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Mailbag: Glendale drivers must be slowed

August 09, 2010

The only good thing about being struck by a vehicle while walking in Glendale is the instant before the impact. There are no lights, no sirens, no blood and no pain. It is the instant after that one must prepare for, because life as they knew it will never be the same.

By the grace of God, my mother's fate did not end like Joo Lee's when he was struck by a Glendale motorist ("Reward posted in fatal hit-run," Jan. 13). Like in his case, the officers and ambulance arrived, and she was rushed to the hospital. Unlike him, she survived, but for the rest of her life, she will never walk the same.

My mother joins the list of those nearly killed by brazen Glendale drivers who continuously repudiate the vehicle code.

Drivers who shun driving with their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road are begging for catastrophe. Pedestrian safety in this urban community is nationally considered inimical. In the past decade, 28 pedestrians have been killed in collisions, and another 1,075 have been injured in crashes in Glendale ("SPECIAL REPORT: An in-depth look at Glendale's pedestrian safety record," Jan. 16).

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In April, the Glendale Police Department took drastic measures to ameliorate this drastic problem. They, like law enforcement agencies throughout the nation, used a decoy to target dangerous drivers. We all remember it. It was the bunny.

While effectively bringing awareness to the community, the tactic was besmirched and derailed by a contumacious City Council member. Sadly, he dubbed it an anomaly. His grandiloquence, in my opinion, was counterproductive and a step in the wrong direction. Had he played a proactive, vigilant and supportive role and marched alongside the officers, perhaps the driver who struck down my mother would have been stopped in the sting.

Statistically, time will ominously tell which Glendale residents will be struck dead in the street this year.

In the name of pedestrian safety, I implore the Glendale Police Department to, once again, with or without Councilman John Drayman's blessings, get out the rabbit and the radar.

My mother is recovering slowly, but her nightmares will never go away.

Maria Smart

La Crescenta

Antonovich is doing a great job

As a longtime resident of unincorporated La Crescenta, I couldn't disagree more with Chuck Rutlin's letter to the editor about Supervisor Mike Antonovich's many years in office ("New ideas needed from supervisor," Aug. 4).

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