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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted by on Mar 12th, 2015 and filed under Viewpoints. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

CV Weekly had an overwhelming response to our story on the newly installed diagonal crosswalk. Here is a sampling of the comments received.

Finally, a solution for a problem that never existed. This was the easiest and most pleasant intersection in Glendale for a pedestrian to cross the street. It always felt quick and safe. Now you have to wait for two signals to be allowed to cross and when you are finally able to, traffic backs up in all directions.

Also, as a driver you can now have the delightful experience of waiting for up to four full cycles of green lights in traffic backed up on Honolulu all the way from Ocean View to Verdugo to finally be able to cross the intersection.

The only explanation that I have been able to come up with is that the traffic engineers in downtown Glendale are envious of our relaxed free flowing traffic patterns and want us to have the same miserable experiences that they have to constantly endure downtown. Either that, or they are not quite as bright as they think they are. Maybe someone else can answer that.

RB

What a debacle! The intersection has never been friendly for traffic, but was usually tolerable. Now, it is impossible. Traffic is jammed in all directions, even in light traffic times. The all-way ped crossing simply makes the signal red times too long. Traffic backs up so far it does not clear during the green times. The only way to make this work would be to eliminate left turns at that intersection, something that would make Montrose traffic patterns even worse. Therefore, this “experiment” is Dead On Arrival (DOA).  Should have been taken straight to the morgue and put in the freezer. I hope no one tries to resuscitate it.

JL

I did notice something ‘unusual’ about the Ocean View/Honolulu  intersection shortly after it was implemented.

My first thought was ‘did I miss reading about this new change?’

Then I read the Feb. 26 article in the CV Weekly. I feel very strongly that the way the four-way/diagonal crossing was set up was an exceptionally poor management decision. It did not appear that there was any effort to communicate with business/Montrose Shopping Park Association. Knowledgeable managers make data-driving decisions. How did such a significant change get implemented without this very important step?

MG

I can’t believe the City of Glendale went to this trouble to implement something that clearly wasn’t needed. It is just like the proposed bike lane that would have wiped out a traffic lane on Honolulu a couple years ago. Yesterday afternoon I sat at Coffee Bean and watched all the vehicle traffic back up. In a 30-to-45-minute time frame I think I saw four people cross diagonally. And several fellow patrons were laughing that to cross Honolulu at the eastern crosswalk is maybe 10-12 paces (15 feet?). I can only guess that whoever dreamed this up for the City must have thought a diagonal crosswalk would bring Montrose a little more high-end pizzazz and would be heralded as a welcomed status. Like that’s what we want in our beloved “Mayberry” Montrose! And to think part of the plan might have included erasing the mid-block crosswalks. That would be just plain dumb.

SC

I saw the new crosswalk Saturday evening, and no one was using the diagonal function. All things considered, it’s useless and there was no problem to begin with. It creates a problem where there was none. That’s my opinion. I would love to see it taken out and returned to the standard which served well. Waste of taxpayer money!

BE

I find it funny the X-walk in Montrose would be blamed for traffic “congestion.” My wife and I like the new X-walk and I suspect those who don’t are probably those who never actually stop to walk and shop in Montrose.   And the idea of congestion there means there might be three to five cars at a red light at most which is, of course, nothing. How a few extra seconds of walking could be blamed for this is beyond me and since the X-walk seems to be in conjunction with the walk signs already there I wonder if it adds any time at all.

Montrose is designed for shopping and walking and the X-walk helps speed up walking “traffic” which is what the whole quaint district is about.

Though I know walking is still not what L.A. in general is about.

So I hope they keep it, I think it probably helps safety on that busy corner; I’ve seen a number of near misses with walkers on that corner.

JW

I have lived here all my life – 50 plus years. Never have I seen such a debacle. This crosswalk is a horrible idea. The crosswalks have always worked beautifully. There was no need to change that. Now traffic is backed up and the signals take forever and a day to change. This ridiculous idea needs to be stopped immediately. And the people who promoted it need to have their heads examined. I have talked to the people who own and work in several restaurants on Honolulu and they also think it is ridiculous! There was no need to change the existing plan. Please put it back the way it was! I will stop shopping and eating in Montrose if this is not fixed.

LA

In short: It’s awful. It backs up traffic creating congestion and cars idling pumping gas fumes to all the people walking on the streets. Montrose does not need a big city idea like this. The old crosswalks worked just fine.

MK

I think it’s progressive and a great idea. The popularity of Montrose is growing and it helps businesses when pedestrians are able to get around more easily.

AK

Count my vote as no. Among many reasons, here are three:

1. Concurrent vehicle traffic delays

2. Diagonal crosswalks are better suited to 4-lane intersections

3. More danger to pedestrians for red light right turns.  Prohibiting right turns would further delay traffic flow.

Thanks for asking.

TL

I think it’s symbolic of what you value – people walking vs. people in cars. Although I understand the resistance to change, I wish people weren’t negative about it. Encouraging people to walk is a good thing.

JD

I am wondering what problem the City is trying to fix? The City has created increased traffic congestion and I observed that pedestrians are still crossing when they would normally which are a problems. The old arrangement was safer and kept traffic moving better than the diagonal cross-walks. My vote is to go back to what was working.

TE

My biggest complaint about the change to the crosswalk is that it now takes so long to cross the street. And I walk through that intersection close to 20 times a week. I have only crossed diagonally twice. But removing the other crosswalks on Honolulu would be a huge mistake. Those crosswalks help give Montrose its small town feel and allow pedestrians to easily cross back and forth on Honolulu. The Glendale Public Works director clearly does not spend time in Montrose.

Robert Newcombe

I agree with both sides on this issue. How is that possible you ask? Allow me…

Mr. Ordubegian and Mr. Dawson are correct that city officials should have informed the Montrose Shopping Park Association before installing the diagonal crosswalk. It is inappropriate for city officials to be out of communication, especially to the detriment of the public. For Mr. Golanian to state that “Because this is a pilot program, there was no need for community meetings to be held” is not fitting.

Having said that, even though Mr. Golanian’s department should have communicated the change to the MSPA, he has gone on the record and said that it is just that, a pilot. So if the triangle intersection does prove to be unsafe and cause undo traffic congestion, the logical outcome will be for the city to remove it.

Finally, it is always in the public’s best interest for both elected officials and local associations to have open communication with each other and the public they have pledged to represent. Individualism and subjective leadership serves no one!

JH

As merchants we actually like traffic to move a little slower and hopefully drivers might actually notice some of our small business as they linger in traffic. Over the years Montrose (or the City of Glendale) has made improvements to make our shopping district more pedestrian friendly. Our well-defined crosswalks make crossing Honolulu safer and encourages walking traffic. I would hate to see Honolulu Ave. turned into the “Honolulu Freeway” and if I am personally in that much of a hurry I avoid driving down Honolulu because it is slower … it’s supposed to be a shopping district.

We wish everyone would calm down and give something new a chance. We’re sure that there are adjustments to the signal patterns that need to be made but give it a few months for drivers to get used to it. Instead of tirades let’s all slow down and smell the roses…

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