentality, while watching out for others falls lower on the list. Meanwhile merchants go bankrupt, parking is more difficult to find than ever, tensions are increasing, and the city continues to impose ill thought policies that are not in the general public’s best or safest interests here.

Before we do any further redirecting of traffic or installation of costly and unaffordable projects such as bike lanes, maybe it would be a better idea to remove what has been imposed and start over once a more thorough and realistic protocol and design can be utilized with safety for all intended.

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