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Crashes prompt road study

Public works officials plan to watch traffic at La Crescenta intersection following hit-and-run incidents.

May 11, 2012|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com
  • Greta Pruitt and Paul Story stand in front of a gate at the top of Briggs Avenue where it turns onto Shields Street in La Crescenta.
Greta Pruitt and Paul Story stand in front of a gate at the… (Tim Berger / Staff…)

Los Angeles County Public Works officials plan to conduct a road and traffic study in a La Crescenta neighborhood where a resident claims her property has sustained thousands of dollars in damage due to hit-and-run drivers.

The study was prompted after resident Greta Pruitt complained that the fence around her property on the 2300 block of Shields Street, which intersects with Briggs Avenue, has been hit five times since 2006 by drivers who often drive away. The drivers, she says, fail to navigate a turn in the road and crash into her fence. Over time, it’s added up to $20,000 in damage.

“People need to consider how they are driving,” Pruitt said. “It really requires a little attention to turn the corner properly.”

County officials say they were aware of only two crashes, which were significant enough to trigger the three-month long traffic study at Briggs and Shields. Pruitt will receive results of the traffic study once it is completed.

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“We take these concerns very seriously,” said Kerjon Lee, a spokesman for the county public works department.

The section of road has a two-way stop on Shields, but no stop sign on Briggs for northbound drivers.

Pruitt installed lights, cameras and even moved her property fence 15-feet back from the road to avoid the crashes.

But none of it seemed to work, she said.

“I am really getting tired of it,” Pruitt said.

In one crash, a motorist struck the property and fled, leaving the vehicle’s license plate attached to the fence, she said.

Another crash resulted in a fire, which Pruitt said quickly spread to nearby trees.

The latest crash occurred in April, when she said a car crashed into the fence and damaged the motor for the gate.

One of Pruitt’s biggest fears is that a motorist will crash into an AT&T power box, which she said rests in front of her property and supplies telephone and Internet service to hundreds of residents in the area.

Pruitt’s property manager, Eduardo Becerril, said he also worries that “something tragic is going to happen.”

Signs are too far away from the intersection and markings on the road aren’t clear enough, he said. Adding a stop sign on Briggs Avenue, he said, could resolve some issues.

“As a community, we need to do something about it,” he said.

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